Posted by: arbeam | September 17, 2020

USS Bremerton: Dynamic Duo

A town sprouted up around Naval Station Puget Sound shortly after Lt.  Ambrose Wycoff’s daughter, Selah, raised the American flag on a limbed tree in 1891. But it would be 50 years before that town was given the honor of having a ship named after it. Incorporated in 1901, Bremerton grew and thrived alongside what would eventually become Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility. Housing, services and businesses mirrored the needs of the military personnel and civilians supporting the command.

During the height of World War II when the shipyard employed more than 30,000 people, the population of Bremerton swelled to 80,000, nearly double what it is today. It was in this environment that the Navy launched a bond drive competition featuring Puget Sound and Mare Island Navy shipyards – the winning command would have a cruiser named after their town. Puget Sound Navy Yard and Bremerton teamed up to eek out a victory. A command employee,

Elizabeth K. McGowan, had the honor of christening USS Bremerton (CA 130) on July 2, 1944. The ship was commissioned April 29, 1945, just a few months before the war ended.

The cruiser had a distinguished career, including serving in the far east after World War II and participating in various training missions before being placed in reserves in 1948. The ship was recommissioned November 23, 1951, to serve multiple deployments in support of the Korean War and later participating in five operations with Task Force 77 as part of United Nations forces.

Bremerton was decommissioned July 29, 1960, and placed in the mothball fleet. The ship was stricken from the records October 1, 1973, and sold for scrap in 1974. Just two years later, a new USS Bremerton entered naval service. The silent service.

The keel for USS Bremerton (SSN 698) was laid down on May 8, 1976. The ship was sponsored by Helen Jackson, wife of the legendary Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson. Bremerton launched July 22, 1978, and was commissioned March 28, 1981.

The tenth ship of the Los Angeles– class nuclear powered attack submarine, much of Bremerton’s  activities remain under wraps. It’s most high-profile mission was to assist local, state and federal officials with the disposal of the commercial tanker, New Carissa. The vessel had been spilling oil since it was shipwrecked near Coos Bay, Oregon, February 4, 1999, and posed a danger to the environment. Once the unified command completed work in preparation for the ship’s disposal, Bremerton stepped in to fire one MK-48 advanced capability torpedo to sink New Carissa March 11, 1999.

After conducting 17 deployments and numerous other missions vital to  nation security, Bremerton wrapped up its final deployment April 6, 2018. Bremerton returned to its homeport in Pearl Harbor after 37 years of dedicated service. Two weeks later, Bremerton departed for its namesake city to enter the submarine recycling program at PSNS & IMF. Bremerton was placed out of service July 9, 2018.

Interestingly, both vessels visited their namesake city but neither was homeported there until the submarine arrived at PSNS & IMF for recycling in 2018

Salute September 17 2020 PSNS & IMF Public Affairs


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