A salute to one of the many unsung heroes of the Cold War:
The USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633)
This post was started in September of 2018 but I am updating and including it as part of the 41 for Freedom Series. Of all the boomers I have researched to date, the information about the man it was named for is pretty brief. Despite that, his name lives on even today in America as large Polish communities and even Presidents recognize several days during the year as Casimir Pulaski Day.
General Pulaski Memorial Day
General Pulaski Memorial Day is a United States holiday in honor of General Kazimierz Pułaski (spelled Casimir Pulaski in English), a Polish hero of the American Revolution. This holiday is held every year on October 11 by Presidential Proclamation, to commemorate his death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779 and to honor the heritage of Polish Americans. The observance was established in 1929 when Congress passed a resolution (Public Resolution 16 of 1929) designating October 11 as General Pulaski Memorial Day. Every President has issued a proclamation for the observance annually since (except in 1930).
This is separate holiday from the regional holiday in the Chicago area titled Casimir Pulaski Day that commemorates Pulaski’s birth on March 4, 1746.
From Admiral Rickover’s book Eminent Americans:
USS CASIMIR PULASKI (SSBN633)
NAMED FOR a man whose all too brief life was dedicated to the ﬁght for freedom, Casimir Pulaski. First for the freedom of his native country, Poland, and when this ﬁght was lost, for the freedom of our own country. Born a Polish nobleman, he died an American Revolutionary War hero.
Pulaski was an active participant in the last desperate efforts of Polish patriots to preserve their country’s freedom from Russian encroachment. When the Polish cause was lost he ﬂed, his life and property forfeit. With Benjamin Franklin’s help he reached our shores and joined Washington’s army. He was one of a small band of foreign officers who, though of aristocratic birth, made the cause of the American Revolution their own and fought valiantly for it.
Pulaski’s signal military exploits at the Battle of Brandywine won him the commission of brigadier general from the Continental Congress. A brilliant cavalryman, he awakened American generals to the need of a better cavalry. He became a favorite of General Washington and with his approval formed “Pulaski’s Legion,” an independent force composed primarily of European trained cavalry and infantrymen.
Pulaski was mortally wounded leading his legion in a cavalry charge at the Battle of Savannah, Oct. 11, 1779, a day which has been proclaimed “Pulaski Day” by Congress.
General Washington wrote to him:
“I assure you Sir, I have a high sense of your merit and services and the principles that inﬂuenced the part you have taken in the affairs of this country. The disinterested and unremitted zeal you have manifested in the service gives you a title to the esteem of the citizens of America, and have assured you mine.”
About the boat:
USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633), a James Madison-class ballistic missile submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Casimir Pulaski (1745–1779), a Polish general who served in the American Revolutionary War.
About the Ship’s Name:
Casimir Pulaski, born in Podolia, Poland about 1748 was active in the Polish independence movement and in 1772 fled to Turkey, thence to Paris and Boston in 1777. Joining the Continental Army, he served at Brandywine and Germantown, then led cavalry units during the winter of 1777-78. Refusing to serve under Gen. Anthony Wayne, he resigned his command in March 1778. Forming an independent cavalry corps he continued to serve the cause of American independence. After service along the Delaware, he was ordered south in February 1779 to block British forces moving up from Savannah. After defeat he joined with Gen. Lincoln and the French fleet to attack Savannah. Mortally wounded during the seige of that city, he died aboard the vessel WASP.
Lafayette Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 12 January 1963, at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.; Launched, 1 February 1964; Commissioned, USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633), 14 August 1964;
Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 3 July 1994; Disposed of through the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program, 21 October 1994 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: July 20, 1961|
|Keel laid: January 12, 1963|
|Launched: February 1, 1964|
|Commissioned: August 14, 1964|
|Decommissioned: March 7, 1994|
|Builder: Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.|
|Propulsion system: one S5W nuclear reactor|
|Length: 425 feet (129.6 meters)|
|Beam: 33 feet (10 meters)|
|Draft: 31.5 feet (9.6 meters)|
|Displacement: Surfaced: approx. 7,250 tons; Submerged: approx. 8,250 tons|
|Speed: Surfaced: 16 – 20 knots;Submerged: 22 – 25 knots|
|Armament: 16 vertical tubes for Polaris or Poseidon missiles, four 21″ torpedo tubes for <ahref=”.. weapons=”” mk-48.htm”=””>Mk-48 torpedoes, Mk-14/16 torpedoes, Mk-37 torpedoes and Mk-45 nuclear torpedoes</ahref=”..>|
|Crew: 13 Officers and 130 Enlisted (two crews)|
For a comprehensive in depth look at the 633 boat, click this link…