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USS Blueback - SS-581
USS Blueback

USS Blueback was the last non-nuclear powered submarine built by the U.S. Navy, and the last to be decommissioned after serving her country for 31 years. Blueback and her sister ships of the Barbel class utilized radical new concepts in post World War II submarine design, the most important being the teardrop hull and a single propeller.

The new teardrop hull design was a critical feature which increased underwater speed dramatically and enabled submarines to be almost as maneuverable underwater as airplanes of similar dimensions in the air. Other innovations included sail-mounted control planes and advanced mechanical, sonar and navigation equipment.  [HNSA]

Class Barbell
Launched May 16, 1959
Length 219 feet
Beam 29 feet
Displacement 2,158 tons (surfaced)
Propulsion Three Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines
(total 4,500 bhp)
Two General Electric electric motors
( total 6,440 bhp)
One screw
Maximum 17 knots surfaced;
21 knots submerged
Endurance 30 minutes at full speed
102 hours at 3 knots
Complement 8 officers, 77 men
Armaments Six 21" bow torpedo tubes