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USS Lapon (SSN-661), a , was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the lapon, a scorpionfish of the Pacific coast of North America.

The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Companymarker in Newport News, Virginiamarker on 24 October 1963 and her keel was laid down on 26 July 1965. She was launched on 16 December 1966 sponsored by Mrs. Charles D. Griffin, and commissioned on 14 December 1967, with Commander Chester M. Mack in command.

Service history

Upon commissioning, Lapon reported to Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet for duty, with her homeport at Norfolk, Virginiamarker. She spent most of 1968 going through training programs and cruising along the East Coast of the United Statesmarker. Into 1969, she prepared for a Mediterranean Seamarker deployment with the Sixth Fleet.

In 1969 under the command of Commander Chester "Whitey" Mack, USS Lapon successfully maintained a tail on a Sovietmarker Yankee class SSBN for a period of forty-seven days. The Lapon and her crew followed the Yankee for her entire patrol and only broke contact once the Soviet sub turned to go home. The Lapon was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for the feat and Mack became a legend in the submarine community.

Deactivated while still in commission on 1 October 1991, Lapon was decommissioned on 25 June 1992 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyardmarker in Bremerton, Washingtonmarker, and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the following 8 August. Ex-Lapon entered the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program on 1 March 2003 and ceased to exist 31 August 2004.Lapon's sail was memorialized at American Legion Post 639, in Springfield, Missourimarker.

Commanding officers

  • 14 December 1967, Cdr. Chester M. Mack
  • 8 September 1970, Cdr. G. E. Green
  • 6 April 1974, Cdr. P. Wilkins
  • 29 October 1977, Capt. T. R. Murray
  • 22 May 1981, Capt J. S. Baumstark
  • March 1985, Cdr. J. J. Mackin
  • 1988, Cdr. Peter Flannery
  • 1990, Cdr. Thomas M. Fursman



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