USS Hawkbill (SSN-666)

USS Hawkbill (SSN-666)
Ordered: 18 December 1964
Laid down: 12 September 1966
Launched: 12 April 1969
Commissioned: 4 February 1971
Decommissioned: 15 March 2000
Fate: submarine recycling
Stricken: 15 March 2000
General characteristics
Displacement: 4002 tons light, 4294 tons full, 292 tons dead
Length: 89 meters (292 ft)
Beam: 9.7 meters (32 ft)
Draft: 8.8 meters (29 ft)
Propulsion: S5W reactor
Complement: 14 officers, 95 men
USS Hawkbill (SSN-666), a Sturgeon-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the hawksbill, a large sea turtle. (The name perpetuated the inadvertent misspelling in the naming of USS Hawkbill (SS-366).)

The contract to build her was awarded to the Mare Island Division of San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California on 18 December 1964 and her keel was laid down on 12 September 1966. She was launched on 12 April 1969 sponsored by Mrs. Bernard F. Roeder, and commissioned on 4 February 1971, with Commander Christopher H. Brown in command.

Hawkbill was sometimes called “The Devil Boat” or the Devilfish because of chapter 13 of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, which begins “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea....” and ends “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.” The Michael DiMercurio novel Voyage of the Devilfish features the vessel renamed as such.


In 1980, the USS Hawkbill (SSN-666) completed a scheduled overhaul of the reactor core in Bremerton, Washington with the crew berthed at the Bangor, WA Submarine base. After sea trials and sound trials and port visits to Nanaimo, BC; Alameda, CA; and San Diego, CA the Hawkbill surfaced off Waikiki Beach at her new homeport Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (She actually was returning since Pearl Harbor was from whence she came). The Captain was Fredric Crawford.

In 1982, the USS Hawkbill participated in weekly ops, and a Western Pacific cruise with multiple stops in Yokosuka, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippines; Hong Kong, and Guam. In early 1984, the Hawkbill undertook an under the ice excursion of 87 days with a visit to Chin Hae, South Korea at the end. The Captain on these voyages was George Roletter. There were dependent cruises for the weekend to Lahaina, Maui during the year.

Hawkbill was the last of the short-hull Sturgeons to be decommissioned. She entered the Navy's Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program on 1 October 1999. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 March 2000 and ceased to exist on 1 December 2000. Her sail is exhibited in the Idaho Science Center in Arco, Idaho.


This article includes information collected from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and

Search another word or see hawkbillon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature