USS Sailfish (SSR/SS/AGSS-572), the lead ship of her class of submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sailfish, a large gamefish inhabiting tropical seas, related to the swordfish, but possessing scales and a large sail-like dorsal fin.
Sailfish was laid down on 8 December 1953 by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard of Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 8 September 1955 sponsored by Mrs. Lynde D. McCormick, and commissioned on 14 April 1956 with Lieutenant Commander S. R. McCord in command.
Sailfish was the first submarine built expressly for radar picket service. She and sister ship, Salmon (SSR-573), are the largest conventionally powered submarines in the United States Navy. Following trials off the New Hampshire coast, Sailfish conducted a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea before joining Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 6 at Norfolk, Virginia. In July 1957, she began her first extended deployment with Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. She returned to Norfolk in October and, through the fall of 1958, engaged in local operations, with occasional visits to Caribbean ports. In December, she commenced a seven-month conversion and overhaul at Portsmouth. In April 1959, while the yard work was still in progress, she was transferred to SubRon 10 at New London, Connecticut.
Sailfish was decommissioned on 29 September 1978 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the next day. She was to be disposed of by the Security Assistance Program for cash sale, but as of 28 August 2001, ex-Sailfish remained berthed at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility at Bremerton, Washington. May 2007 the ex-Sailfish was disposed of in support of a Fleet training exercise.
By kjfitz @ 2007-09-09 20:04:52