25 Sep 2023

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25 Sep 2023 - 1546

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25 Sep 2023

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18 Oct 2021


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These are photos taken in the 1960's on KEY or during off-crew times.  They are thumbnails so you can click on them for a full size image.  If you have some pics to share, send them to

SSBN 657 Pictures - 1960's

updated 01/31/2013


fskkeel.gif (34564 bytes)

First piece of Key being laid.

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Down the ways. 

Day 1.

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At the Cape

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Breaking the champagne bottle on the Key's bow.

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Launching brochure showing FS Keys relatives and first COs. Submitted by Charlie Burrow

sprecterFSK_Commissioning01.jpg (203478 bytes)

Bob Sprecher sent in this picture of the crew assembling for the commissioning ceremony

sprecterFSK_Commissioning02.jpg (226497 bytes)

Commissioning ceremony

006C.jpg (15265 bytes)

Ron Chim

007A.jpg (16129 bytes)

Liberty call

Topside - Ron Chim

007C.jpg (15093 bytes)

Swim Call

View from AMR1 hatch

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Off crew office

009C.jpg (20919 bytes)

Ron Chim blue nose

On the beach - literally

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Swim call
Bill Satchell & Bill Stovall
near Cape Canaveral, Florida
April 1967

ssbn657_florida02.jpg (23755 bytes)

Underway after swim call
near Cape Canaveral, Florida
April 1967

ssbn657_puerto_rico01.jpg (20195 bytes)

First sea trials -Liberty call!
Jerry Barry
Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico
February 1967

ssbn657_puerto_rico02.jpg (36310 bytes)

Shoeshines & Suds
Dick Neal, Charlie Burrow & G.W. Rose
Catano, Puerto Rico
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix04.jpg (29038 bytes)

Topside liberty - during sonar trials
off St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix15.jpg (21793 bytes)

Cruisin' off  St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix16.jpg (23420 bytes)

Deep sleep fishing
John Glenn, civilian technician, with pole
off St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix17.jpg (22655 bytes)

Don't spit into the wind
Charlie Burrow
off St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

Thanks Charlie for all these great pictures!

ssbn657_stcroix08.jpg (33311 bytes)

Returning from daily trials
Tom Doran, line handler, at the ready
Frederickstad, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967


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SSBN 657
returning from daily trials
Frederickstad, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix10.jpg (24923 bytes)

Tied up for the night
Joe Dooley & R.L. Abernathy
Frederickstad, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix11.jpg (27963 bytes)

Fred “Mo” Vavra, J.P. Smith & Tom Cowart
Christianstad, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix12.jpg (33069 bytes)

Loading liquor
1 gallon (5 “fifths”) per box
Frederickstad, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_stcroix13.jpg (27789 bytes)

Loading liquor
Watch for that “moisture in tube” alarm!
Frederickstad, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967.  Supply Officer Geo. Singer arranged for the liquor.  Everyone over 21 got to take back 5 bottles into the USA fror about $25.

ssbn657_stcroix14.jpg (16892 bytes)

Manning the capstan controls
Captain Graham supervising (on left, without hat)
Frederickstad, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
February 1967

ssbn657_patrol01.jpg (22966 bytes)

Departing on 1st patrol
Captain Frank Graham, on the bridge & under the bridge
Cooper River, Charleston, South Carolina
June 1967

ssbn657_patrol02.jpg (22344 bytes)

Departing on 1st patrol
with destroyer escort
Cooper River, Charleston, South Carolina
June 1967  Pictures taken by Clyde R Lewis MT2 - Lookout.

ssbn657_patrol03.jpg (21477 bytes)

Departing on 1st patrol
with dolphin escort
Cooper River, Charleston, South Carolina
June 1967

ssbn657_patrol04.jpg (25783 bytes)

Departing on 1st patrol
ready to dive off Charleston, South Carolina
June 1967

First of many, many patrols. Dive! Dive!

keygold67.jpg (590417 bytes)

Submitted by Gary Walters MM2. Key Gold's first patrol Aug 22, 1967 - Rota.

L to R: Edward Vatentine, Harry Salvato, Gary Walters, William Lightcap

ULER in the 60s.jpg (262434 bytes)

John Linville in UL Engine Room in the late 1960s


ssbn657_commcrew11_mess.JPG (114414 bytes)

Crew's Mess on the Key.  From the commissioning Booklet.  Harold Wilber SK1 rear left.  

 From Bil Hole: the man on the far right is "Nellie" Nelson.  He was a Steward.  He had a trick knee and often as he walked down the passage way from the Wardroom to the galley, during heavy seas, it would give out.  How he juggled the plates of food without spilling was a wonderment.
Also, Paul McMahon, Nellie and I went to the slop shoot in Rota and sat down in the corner table in front of the juke box to the right of the door.  Nellie sat with his back to the juke box.  I put in some coins and played "Fire" by "The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown".  Keep in mind that Nellie was a Christian Scientist.  When the song started with "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE AND I COME TO BRING YOU -- FIRE!", Nellie's eyes got big as saucers and he about jumped over the table to get away from the voice!
After laughing our asses off, Paul and I bought Nellie some "Homboogar & Fray Frys".
ssbn657_commcrew04_torpedo.jpg (116871 bytes)

From the Commissioning Brochure - Torpedo Room.  Left to Right: Eugene Kretowitz - TM1; James Mustin TMC; WR Carter TM2; FJ Haigh TM3; Thomas Cowart TM2.

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Haigh and Joe Heflin in 1967 - First patrol

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Jerry Berry (coat) and Joe Heflin Before first patrol at EB

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MT's LaChapelle and Lafferty - 1966

heflin4.jpg (83937 bytes)
Weapons - Christmas, 1966
Standing - Left: Pinkert, Stovall, Dooley, Melher, Burrow
Sitting - Front: Satchell
Sitting - Left: Berry, Smith, Valella
heflin5.jpg (128038 bytes)

Davenport on the right

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Scanlon in front at Launcher

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Hamil, Ivan Meixell, Jeff Trexler 1968ish Holy Lock

Keach-SSBN-657-Blue Change of Command Apr-68.jpg (356765 bytes)

First Blue Crew change of command 1968 submitted by Jim Keach

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Jim Keach getting his dolphins from CDR Yarger, February 1969

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FTG1 David Lyon III with Jerry Berry sitting in rear in 1967.  Dave is on the Eternal Patrol list. Dave returned to the Key in 1971 and became COB in 1974.

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Steve Rosen and Bob "Fonebone" Reese in Holy Lock

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Steve Rosen and Bob Reese in UL missile - late 60's.

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Steve Rosen in the torpedo room

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Steve Rosen on watch - late 60s

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Steve Rosen working during Weapon's Night in the crew's mess

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Nav Center Chief Richard Rudolph and Charlie Parkins

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MT 1 Joe Milazzo

HefImage1-27.jpg (96031 bytes)

Back to camera is LT Murphy - A-Weps

HefImage1-28.jpg (134421 bytes)

2nd from left is LT Murphy Weps officer, CDR Bo Bohannor XO is to his right.

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Jerry Berry in the middle

HefImage1-22.jpg (92474 bytes) HefImage1-24.jpg (91853 bytes)
ssbn657_commcrew08_communications.jpg (87765 bytes)

lt to rt: LTJG Tom Turner, Lee Williams (in back), RM Tom Miner and  Lee Williams in Radio.  From commissioning brochure.

Holeparty5.jpg (26382 bytes)

Crew's mess decked out for a "Weapons Party" in 68/69 time period.  Submitted by Bil Hole.

holeparty4.jpg (20076 bytes)

Looks like Wally Greene snuggling up to Marion "Stokes" Carmichael.

Holeparty3.jpg (23515 bytes)

LCDR Chuck Harner (Francis Scott
Key Jr. as "Daddy Wags" Wagner named him).  Catfish Tom Cowart in the yellow and Jesse Sims in the red stripes.

Holeparty2.jpg (24028 bytes)

CO Yarger always seemed to have a lovely lass nearby.

Holeparty1.jpg (22979 bytes)

Party Time!  and our families thought we were defending freedom...

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Christmas 1969 sent in by Bil Hole.  CO Yarger opens his gift.

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XO Chuck Harner stirring the pot (again) of dehydrated egg nog.  CS3 Burgess Washington standing.YN3 Griswald sitting facing forward.

holechristmas69-06.jpg (80825 bytes)

CS3 Burgess Washington pouring the egg
nog into the 5 gallon stainless steel milk container as YN3 Griswald holds the container.  XO Harner looks on while the work is done.  Bill Wise is the blond guy on the right

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Bil Hole adding salt to some recipe in the Hobart ca 68 or early 69.  Notice no sheetpan/pie rack above Hobart machine

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CS1 Charlie Sabbath mixing up some fine meatloaf ca 68 or early 69

holegalley5.jpg (81233 bytes)

CSC Nordahl and CSSN Bathalow ca 1971.  Notice sheetpan/pie rack now above the Hobart machine

holegalley6.jpg (95622 bytes)

John Drahos (The only guy we knew who spend 1/2 an hour combing his hair before watch while on patrol)  threatening CSSN Hole with a cleaver ca 68-69.  Must not have liked the way his eggs came out that morning

Hole-69dressblues.jpg (75706 bytes)

Bil Hole in front of family shrine to him

holecasinonight-mercer.jpg (115984 bytes)

Casino night late 1968 or early 69 LTJG Mercer. Submitted by Bil Hole

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Casino night Greg Snell on left

holechiefTinyKirkwood.jpg (80757 bytes)

Chief Tiny Kirkwood

holeKermitSparks.jpg (94737 bytes)

Casino night Kermit Sparks dealing.

holeSabbath-Macko.jpg (98057 bytes)

68-69 CS1 Charlie Sabbath with his
loot, cigarettes (Salems of course) and his ever-present coffee cup in the Chief's Locker.  MM2 Richard Macko on left.

holeStokey-Lewis.jpg (108028 bytes)

Casino night Carmichael and Sam Lewis

holeslotmachine.jpg (80839 bytes)

Carmichael try his luck with the slot machine in middle level missile

sprecterLeaving_forSub_Ball.jpg (177441 bytes)

Bob Sprecher and wife leaving home for the submarine ball 1968

sprecterSub_Ball_Mar1968.jpg (187586 bytes)

At Submarine Ball 1968

Sprecher1967MessDeck.jpg (226307 bytes)

Bob Sprecher mess decks 1967.

SprecherAfterPatrol5.jpg (192687 bytes)

Bob Sprecher home after patrol 5.

sprecterBlueCrewXmas1968A.jpg (183704 bytes)

Christmas 1968

sprecterBlueCrewXmas1968.jpg (199443 bytes)

Christmas 1968

Davis-2.jpg (89258 bytes)

Here goes after 40 years. top guy name unknown but was a sonarman, 2nd from top last name Ford, 3rd thats me Buster Davis ,far left was from Mass we called him Bimbo, center was Bunkner from Texas and far right Ken Baghley from Poughkeepsie NY, Croteau Sonarman
Davis100_0047.jpg (94437 bytes)

Buster Davis at his retirement in 2003 as an E-9 in the Air Force.  Buster was also in the Army and served a total of 34 years.

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Bill Wise and John McAdam in NAV Center in 1968

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Stanley "Jesse" Sims ship's diver and that might be Billy Morey sitting topside in the background

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P J Melher and Stanley "Jesse" Sims on Weapons Night....Mexican food.

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Launcher mascots during patrols 1 & 2 submitted by Joe Heflin


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Ron Larsen in MCC 1969

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Warming by the DGBC Nov 1969 - Ron Larsen

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Ron Larsen and Dave Delong fishing in Holy Lock- Mar 1970

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Ron Larsen snags a sea hag.

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You wouldn't want to eat anything that came out of that Loch.

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PB&J was the best I could find that day.

Larson-7.JPG (209197 bytes)

Oct 1970 Blue Nose Initiation - Since I (Ron Larsen) was already a Blue Nose, I was appointed Royal Barber and Capt. Forsyth was dressed as N Rex (King Neptune) complete with Trident..  It's a shame the pictures are not in color, the Captain dyed himself bright blue.

Larson-8.JPG (262503 bytes)

I don't remember what the eggs were for, but I'm sure they served a useful purpose.  We had a crockery jug (left over from a previous Garbage Night) filled with Royal Swill (bug juice and a lot of Tabasco sauce) and all of the initiates had to take a chug.  I still have that jug - made it into a lamp.

Bil Hole and mess cook Arnold on the mess decks in 1969

moxleyGrant and Bobby Grace.jpg (173092 bytes)

The hairy ones are Grant Moxley and Bobbie Grace, Gold Crew Sonarmen on the Key @1967-69

BBurton-Francis Scott Key 1967.JPG (130072 bytes)

Key in 1967 sent in by Billy Burton

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Billy Burton on watch in mid level missile in 1967

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Billy Burton on left playing ball in Rota: 1967

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Billy Burton at launcher in 1967

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Medical Officer LT Jim Earls

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The family of Bobby Grace sent the following pictures to us in 2022

2022-02-24_16-34-55_963.jpeg (39245 bytes) 2022-02-25_10-25-45_361.jpeg (45796 bytes)

Bobby in sonar

Grace 1.jpeg (55964 bytes)

Home from patrol

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Pie eating contest

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We have a winner!  Bobby Grace

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Bobby Grace dressed for halfway night

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Bobby Grace gold crew sonarman

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