USS Scamp (SSN-588) Ship's History

USS SCAMP (SSN-588) displaced 2,830/3,500 tons (surf/subm); length 252-ft'; beam 32'; speed surfaced 15 knots, 29 knots submerged; Armament - torpedo tubes 6x21" dia., forward, for 24 torpedoes, mines, and missiles; Power plant: 1 nuclear reactor w/ GE geared turbines @ 15,000 shp; single shaft. Compliment: 9 officers - 76 enlisted men; "SKIPJACK" class (Most of us know that she was really a "SCAMP" class, not Skipjack! LM). Keel laid by Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA 23JAN59; Launched: 08OCT60; Sponsored by Mrs. John C. Hollingsworth; Commissioned: 05JUN61 with LCDR Walter N. Dietzen, Jr. in command; Decommissioned and struck from the Navy List 28APR88; Disposal through SRP at PSNS completed 9SEP94. Her first four months in the fleet saw USS SCAMP (SSN-588) conducting advanced trials and training exercises in the Bremerton, Washington; San Diego, California; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, areas. Following these operations, she returned to Vallejo for post-shakedown availability at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Leaving the shipyard, SCAMP completed her final acceptance trials and began local operations in the San Diego area. In April 1962, she deployed to the western Pacific, returning to San Diego in July. She operated locally until September, when she departed on another extended training cruise. SCAMP returned to San Diego and local operations until February of 1963 when she entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard for interim drydocking. She refloated in March and, in April, deployed again to WestPac. While in the Far East, she conducted another extended period of advanced training, including operations in the Okinawa area. SCAMP reentered San Diego Bay in October 1963. She resumed her west coast operations out of San Diego until June 1964; then, she headed west again for advanced readiness training. She arrived back in San Diego in September 1964. SCAMP entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard again in January 1965 for extensive modification. In June 1966, after the installation of the SUBSAFE package and overhaul, she left Mare Island and returned to training cruises in the San Diego operating area. In November, she ventured north to Puget Sound for a month of operations and returned to San Diego in December. The nuclear submarine operated out of San Diego for the first six months of 1967. On 28 June, she departed San Diego to join the 7th Fleet in WestPac. She remained in the Far East, participating in fleet operations along the Vietnamese coast, until returning to San Diego on 28 December 1967. SCAMP operated out of San Diego in the local operating area from January to May 1968. On 11 May, she arrived at Pearl Harbor to conclude an extended training cruise. She returned to San Diego on the 19th and remained there until 15 June, when the submarine shifted to San Francisco to enter Mare Island for a three-week restricted availability. She returned to San Diego on 16 July and finished out the year sailing from that port on various exercises and training cruises. SCAMP continued stateside duty throughout 1969. She alternated in-port periods with training cruises until early March when she began pre-overhaul tests in the San Diego operating area. She continued preparing for overhaul and participating in exercises until 01 November when she entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for regular overhaul. While at Bremerton, SCAMP was assigned that port as her new homeport. The overhaul continued through 1970 and ended in January 1971.

Following post-overhaul sea trials in Puget Sound, SCAMP was reassigned back to San Diego, as home port, on 12 February 1971; but did not enter that port until 16 April after a voyage to Pearl Harbor. On 27 July, she deployed to WestPac. SCAMP stopped at Pearl Harbor from 2 to 13 August, then headed on to Subic Bay, R.P., arriving on the 30th. For the bulk of 1971, she operated with the 7th Fleet in Far Eastern waters other than off the coast of Vietnam, except for one short two-day period, 8 and 9 October. She returned to San Diego on 2 February 1972, but, due to increased tension in Southeast Asia, redeployed to the 7th Fleet in May. She operated in the South China Sea for most of the summer, returning to San Diego on 1 August. Upon arrival, she went into a two-month standdown period, followed by more than a month of restricted availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. She departed Puget Sound on 28 November, conducted weapons system accuracy tests, and returned, on 11 December, to San Diego, where she remained for the remainder of the year. SCAMP operated locally around San Diego until 29 March 1973. At that time, she departed the west coast for deployment to the Far East. She stayed at Pearl Harbor between 5 and 10 April, then headed for Yokosuka, Japan. she arrived in Japan on 23 April and operated with the 7th Fleet until 1 September, when she departed Guam for Pearl Harbor. SCAMP stopped at Pearl Harbor during the period 10 to 15 September, then set sail for San Diego. Arriving on 21 September, the nuclear submarine immediately entered a period of standdown and upkeep until 1 November, when she resumed operations in the vicinity of San Diego. She continued that employment into June 1974. SCAMP transited to the east coast and underwent overhaul in Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA, in 1980-81 followed by service in the Med on Special Ops during the Libyian crisis and two UNITAS expeditions seeing her earn her last Battle "E" in 1982. During a rescue attempt in the Atlantic of a Panamanian freighter floundering during a major storm, SCAMP was successful in rescuing one sailor, but received extreme damage to her sail, sail place access doors and planes which resulted in her early retirement. SCAMP was decommissioned and struck from the Navy List 28 April 1988. She was disposed of through SRP at PSNS which was completed 9 September 1994. SCAMP earned three battle stars for service in the Vietnam War.

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The foregoing was compiled from DANFS, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, - Navy Department; and from "UNITED STATES NAVAL SUBMARINE FORCE INFORMATION BOOK" - J. Christley.

Information to correct an apparent error in the DANFS Version Re: Scamp's 1980-81 overhaul location was furnished to Web page host by Randall J. Stiles, former ELT on board during that time frame. _________________________________________________________

A Continuation of USS Scamp's History, by T.P. Guilfoil,  CDR,USN(Ret), Commanding Officer 20 Jul 82 15 Jul 85 

I took command of Scamp at the Submarine Base, Groton-New London, CT on 20 July 1982. The rest of 1982 was spent with Scamp participating in various exercises along the East Coast of the United States, pre overseas movement (POM) work up, certification, and subsequent deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. At the end of 1982, the Scamp was in LaMaddelena, Italy tied up along side the submarine tender USS Orion, having steamed 20,000 miles, completed several Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations, and port visits in Naples, Italy and Toulon, France.

Scamp returned to homeport in March 1983 having successfully conducted several more operations with the Sixth Fleet, passed an Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination (ORSE), and another port visit to Laspezia, Italy. The spring and summer of 1983 were spent in a post deployment upkeep, conducting exercises in the local operating areas, a Tactical Readiness Evaluation (TRE), Mark 48 torpedo proficiency firing and a port visit in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rest of the fall and winter of 1983 were spent at the New London Sub Base Submarine Support Facility conducting major work on the reactor plant, steam generating system, and the reduction gears. This period was interspersed with short periods at sea testing the work that was done, and a port visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The highlight of 1983 took place in October, when Scamp was awarded the Submarine Squadron Two Battle E and the ASW A for her performance during the fiscal year 1983. At the end of 1983 Scamp was in her homeport having steamed only 18.500 miles. Rather a slack year for a fast attack submarine. 

In 1984, Scamp was destined to make up for the low mileage steamed in 1983. After a slow start doing local operations and an ORSE, Scamp was tasked to fill in for another submarine as a participant in two NATO exercises, United Effort and Teamwork 84. Scamp, with only ten days notice, departed New London in mid February. Scamp returned to Groton, CT in mid April having steamed 16,500 miles, simulated sinking 254,000 tons of surface war ships, crossed the Arctic Circle, and a port visit in Haakonsvern, Norway. After completing a TRE, Mark 48 torpedo proficiency firings and a POM period, Scamp deployed in early June for Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico and participation in Unitas XXV. Scamp operated with the navies of six countries, participating in sixty-three ASW exercises, simulated sinking over 100,000 tons of shipping including the battleship Iowa, visited ports in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Columbia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Scamp returned to homeport in September 1984 having steamed 22,000 miles, transited the Panama Canal and the Straight of Magellan, crossed the equator in both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, and hosted a visit from the Chief of Naval Operations who pinned Dolphins on two crew members. This entire deployment was conducted with the engineering plant shut down for only six days and no repair availabilities. The crew did an outstanding job. Scamp spent the remainder of 1984 in upkeeps, two dry dockings (one at the Sub Base and the other in Charleston, South Carolina) and operations in the local Op areas. At the end of the year the Scamp was in homeport resting from having steamed 48,000 miles and having visited thirteen new ports. 

The first half of 1985 was spent conducting local operations, preparing for and passing various inspections and preparing for and deploying to the Mediterranean Sea again. I relinquished command of Scamp in LaMaddelena, Italy on 15 July 1985.

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