Magnolia State Subs

While most people are aware that there is a current submarine on the Navy List that has a Mississippi connection– the Virginia-class hunter-killer USS Mississippi (SSN-782) which was commissioned at Pascagoula a few years back– there are also a baker’s dozen former boats that have an even closer one.

I spotted this monument last week at the Vietnam Memorial in Ocean Springs, next to a Mk 14 torpedo. It covers the 13 boats constructed at Ingalls over a 15-year period in the Cold War including the country’s final “smoke boat” and 12 Sturgeon-class SSNs.

Back in the day, the crowds would assemble at the Point to watch “Submarine Races” as the Sturgeons would run out for trials and back.

They used to let the crew and dignitaries ride the boat down the ways at launching as well.

Barb (SSN-596) sliding down the launching ways at the Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, 12 February 1962. Today, all that swampland behind her is Ingalls’ West Bank, where LHDs, and DDGs are built. 

These days, the deep old sub docks at Ingalls East Bank just hold flounder.

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