Experimental U. S. Navy Submarines

USS Albacore (AGSS 569)  
Now designated as a National Historic Landmark and open for public touring, the USS Albacore currently rests out of water on blocks in Albacore Park in Portsmouth, NH. Albacore, built in nearby Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, was designed from the keel up as a test platform for high speed underwater hull, propulsion, and control system design. It carried no armament of any kind and living quarters on board were very cramped and not meant for long periods at sea.
One of the more unusual features of the Albacore is the experimental configuration of the stern with counter-rotating screws and combination rudder and stern plane X configuration. Albacore was the first submarine with a "teardrop" shape hull and set underwater speed records. This hull form was used in the later diesel-electric Barbel Class subs like the USS Blueback (SS-581) and virtually all nuclear submarines starting with USS Skipjack.
In the nearby Visitor Center, one can purchase tickets for the Albacore tour and see a film of how the Albacore came to be in its present location. Also on display are various submarine artifacts. You can also find information on other historic U. S. Navy ships and information on the Historic Naval Ships Association which is headquartered at the U. S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, MD.
While visiting the Albacore, pause at the nearby memorial and pay respect to the men lost aboard the USS Thresher (SSN 593) which went down off the New England coast on April 10, 1963 with 129 men on board. Found here also are memorials to the men of the 52 U.S. Navy submarines lost on patrol in the Pacific during World War II as well as to the men lost aboard the USS Squalus when it sank off Portsmouth May 23, 1939.

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