USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602) - Atlantic Operations

Atlantic Operations

Abraham Lincoln got underway on 20 March 1961 for shakedown and weapons testing at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and returned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on 1 June for post-shakedown repairs. She left Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on 17 July 1961 to return briefly to Cape Canaveral for further testing and then proceeded to Charleston, South Carolina, for a final loadout. Abraham Lincoln subsequently got underway on 28 August 1961 as a unit of SUBRON 14. She arrived at Holy Loch, Scotland, in October 1961. She underwent a refit alongside submarine tender USS Proteus (AS-19) during November 1961 and, upon its completion, commenced her first deterrent patrol.

Abraham Lincoln operated out of Holy Loch for the next four years. She alternated periods of upkeep at Holy Loch alongside Proteus or submarine tender USS Hunley (AS-31) with deterrent patrols from that port.

A highlight of this period occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. Abraham Lincoln was in the middle of a scheduled four-week upkeep period when she received orders to deploy. She departed in short order and successfully carried out a 65-day patrol.

On 13 October 1965, Abraham Lincoln arrived at Groton, Connecticut and entered the Electric Boat shipyard there on 25 October 1965 to begin an overhaul and refueling.

This work was completed on 3 June 1967, and Abraham Lincoln returned to her base at Holy Loch and resumed her schedule of deterrent patrols. She continued the pattern of alternating patrols with periods of upkeep alongside either submarine tender USS Simon Lake (AS-33) or submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-34) through 1972.

In early March 1972, Abraham Lincoln departed for the United States and arrived at Naval Submarine Base New London at New London, Connecticut, on 25 April 1972. She held two dependents' cruises before getting underway on 19 May for the United States West Coast to join the United States Pacific Fleet. Abraham Lincoln made a brief visit to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, transited the Panama Canal on 1 June, sailed to Bangor, Washington, to offload her missiles, then pushed on to San Francisco. On 25 June 1972, Abraham Lincoln entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, to commence overhaul and refueling.

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