The USS SEADRAGON (SSN 584) was the U. S. Navy's sixth
nuclear powered submarine launched and the fourth and final ship
of the SKATE class, following SKATE, SWORDFISH, and SARGO.
SEADRAGON was an attack submarine, designed primarily to
attack and destroy enemy submarines and was originally fitted for
operating under the polar ice cap. SEADRAGON was a pioneer of
the submarine exploration of the North Polar region.
Her very first mission was to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Ocean by way of the North Pole. Realizing the dream of navigators
for centuries, SEADRAGON made an historic transit of the fabled
Northwest Passage on 21 August 1960 and then went on to reach
the North Pole on 25 August, becoming the fourth ship in history to
accomplish this feat. She then proceeded to the Pacific Ocean and
her new home port in Pearl harbor, completing the first East to
West Polar trip. She was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for
this remarkable voyage. Two years later, SEADRAGON returned to
Arctic waters for a unique rendezvous with her sister ship, USS
SKATE (SSN 578), at the North Pole on 2 August 1962.
On 27 October 1964, USS SEADRAGON became the first nuclear
powered vessel to visit Hong Kong. This was followed shortly by an
historic entry into Japanese waters and a port visit to Sasebo,
Japan on 12 November 1965. Again, in the fall of 1966 and early
1967, SEADRAGON became the first SSN to visit Yokosuka, Japan.
She was the first nuclear powered vessel the Japanese government
permitted to enter her homewaters. This achievement has since
often been compared with Commodore PERRY's first expedition to
Japan in 1853 as an achievement in international diplomacy.
SEADRAGON again set the standard by being the first SSN to visit
Hobart, Australia in January 1983.
In twenty-four years of active service, SEADRAGON steamed over
200,000 miles, dove and surfaced 1800 times, made thirteen
deployments to the Western Pacific, and conducted four under ice
operations. SEADRAGON was awarded the Navy Unit
Commendation and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. The ship
was overhauled three times, refueling at each overhaul.Pearl
Harbor Naval Shipyard was her home for all the overhauls and
performed the inactivation commencing 1 October 1983. Puget
Sound Naval Shipyard, which she visited on occasional trips to the
North Polar region, performed the recycling.