Tag Archives: SSN-571

60 Year Anniversary of “Underway on Nuclear Power”

Peter Lobner

Updated 10 January 2020

60 years ago, on 17 Jan 1955,  CDR Eugene Wilkinson, the first CO of the USS Nautilus, SSN-571, ordered the following message sent as his nuclear-powered sub got underway for the first time in New London, CT.

Wilkinson_Message  Source: U.S. NavyWILKINSON-obit-web-articleLarge CDR Eugene Wilkinson and Nautilus.  Source: U.S. Navy

You’ll find an interesting, short backstory to this message at the following link:

Wilkinson retired from the Navy as a Vice Admiral in 1974, died in 2013, and is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.

There’s a short history of the early Navy nuclear power program and Nautilus at the following link: 

 nautilus_23 Admiral Rickover. Source: U.S. Navy

We owe a debt of gratitude to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover for the success of the Naval Nuclear Power Program, which is quite visible here in San Diego, with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers based at North Island and submarines operating from Ballast Point in Point Loma.

10 January 2020 update:

In July 2018, I completed a set of eight resource documents collectively titled, “Marine Nuclear Power: 1939 – 2018,”  and comprising over 2,100 pages formatted as slide presentations.   The eight parts are:

  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Part 2A: United States – Submarines
  • Part 2B: United States – Surface Ships
  • Part 3A: Russia – Submarines
  • Part 3B: Russia – Surface Ships & Non-propulsion Marine Nuclear Applications
  • Part 4: Europe & Canada
  • Part 5: China, India, Japan and Other Nations
  • Part 6: Arctic Operations

All of these can be accessed through my 25 July 2018 “Marine Nuclear Power 1939 – 2018” post at the following link: