USS Hawkbill SSN-666 Museum

The Early Years

Under construction at Mare Island 1969

under construction

Launched on April 12, 1969


Commissioning Ceremony Official Invitation and Crew Launch Pass

official invitation launch crew pass
Launch Pass courtesy of Arlen Oakes

Commissioning Ceremony February 4, 1971

commissioning ceremony

Vallejo Times Harald, February 5, 1971

Vallego Time Herald

666 at Commissioning Ceremony

boat at ceremony

Fitting for the DSRV

fitting for the dsrv

CO and XO

xo and co

Arlen Oakes, a member of the launch crew, submitted the following comments and original artwork for the 666 logo.

Some interesting data on the patch: upper right has Recvd 11/6/69, and the initials GS (George Stubbs, XO). Below that is a number, 107, possibly the number of the sketch in the contest. Lower right has the notations "Push....80% NEG...and some initials that look like" PsP". Evidently it wasn't popular but someone wanted it anyway.

Arlen added that he found this artwork in a trash can.

logo art

Your Webmaster received the following explanation regarding the design of the patch:

October 7, 2002

I worked at Mare Island Naval Shipyard during the construction of SSN666 and I can fill you in on that Sketch [of the patch].

I know I am not a Submariner but boy do I love those boats. I spent 30 Years designing, building, testing, overhauling, certifying many of those boats for sea. Sadly also retired many of them.

During the Construction phase for the Hawkbill, and prior to the commission of the SSN666 Hawkbill, the Mare Island Shipyard News Paper (The Grapevine) had a short story saying there would be a contest to design the ship's patch.

The contest would be open to all employees and commands at the shipyard and that the winner would receive a prize of a U.S.Savings Bond (I think the face value was $50.00).

In the Design Department, Code 260.2, sitting next to me was a fellow on loan from Electric Boat Company named Steve Andrews. Mr. Andrews was later to become a shipyard employee.

Steve decided that he would enter this contest. I told Steve that I don't think a civilian would stand a chance in hell of winning.

Steve was a excellent artist and drew up what he thought should be the patch for the SSN666.

Now what Steve drew and what you show on the WEB site is the story.

Steve drew a full view of a Hawkbill Turtle from just underneath, in the Port Side Flipper was a Torpedo, on the STBD side the Flipper was Slightly Fwd with a Torpedo depicted as if it had just been launched from the STBD side flipper. There were a number of Stars in the Picture signifying the number or War Patrols of the WW II Hawkbill. There was a Rope Circle around the sketch with the Name and ship hull number spaced around.

This is what was submitted for the contest.

Steve was notified that the ships force had voted and approved his drawing as the winning entry and that he should report to the ships barge to claim his prize.

Steve returned to the office from the ships barge but without his prize, seems that the ships force had approved his idea for the Ships Patch, but that either, I can't remember which one for sure, the C.O. or the X.O. did not like the full view of the Hawkbill Turtle with Torpedo's (to War like I assume for that Time) and requested that Steve redraw the Patch but without the Torpedo's and concentrate on just the head of the turtle.

Steve redrew the design, and I think that is the Sketch you have on your WEB page. I think even that changed prior to approval of the Final Patch.

Steve did as requested, collected his U.S. Savings Bond, discarded his original sketch and called it over.

I can remember the original sketch and both of us commenting on how that was a better design and should have been the one since the enlisted men had wanted that one.

Well that is the story as I remember it, Steve is now passed on but that sketch and contest stick in my mind because a civilian had won.

Hope this helps and maybe there is someone from the original crew who can verify all of this.

Thanks, Michael Morgan