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The United States Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum is the only submarine museum operated by the US Navy

David Goran

Located on the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut, United States, The United States Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum is the only submarine museum operated by the US Navy.

It maintains the world’s finest collection of submarine artifacts, documents and photographs relating to U.S. Submarine Force history.

Main entrance sign with a UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile. Source

Main entrance sign with a UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile. Source

 

HA-8, Japanese midget submarine used during World War II. Source

HA-8, Japanese midget submarine used during World War II. Source

 

Sail of the USS George Washington (SSBN 598). The first Ballistic Missile Submarine. Source

Sail of the USS George Washington (SSBN 598). The first Ballistic Missile Submarine. Source

Established in 1955, the museum was originally operated by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics and was known solely as the Submarine Library. The Submarine Force Library and Museum soon gained respect for its archival and research value. The submarine builder eventually realized the huge value of such a collection of documents, artifacts, and information and in 1964, General Dynamics donated the collection to the US Navy.

Photograph of US Navy SDV MK IX Swimmer Delivery Vehicle. Non-watertight submersible held two scuba-equipped swimmers and was retired in 1995. Source

Photograph of US Navy SDV MK IX Swimmer Delivery Vehicle. Non-watertight submersible held two scuba-equipped swimmers and was retired in 1995. Source

 

This midget sub was commonly used by Navy SEALs in various clandestine operations. Source

This midget sub was commonly used by Navy SEALs in various clandestine operations. Source

 

Bow view of Japanese Ko-hyoteki class submarine. Source

Bow view of Japanese Ko-hyoteki class submarine. Source

The museum’s collections include more than 33,000 artifacts (including the first nuclear-powered submarine in the world, the USS Nautilus, launched in 1955 and decommissioned in 1980). The museum also includes midget submarines from World War II; working periscopes salvaged parts from the nuclear USS NR-1, a submarine control room, models of submarines, and the Explorer, an early U.S. research submarine.

In addition to its large collection of submarines and related objects, the museum also has a library with around 20,000 documents and 30,000 photos related to the history of submarine development.

The Nautilus. World's first operational nuclear-powered submarine. Source

The Nautilus. World’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine. Source

 

Screws from the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) used from 1954-1980 on the USS Nautilus. Source

Screws from the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) used from 1954-1980 on the USS Nautilus. Source

 

USS Sturgeon (SSN-637) Control Center. Source

USS Sturgeon (SSN-637) Control Center. Source

Documents in the collection include notes and calculations by John Holland for the U.S. Navy’s first commissioned submarine, “one-of-a-kind artifacts from World War I and World War II”, and the submarine library collections of both Electric Boat Corporation and the U.S. Navy.

SS X-1 Midget Submarine outside museum. The United States Navy's only midget submarine. Source

SS X-1 Midget Submarine outside museum. The United States Navy’s only midget submarine. Source

 

The USS X-1 (SSX-1) Midget SubmarineIt was intended to penetrate enemy harbors and attach limpet mines to various targets via scuba-equiped demolition teams. Source

The USS X-1 (SSX-1) Midget SubmarineIt was intended to penetrate enemy harbors and attach limpet mines to various targets via scuba-equipped demolition teams. Source

The 6,000 volume reference and research library is a world-renowned collection relative to the history of U.S. submarines and is open to anyone looking for information on submarines or submarine history.