RayII SSN 653 - History

RayII SSN 653 - History

RayII SSN 653

Ray II

(SSN-653: dp. 3,800 (surf.), 4,600 (subm.), 1. 292'3", b. 31'8"; dr. 28'8"; s. 20+ k.; cpl. 107; a. SUBROC, 4 21"tt.; el. Sturgeon)

The second Ray (SSN-653), a nuclear-powered attack submarine, was laid down 4 January 1965 by Newport News Shipbuilding & DryDock Co., Newport News, Va., launched 22 June 1966, sDonsored by Mrs. Thomas H. Kuchel, wife of Senator Kuchel of California, and commissioned 12 April 1967, Comdr. A. L. Kelln in command.

Ray uses a teardrop hull and sailplane configuration for maximum sDeed and maneuverability Primarily designed as a hunter-killer submarine, Ray is equipped with the latest equipment in sonar, weapons, fire control, eommunieations and eleetronies countermeasures enabling her to quietly an] efficiently seek out and destroy undersea enemies.

Homeported in Norfolk, Ray underwent shakedown training, weavons and sonar testiDg until 16 October 1967 when she deployed on Atlantic submarine operations until 12 December. In 1968 Ray again deployed on submarine operations from 8 April to 9 June and from 13 November to 20 December.

She spent the first 5 months of 1969 in submarine type training and fleet exercises off the east coast and in the Caribbean. SSN 653 departed Norfolk 6 June on a special operation before sailing for Scotland, arriving Holy Loeh 26 June. She departed Scotland 31 July, and returned to Norfolk 12 August. For the remainder of the year, and into 1970, Ray trained in the Atlantic with other units of the fleet.

Ray spent most of 1970 operating in the Atlantic out of Norfolk, Va. Her operations were eoneentrated primarily unon training and testing. In December 1970, she entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a 14 month overhaul period. She steamed out of Norfolk 5 March 1972 and engaged in various tests and exercises, notably two NATO exercises, STRONG EXPRESS and ESCORT DEEP, during the remainder of 1972. Returning to Norfolk 12 December, Ray's crewmen were able to spend the holidays in home port. She departed Norfolk in late February 1973 for a Mediterranean cruise which lasted until mid-summer, at which time she returned to Norfolk and normal Atlantic operations. As of January 1974, Ray is in Norfolk, Va.

From 1977 through 1988 Ray made numerous Mediterranean and North Atlantic deployments including an ICE-EX in 1986 where she surfaced at the North Pole along with sister ships USS Hawkbill (SSN-666) and USS Archerfish (SSN-678), the first time three attack submarines had ever surfaced at the pole together. In 1988 and again in 1991 she deployed north of the Arctic Circle, earning a Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Expeditionary Medal and Arctic Service Ribbon each time.

Ray participated in a six-month Mediterranean cruise as a part of the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) aircraft carrier battle group from October 1989 to April 1990. She participated in various exercises and underwater operations which included operating in the Gulf of Sidra inside what Libya claimed was the "Line of Death" that formed the boundary of Libyan territorial waters, a territorial claim the United States did not recognize. She pulled into several liberty ports during this cruise, including La Maddalena in Italy, Cannes and Toulon in France, and Gibraltar. After her return to Charleston, she underwent routine repairs in drydock the Charleston Naval Shipyard.

At the time of Ray's deactivation in 1992, she had earned five Navy Unit Citations, six Meritorious Unit Citations, six Navy Expeditionary Medals and at least three Arctic Service ribbons, making Ray one of the most-decorated attack submarines in the Atlantic Fleet.

Decommissioning and disposal
Ray was decommissioned on 16 March 1993 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington, began on 15 March 2002 and was completed on 30 July 2003.


RayII SSN 653 - History

Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry-dock Company
Newport News, Virginia
Keel Laid 04 Jan, 1965
Launched 22 Jun, 1966
Commissioned 12 Apr, 1967
Inactivated 24 July, 1992
Decommissioned 13 May, 1993
Refueled twice

Note: Most of this information on this page came directly from Don Shelton's well known USS Ray page. This page is provided as an addition source for graphics (to ease some of the burden on Don's site.) Go to Don Shelton's site for the complete story.

Commanding Officers:

CDR Al Kelln Apr 67 - Feb 69
CDR Jonathan S. Hurt Feb 69 - Jan 73 "Duo Stonus Max"
CDR KA Strahm Jan 73 - Jan 77
CDR EJ Galbraith Jan 77 - Nov 79 "Buzz"
CDR CL Moore III Nov 79 - Apr 83 "Charlie Tuna"
CDR SA Johnson Apr 83 - Aug 86 "Stevie Ray"
CDR PH Lawless Aug 86 - Aug 89
CDR JW Fisher Aug 89 - Nov 91
CDR WH Jordan Nov 91 - Decommissioning
  • Five Navy Unit Citations
  • Six Meritorious Unit Commendations
  • USS Ray received the Navy Expeditionary Medal in 1970, 1974, (1977-1981 twice), 1988, 1991
  • USS Ray participated in ICEX86. Each crew member was presented with the Arctic Service Ribbon.
    A second Arctic Service Ribbon was awarded in 1990.
    A third Arctic Service Ribbon was awarded in 1990.
    (Info provided by Capt. Jim Adams & LT(SS) Tom McGreevy )
  • Battle Efficiency " E " (red) for excellence in Engineering. Presented to USS Ray in 1982
    (Information provided by EM2(SS) Thomas Hammill)

Where she is now.

From Top: Richard B. Russell, Lapon, RAY (center, with gray de-humidifier box), Bluefish, Drum

She was resting comfortably in Bremerton, WA but is gone forever.

Photo Gallery

Devil Ray: In 1988, QM2 Karl H. Betz painted the centerpiece from the 271 Ray's battleflag into the weapons shipping hatch of the 653 Ray. "As far as I (Karl) know, it remained there until decommissioning. I know it was still there in September of 1989 when I left. Here is a copy of a Polaroid taken when the painting was completed."
(Photograph and narrative provided by the artist, QM2(SS) Karl H. Betz)


With her home port at Norfolk, Virginia, Ray underwent shakedown training and weapons and sonar testing until 6 October 1967, when she deployed to conduct Atlantic Ocean submarine operations until 12 December 1967.

In 1968 Ray again deployed for submarine operations in the Atlantic, from 8 April to 10 June and again from 13 November to 20 December.

Ray January through May 1969 in attack submarine training and fleet exercises off the United States East Coast and in the Caribbean Sea. She departed Norfolk on 6 June 1969 on a special operation before proceeding to Holy Loch, Scotland, where she arrived on 26 June 1969. She departed Holy Loch on 31 July 1969 and returned to Norfolk on 12 August. For the remainder of 1969 and into 1970, Ray trained in the Atlantic with other units of the fleet.

Ray spent most of 1970 operating in the Atlantic out of Norfolk. Her operations were concentrated primarily upon training and testing. In December 1970, she entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, Virginia, for a 14-month overhaul period. After its completion, she departed Norfolk on 5 March 1972 and engaged in various tests and exercises—notably two North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercises, "Strong Express" and "Escort Deep"—during the remainder of 1972. She returned to Norfolk on 12 December 1972.

Ray departed Norfolk in late February 1973 to conduct a Mediterranean Sea cruise which lasted until mid-summer, at which time she returned to Norfolk and normal Atlantic operations. On 20 September 1977, due to a combination of equipment failure and crew inexperience, Ray struck a coral mountain while submerged in the Mediterranean Sea. Her sonar equipment was destroyed and her auxiliary diesel engine was knocked off its mounts. Repairs required a year of work at Charleston Naval Shipyard in Charleston, South Carolina. From 1977 through 1988 Ray made numerous Mediterranean and North Atlantic deployments including an ICE-EX in 1986 where she surfaced at the North Pole along with sister ships USS Hawkbill (SSN-666) and USS Archerfish (SSN-678), the first time three attack submarines had ever surfaced at the pole together. In 1988 and again in 1991 she deployed north of the Arctic Circle, earning a Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Expeditionary Medal and Arctic Service Ribbon each time.

Ray participated in a six-month Mediterranean cruise as a part of the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) aircraft carrier battle group from October 1989 to April 1990. She participated in various exercises and underwater operations which included operating in the Gulf of Sidra inside what Libya claimed was the "Line of Death" that formed the boundary of Libyan territorial waters, a territorial claim the United States did not recognize. She pulled into several liberty ports during this cruise, including La Maddalena in Italy, Cannes and Toulon in France, and Gibraltar. After her return to Charleston, she underwent routine repairs in drydock the Charleston Naval Shipyard. At the time of Ray’s deactivation in 1992, she had earned five Navy Unit Citations, six Meritorious Unit Citations, six Navy Expeditionary Medals and at least three Arctic Service ribbons, making Ray one of the most-decorated attack submarines in the Atlantic Fleet.


RayII SSN 653 - History

★ Keep returning for USS Ray (SSN-653/SS-271) RAYunion Updates. ★ Visit, Like and Follow USS Ray Facebook group. ★

First, note that the Navigation Control is the little 3-horizontal-lined device in the upper left corner, labelled "Nav Menu". Click it whenever you want to change pages. The selection buttons in the Nav Menu are red if they have been recently updated, such as new photos, or green if no recent changes have been made. Some of the buttons are blue if they are not yet "valid". These are details, such as the RAYunion agenda, which presently contain old information from the 2017 RAYunion that will be updated as we get current information for the 2022 RAYunion.
This site is intended to support RAYunion 2022. A specific date and location have not yet been determined.

Stay tuned to the USS RAY Facebook group and watch your e‑mails (and here) for more information as it becomes available.

NEW! UPDATED 06/06/2021. NEW!
(Excerpted from Dennis Dio Parker's BLAST email and Facebook post to Ray Sailors)
Ray Sailors,
MAJOR RAYunion UPDATE: PLEASE READ
Following initial input from you regarding four potential sites, the RAYunion Committee sought your vote to identify the top two. Bids were received from 16 hotels. Consensus was reached on the top six choices and these were visited in-person by two Committee members. At a meeting on Saturday, June 5 a RAYunion decision was made based on:
- Their in-person reports
- Costs for attendees
- Hotel features
- Regional area features and amenities
- Past RAYunion experience
A RAYunion date and site has been set. Negotiations with the hotel of choice start on Wednesday. We are almost there!

** RAYunion 2022 **
DATE: May 12-16, 2022
LOCATION: Mobile, Alabama
HOTEL: Awaiting signing of contract.
-- Hotel Room & Parking/Day: $165-$175*
-- (Hotel: $165, Parking: $10)
-- Main RAYunion Banquet: $125*

* There is a possibility that during final negotiation with the hotel (starts Wednesday, June 9) that these costs may be somewhat lower.

RAYUNION REGISTRATION COST: $60
Note: Covers the cost of the Hospitality Room, snacks and drinks, miscellaneous necessities for hosting.

!! KEY RESPONSE !!
To effectively plan forward with the hotel, with the most immediate need being to sign a contract to secure the dates and space, we seriously need your initial input on the following questions:

1. Will you attend the RAYunion 2022 in Mobile?
YES / NO / UNDECIDED
2. Will you stay at the RAYunion hotel? (If ‘yes,’ how many anticipated in your party?)
YES / NO / UNDECIDED (Number in party)
3. Will you attend the banquet on Saturday night?
YES / NO / UNDECIDED

Even if the answer is ‘No,” please respond to this no later than Tuesday. We need to sign a final contract with negotiations starting this Wednesday to hold the event. Your answers in no way obligate you individually to attend or not and we understand that those may change, in either direction, as the event approaches. But we need numbers now to make estimated commitments for the event.
RESPOND NO LATER THAN END-OF-DAY TUESDAY, JUNE 8

Thanks,
RAYunion Committee
-Dwight Lowdermilk
-Greg Stefl
-Blaine Winn
-Dan Marks
-Dennis Dio Parker

The USS Ray (SSN-653) was commissioned April 12, 1967, about 55 years ago, and decommissioned March 16, 1993. The first USS Ray (SS-271) was commissioned July 27, 1943, about 79 years ago, and decommissioned February 12, 1947. It was recommissioned as a radar picket submarine on August 13, 1952 and decommissioned September 30, 1958. Welcome to all who manned RAY or helped RAY be the best. A special welcome to the families who stood by us. RAYunion 2017 was a success. Planning for it started 23 April 2015 when the Committee was formed. Since RAYunion 2017 has been completed, this site includes What Happened, especially photos taken during the 2017 and earlier RAYunions.


The table below contains the names of sailors who served aboard the USS Ray (SSN 653). Please keep in mind that this list does only include records of people who submitted their information for publication on this website. If you also served aboard and you remember one of the people below you can click on the name to send an email to the respective sailor. Would you like to have such a crew list on your website?

Looking for US Navy memorabilia? Try the Ship's Store.

There are 89 crew members registered for the USS Ray (SSN 653).

Select the period (starting by the reporting year): precomm &ndash 1977 | 1978 &ndash now

NameRank/RatePeriodDivisionRemarks/Photo
Hardin, William (Bill)MM1/SS LELT1978 &ndash 1980MRemember Lt. Moose? What a Richard. We were a good crew with shackels on one leg due to Captain Dunsel (Charlie Tuna).
Hutchison, George (Hutch)MM11978 &ndash 1979A-GangI was only aboard for one year, but what a year!
Dan, BoyleET3/ESM1978 &ndash 1979OpsI couldn't stay as long as I wanted, but it was still one of the best times of my life.
Potts, DocHM2-HM1(SS)Feb 1978 &ndash Jun 1981MedicalThis was my qualification boat
Gregoire, GeorgeMM1 SS1980 &ndash 1983A
Del Aguila, Elliott (Gonzo/ Crazy Cuban)STS1980 &ndash 1982SonarGreat times. Some pretty cool adventures. Sr. Chief was the best guy. Great guys all the way around except for the two or three - nuff said. Navy was an awesome experience at 18.
Harris, KennethSTS2/SSMar 15, 1980 &ndash Sep 15, 1982Sonar
Morgan, DannyE3Jun 10, 1980 &ndash May 17, 1984quartermaster
Roberts, BillFTGNov 1980 &ndash Aug 1983Fire ControlBob Holy - what an LCPO! LT Don Timms - Navigator hiding his smoking from Charlie Tuna. Bob Buehl on guitar and me with my banjo. Jim Williams, the red-headed wonder! Somebody stole Ransdell's rack! BUF the ICman!
Tidwell, David (Opie)EM1/SSMar 20, 1981 &ndash May 29, 1985Electrical
Jones, John (Jonesy)STS1(SS)Apr 1981 &ndash Aug 1986Sonar
Thompson, MikeRM1[ss]Aug 1981 &ndash Sep 1985communications
Nash, CharlesMM3/SSAug 1981 &ndash Aug 1986Auxiliary Division (A Gang)Great crew,good timessome rocky but it all worked out in the end. Retired in 1995. A gang was one of the best group of mechanics I ever worked with. T-byrd, JP, Shrop, Bernie, Allerton, George, Bob White, Rick James
Williams, James (Willie)FTG1/SSOct 1981 &ndash Feb 1985FireControl
Osborn, Ed (Ozzy)MM2/SSNov 1981 &ndash Aug 1987
Joel Smith, SmittyMM1 SS1982 &ndash 1986AuxillaryI was on the Ray over four years . A gang was a good bunch .We had a lot of crazy characters. Charlie Nash, Kevin Roberts, Tim Byrd. Other Good friends Gracie a torpedo man.Phil Vaubel Sonar. Chief Bernie lake a Dad.
Underwood, Jeff "Underpuppy"QM2/SSJan 1982 &ndash 1985 There ain't no slack in Fast Attack!! E-Mail me.
Hall, CarneyTM3/SSSep 6, 1982 &ndash Sep 6, 1986Torpedo
Cox, RobertMM2/SSDec 29, 1982 &ndash Mar 13, 1986M
Roberts, James. Kevinmm3Apr 10, 1983 &ndash Oct 15, 1989auxilliaryLookin for Anyone onboard during that time and all my mm shipmates. Nathan shropshire. Smitty. Etc
Null, JimEMCM(SS)Aug 1983 &ndash Jan 1986Chief of the Boat I would love to see some of the survivors of that time. [email protected] I have been thinking about my tour as Chief of the Boat. I did my best considering CO SJ & XO JH. I tried to protect the crew and failed.
Eubank, TroyET1 SSSep 4, 1983 &ndash Jun 16, 1987RC
Roberts, SamET/5 SSNov 1, 1983 &ndash Nov 1, 1986ETWhere is everybody
Berry, RoyMMCS(SS)Jan 15, 1984 &ndash Jan 15, 1986Machinery and EDEAHard yard period but a good bunch, hard fast attack bunch, I made 27 years, heard you had a bad northern run, should have purchased that R-12 tester, hope all are well.
MacAtantan, DarrylEM2Jul 7, 1984 &ndash Jul 24, 1987ELECTRICAL
Foster, Richard STS2(SS)Dec 28, 1984 &ndash Aug 25, 1987Weapons/SonarI served under and along side ,Sonarman Kevin Kirk, Godfrey, Whirley, Aubry Bowman, MC Torpedoman Williams? without who's help I would not have been command advanced! I hope all is well with all of you?
Newman, Russell (Buck)MM2/SS1985 &ndash Mar 25, 1988AuxiliaryMy time on the Ray was one of the best times in my life. I would give almost anything to be able to serve again with so many fantastic men. Thank you all for so many memories.
Bernhartd, KeithEM2Jan 9, 1985 &ndash May 1989E-DivisionMy first boat. Good times. Married my wife I still have today while on this boat, over 32 years ago.
Parker, Dennis DioET1(ss)Jan 12, 1985 &ndash May 22, 1987RC - Reactor ControlsReported after RAY overhaul of 1983-1984. Promoted ET2 to ET1. ICEX-86, North Pole 5/6/86, Northern Wedding-86, Tomahawk TLAM & TLAM-N trials. Puerto Rico x2, St. Croix x2, Scotland x2, England.
Coleman, JefferyMsc/ssMar 5, 1985 &ndash Jun 7, 1989Supply msCaptain. Lawless ya out there also Kevin Roberts you use to live right down the street from me. Where's Jimmy Gates or Dave fish looking forward to hearing from some of you. Jeffery Morgan you said Kenny Chesney was gonn
Trahan, ChuckCdrOct 1985 &ndash Jun 1988XO
Grant, StuartMM2/SSOct 15, 1985 &ndash May 15, 1989Aretired in 2004.
Gamble, ChrisTM2/SSJul 1986 &ndash Sep 30, 1988Weapons
Salas, HenryMM2(SS)Aug 1986 &ndash Dec 1988A-Gang
Weis, RobertQM2/SS1987 &ndash Dec 1990
Byers, ChuckMM1(SS)1987 &ndash 1991A-Div
Azevedo, DougETCS/SSMar 1, 1987 &ndash Jun 1, 1990OPS/NAVGreat to See Everyone last weekend (21 AUG 10). Thank you guys, Doug, Mike, Stu, Henry, Brian, and Chris, for the suprise visit, love you guys.
Stephen, St. LaurentET2Apr 2, 1987 &ndash Mar 30, 1990Electronics Technician Forward
Mullin, DrewLTApr 4, 1988 &ndash Nov 15, 1990SupplyGreetings, all. After 25+ years I still have some vivid memories of the Mighty Ray, some better than others. Glad I had the opportunity to serve with you. Hope life is treating you well. Take care, Chop
Seay, William (Doc)HMJun 20, 1988 &ndash Feb 2, 1992MedicalWhat a life. Did not know how good I had it. What a great time.
Sester, MatthewRM2Apr 1, 1989 &ndash Apr 18, 1992RMStill in the Navy, Although left the Sub service in 92. Currently at Special Boat Team Twelve Coronado CA and I'm not getting out until they kick me out.
Crilley, Paul (Crillmonster) EM1/SSJun 1989 &ndash Nov 1990Nuclear Electrician
Van Remmen II, RichardQMSNSep 1989 &ndash Jul 1990QuarterMasterAssigned just before Hurricane Hugo. Survived the 89-90 Med run. Also known as the 'Cancelled Port Tour'. Hello to all who may remember me.
Lamb, BillMM1(SS)Sep 1990 &ndash Apr 1993M
Mook, DonaldEMCMSep 1990 &ndash Oct 1992EDEAOperation Desert Storm, Great Northern run, clean sweep.
Schneider, JohnMM3/SSDec 1, 1991 &ndash Apr 2, 1993A-GangerI'm always looking to talk to old shipmates. E-mail me and let me know how you are doing.
Bussard, Dusty (Buzz)RM3Feb 1992 &ndash Oct 1992RadioStill in the Navy, still on submarines.
Adkins, HerbertSK2Apr 1, 1992 &ndash Jan 15, 1993SK
Smedley, JonETCMApr 1, 1998 &ndash Oct 10, 1999DISPLAY

Select the period (starting by the reporting year): precomm &ndash 1977 | 1978 &ndash now


Social Security

Since the Social Security Board did not have a network of field offices in late 1936, it contracted with the U.S. Postal Service to distribute and assign the first batch of Social Security numbers through its 45,000 local post offices around the country. Of these 45,000 post offices, 1,074 were also designated as "typing centers" where the cards themselves were prepared. The procedure for issuing the first SSNs were that the SS-4 application forms were to be distributed by the post offices to employers beginning Monday, November 16, 1936. These forms asked the employers to indicate how many employees they had at their place of business. Using the data from the SS-4 forms, the post offices then supplied an SS-5 form for each employee and these forms (on which the assignment of an SSN was based) were to be distributed by the post offices beginning Tuesday, November 24, 1936. The completed SS-5 forms were returned to the post office where an SSN would be assigned and a card typed with the name and SSN. This step could happen on one of several ways. The person could return the card in person and wait while the "typing center" prepared their card, or they could hand the form to their local letter carrier, or they could put it in the mail. Once the SSN was assigned and the card typed, the local letter carrier then returned the card to the place of business as a piece of regular mail. The record of the SSN assignment was sent to Social Security headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, where the master file of SSNs would be kept.

So the first card was issued, sometime in mid-November, 1936, somewhere in one of 1,074 post offices to someone whose identity and SSN are unknown. In theory, the first card should have been issued on November 24th, but there have been reports of cards showing earlier dates. It is not clear whether the cards with earlier dates were actually issued on that day or whether some post offices predated some of their cards. If the 45,000 local post offices followed their procedures, no cards could have been issued before November 16th, and none should have been issued before November 24th. But here again, there is always the possibility that some local post offices failed to follow their instructions. The best we can say with certainty is that the first SSN was issued sometime in mid-November 1936. In any case, on whatever day the first card was issued, hundreds of thousands of SSNs were probably issued on that same day, so many people had Social Security cards issued on the very first day they became available.

The First Official SSN

Once the SSN records were received in Baltimore they were grouped in blocks of 1,000 and the master records were created. On December 1, 1936 the first block of 1,000 records were assembled and were ready to start their way through the nine-step process that would result in the creation of a permanent master record and the establishment of an earnings record for the individual. When this first stack was ready, Joe Fay, head of the Division of Accounting Operations in the Candler Building, walked over to the stack, pulled off the top record, and declared it to be the official first Social Security record. (This was the first point in the process where there was enough control to designate an official first card--it would have been impossible to try and identify the first card typed in one of the 1,074 typing centers around the country.) This particular record, (055-09-0001) belonged to John D. Sweeney, Jr., age 23, of New Rochelle, New York. The next day, newspapers around the country announced that Sweeney had been issued the first SSN. It would be more accurate to say that the first Social Security record was established for John David Sweeney, but since master records were invisible to the public and the Social Security card was a very visible token of the program, the newspapers overlooked the nuance.

And so John David Sweeney, Jr. is the closest thing we have to the first person to have received a Social Security card--although his status is more symbolic than actual.

John David Sweeney, Jr.

Mr. Sweeney was the son of a wealthy factory owner, and had grown up in a 15-room Westchester County home staffed with servants. In an effort to learn the family business, Mr. Sweeney was working as a shipping clerk for his father at the time he filled out his application for a social security card. The Sweeneys were Republicans and the whole family voted for Landon in 1936, although John Jr. allowed that he liked the new Social Security program even though he didn't think much of the New Deal. John Sweeney died of a heart attack in 1974 at the age of 61 without ever receiving any benefits from the social security program however, his widow was able to receive benefits based on his work until her death in 1982.

We do know who received the Social Security card with the lowest number, card 001-01-0001. Since the Board controlled the issuance of the account numbers to the post offices, and since they were to be distributed geographically by area number, the agency was in a position to at least control where the number was issued--and it tried to control who it was issued to.

Social Security numbers were grouped by the first three digits of the number (called the area number) and assigned geographically starting in the northeast and moving across the country to the northwest. But if you look closely at the distribution pattern you will see an apparent anomaly. The lowest area numbers are assigned to New Hampshire, rather than to Maine, even though Maine in the most northeasterly of the states. This was apparently done so that SSN 001-01-0001 could be given to New Hampshire's favorite son, Social Security Board Chairman John G. Winant (Winant was the former three-time Governor of New Hampshire). Chairman Winant declined to have the SSN registered to him. Then it was offered to the Federal Bureau of Old Age Benefits' Regional Representative of the Boston Region, John Campbell, who likewise declined. It was finally decided not to offer this SSN as a token of esteem but instead to issue it to the first applicant from New Hampshire. This proved to be Grace D. Owen of Concord, New Hampshire, who applied for her number on November 24, 1936 and was issued the first card typed in Concord, which, because of the area number scheme, also happened to be the card with the lowest possible number.


USS Ray (SSN 653)

USS RAY was the eleventh STURGEON - class fast attack submarine and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on March 16, 1993, the RAY spent the following years at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Wash., awaiting her turn in the Navy's Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program. Recycling of the RAY was finished in 2001.

General Characteristics: Awarded: March 26, 1963
Keel Laid: January 4, 1965
Launched: June 21, 1966
Commissioned: April 12, 1967
Decommissioned: March 16, 1993
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Va.
Propulsion system: one S5W2 nuclear reactor
Propellers: one
Length: 292 feet (89 meters)
Beam: 31.7 feet (9.65 meters)
Draft: 29.2 feet (8.9 meters)
Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 4,250 tons
Displacement: Submerged: approx. 4,700 tons
Speed: Surfaced: approx. 15 knots
Speed: Submerged: approx. 30 knots
Armament: four 533 mm torpedo tubes for Mk-48 torpedoes, Harpoon, Tomahawk, and SUBROC missiles, ability to lay mines
Crew: 12 Officers, 95 Enlisted

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS RAY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


RayII SSN 653 - History

January 2005 USS Ray Reunion News

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all! Welcome to the latest and greatest newsletter about our reunion. Many things have happened since we last communicated, all of which will make things easier for shipmates to solidify their plans for attending.

First of all, the reunion is now being advertised in "Shift Colors" magazine which is the quarterly news letter for retirees. It is also listed via the "United States Submarine Veterans Inc" (USSVI) organization and the "United States Navy Submarine League". Between these 3 additional means of spreading the word, the response has been really good. I've placed over 30 new names in the address header and a few more from people that haven't joined the cyber world but I'm sending them this letter via snail mail so they can keep up to speed on developments as they happen. I am still encouraging each of you that receive this to make an effort to spread the word. By the way, it was not my efforts, but the efforts of other shipmates that got us listed in the aforementioned magazines. GREAT JOB. Also, I will be sending another document in addition to this one that is my current contact data base. I am now getting questions from people concerning "who else is attending". I think ya'll should scrutinize the list and then get in touch with people you know and it may help you to make a decision based upon the fact that you know old friends will be there. Also, there has been some new chatter showing up at the "RAY" reunion Bulletin Board on Submarinesailor.com

Between some shipmates that haven't talked to each other in many years and are thinking about coming to the reunion to refresh some very old and very strong friendships. Okay, enough of that.

Reunion dates: Friday, MAY 27 thru Monday MAY 30, 2005

PRESENT ITINERARY IS THIS:

FRIDAY is a show up and get settled in day. There is nothing "formal" planned. Myself and a couple of others will already be in town, and we will have a designated place for people to come to so they can be welcomed aboard and obtain necessary info etc. Right now, we are leaning strongly in the direction of a "picnic area" next to my hotel where we canhave some grills and coolers full of steaks and beers and bottled water and sodas etc. And we can just hang out and people can cook their own whenever they arrive. Because it is a Holiday weekend, many employers insist that employees work the day before and the day after if the employee wants to get paid for the Holiday. So many employees may not even head our way until late in the afternoon. If they show up at 10:00 pm they can still have some food and drink and good friends waiting on them. More will develop on this as we get a firm headcount on attendees.

SATURDAY is a full day committed to a tour of the KINGS BAY SUBMARINE BASE. This tour is already scheduled for our reunion group. It is a full day commitment from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm. It includes a tour of the training facility, an OHIO class Boomer, lunch at a facility on the base, and a trip to the base souvenier store. To be a part of this tour, YOU MUST PROVIDE ME CERTAIN INFORMATION IN ADVANCE .(SOONER IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN LATER) It doesn't matter if you are a retiree and can get on the base or not, the tour takes us on restricted parts of the base and we will be traveling on base supplied busses as an organized, escorted group. Our group has to get pre-screened using information that you MUST SEND ME. I will take your information and use it to compile a list that I will submit to the base 3 weeks before our reunion. At the present time I have info for 24 people. I Know there are a bunch of people that are coming that haven't sent me the info, so please do so NOW! As I've stated in earlier letters, it will be easy to remove you from the list, but to add you after the drop dead date will not happen. The information that is required is: FULL NAME, CITIZENSHIP and OCCUPATION (pretty painless people. please send it)

SATURDAY EVENING/NIGHT will be a "formal" dinner at the BORREL CREEK RESTAURANT.

IT will probably start with a "Happy hour" at around 5:00 pm with a cash bar. I've spoken with the owner, and we can either do a buffet style dinner or one of those "meat, chicken or fish" type of prepared plate things. He and I both thought it would be best to discuss it further when I had a pretty good idea of the numbers we expected to have. The place has a nice outside deck, and was recommended by Tom Hill who had been to a reunion there previously. Many thanks are due to John Anderson who went and checked the place out for us and he gave it a thumbs up. If you don't know John, he is a retired A- ganger who lives in St. Marys and works on the base and has done a lot of behind the scenes work to make things happen for us all, both on the base and off. KUDOS!

SUNDAY & MONDAY are completely open and as far as I'm concerned I have no intention of putting any effort into changing that. After two days of being together I figure people will gravitate to their circle of friends and shipmates and these two days will allow people to schedule golf games, side trips or activities together. Also, a few of the people have already expressed the desire to head out on Sunday morning to beat the Holiday traffic or to get home to spend the Holiday with family etc. Whatever makes you happy!

There has been an interesting development in the ACCOMODATIONS category. Ken Fuhr, (A-gang chief retiree) has been in contact with the guy in charge of the "Transient Visitors Quarters" on base and it appears that anyone who is attending the reunion can stay on base. (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A RETIREE) They have some very attractive rates, $20.00 for a single, $25.00 double and $30.00 for 3 or more (they cater to kinky people too!) The people that stay on base can also eat at the Base Galley. People without a military I.D. need to send their social security # in advance so that a visitors pass can be waiting at the gate upon your arrival. There is also a hospitality center and barbecue area that are available to us on the base should we decide we would like to use them. There are currently 200 rooms available. Ken said that the guy would prefer to have a single point of contact for our group, and Ken has generously volunteered to take this on. If you are interested in this option and want to make a commitment or just get more information about it, Here is Kens contact info:

KEN FUHR
113 Shillingford Rd.
Irmo, S.C. 29063
Ph. (803) 407 0304
[email protected]

Ken needs his list formulated at least one month prior to the reunion, BUT SOONER IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN LATER. Ken and I are staying in touch about this and he will keep me updated with numbers as people commit.

Prior to this development, our accommodations affiliation was with the

CUMBERLAND INN & SUITES
2710 Osborne Rd.
St. Marys, Georgia 31588
(800) 768- 6250

John Anderson has gone here and looked at the place also and it is nice. They have a picnic area adjacent to the hotel and it is directly across the street from the Borrel Creek Restaurant. They have quoted us a reunion rate of $55.00 a night for a room and $75.00 a night for a suite. These rates are good for up to 3 weeks prior to the reunion. Myself and a few others already have reservations there, and I personally don't think I will change my mind, but if the overwhelming preference is for people to stay on the base then we will shift the Friday welcome aboard barbecue to the base (depending on their restrictions).

For those of you who are receiving this mailing for the first time, you should know that I have created the JIM McGOWAN TRAVEL FUND. The purpose of this fund is to provide some financial help to shipmates that would like to attend the reunion, but can't, do to their present financial situation. Your shipmates and I are here to help you. If you need help from the fund, contact me. If you would like to contribute to the fund, contact me. If you would like more info about the fund, contact me. If you want any info about anything, contact me. For those of you who didn't know Jim, he was a mustang engineering officer. He was a good man and I am proud to have served with him. We lost Jim prematurely, due to illness, in July of 2000.

PHOTOS: A couple of people have responded to the request for RAY related photos. Access to them can be found at the RAY Bulletin Board at submarinesailor.com or go straight to the reunion page . Please make an effort to get yours on the site or get them to someone that can digitize the info for the reunion and your fellow shipmates. They truly are a lot of fun to look at.

The purpose of this e-mail is three fold.

1. Get out the latest and greatest info.

2. Encourage everyone to start making the reunion a commitment. We are at the point where we need to start compiling hard numbers so we can do some logistics planning (SOONER IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN LATER)

3. Confirm that people are indeed receiving the information contained in this e-mail.

In conjunction with purpose number 3 mentioned above, I want each and every one of you to go back to your e-mail server and hit "reply" and simply type GOT IT! And then hit send. I will check people off the list as I receive your replies. If I don't get a reply I will wait a week and then I will send this again, wait a week and send it again and again and again and again.

I'm still receiving messages from people that say they didn't receive my Oct. message, but I did not receive any error messages from my e-mail server pertaining to their addresses. Getting a reply from each of you seems to me to be the most foolproof way to determine that you received this one.

Not much more to say this time, The letters will be coming more frequently now. May is not that far away, it is time to start getting serious about your plans and making a commitment so that the people co-ordinating this thing can make plans that will make the event as much fun as possible with as few hassles as possible.


RayII SSN 653 - History

A fish, characterized by a flat body, large pectoral fins, and a whiplike tail.

(SSN-653: dp. 3,800 (surf.), 4,600 (subm.) l. 292'3" b. 31'8" dr. 28'8" s. 20+ k. cpl. 107 a. SUBROC, 4 21" tt. cl. Sturgeon )

The second Ray (SSN-653), a nuclear-powered attack submarine, was laid down 4 January 1965 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Va. launched 22 June 1966 sponsored by Mrs. Thomas H. Kuchel, wife of Senator Kuchel of California and commissioned 12 April 1967, Comdr. A. L. Kelln in command.

Ray uses a teardrop hull and sailplane configuration for maximum speed and maneuverability. Primarily designed as a hunter-killer submarine, Ray is equipped with the latest equipment in sonar, weapons, fire control, communications and electronics countermeasures enabling her to quietly and efficiently seek out and destroy undersea enemies.

Homeported in Norfolk, Ray underwent shakedown training, weapons and sonar testing until 16 October 1967, when she deployed on Atlantic submarine operations until 12 December. In 1968 Ray again deployed on submarine operations from 8 April to 9 June and from 13 November to 20 December.

She spent the first 5 months of 1969 in submarine type training and fleet exercises off the east coast and in the Caribbean. SSN-653 departed Norfolk 6 June on a special operation before sailing for Scotland, arriving Holy Loch 26 June. She departed Scotland 31 July, and returned to Norfolk 12 August. For the remainder of the year, and into 1970, Ray trained in the Atlantic with other units of the fleet.

Ray spent most of 1970 operating in the Atlantic out of Norfolk, Va. Her operations were concentrated primarily upon training and testing. In December 1970, she entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a 14 month overhaul period. She steamed out of Norfolk 5 March 1972 and engaged in various tests and exercises, notably two NATO exercises, STRONG EXPRESS and ESCORT DEEP, during the remainder of 1972. Returning to Norfolk 12 December, Ray's crewmen were able to spend the holidays in home port. She departed Norfolk in late February 1973 for a Mediterranean cruise which lasted until mid-summer, at which time she returned to Norfolk

and normal Atlantic operations. As of January 1974, Ray is in Norfolk, Va.


USS Flying Fish SSN 673 by Chief Don - FINISHED - Yankee Model Works - 1/350 Scale

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