30 Years ago today: Tea party at the pole

Here we see the famous photo of the first U.S./British coordinated surfacing at the North Pole, 18 May 1987, with three nuclear-powered hunter killer fleet submarines chilling in the Arctic.

Photo via WUWT

The ships are, left to right: the Swiftsure-class HMS Superb (S-109), and the Sturgeon-class submarines USS Billfish (SSN-676), USS Sea Devil (SSN-664).

-Superb paid off 26 September 2008 after service in the Falklands (kinda) and Afghanistan.
-Billfish was decommissioned on 1 July 1999 and recycled by 2000.
-Sea Devil was decommissioned on 16 October 1991 and recycled by 1999.

While the Sturgeons have been turned to razor blades, some of their parts are on display such as the 22 fairwater planes located at Magnuson Park at Sand Point in Seattle and 11 emplaced (along with 11 Soviet fins) at Miami’s Pelican Harbor Park, North Bay Villages:

Notably, the Miami installation includes fins from both of the Sturgeon’s that surfaced for our tea party!

Seattle fin pod: Seahorse SSN-669,  Simon Bolivar SSBN-641, Puffer SSN-652, Gato SSN-615, John Adams SSBN-620, Plunger SSN-595, Whale SSN-638, Bergall SSN-667, Flying Fish SSN-673, Tullibee SSN-594, Pargo SSN-650, and Gurnard SSN-662.

Miami fin pod: Sea Devil SSN-664, Pogy SSN-647, Sand Lance SSN-660, Pintado SSN-672, Trepang SSN-674, Billfish SSN-676, Archerfish SSN-678, Tunny SSN-682, Von Steuben SSBN-632, Sculpin SSN-590, Cavalla SSN-684.

There is also the intact sail of the Sturgeon herself (SSN-637) at the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport, Washington.


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