USS George Bancroft (SSBN-643), a Benjamin Franklin-class ballistic missile submarine (commonly referred to as the “640 class” among bubble-heads), was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft (1800–1891), the founder of the United States Naval Academy.
The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 1 November 1962 and her keel was laid down on 24 August 1963. She was launched on 20 March 1965 sponsored by Mrs. Anita Irvine, and commissioned on 22 January 1966, with Captain Joseph Williams in command of the Blue Crew and Commander Walter M. Douglas in command of the Gold Crew.
George Bancroft was decommissioned on 21 September 1993 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 21 September 1993. Ex-George Bancroft entered the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington, and on 30 March 1998 ceased to exist.