September 30 This Day During The Cold War

September 30, 1954 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Nautilus is commissioned as the world’s first nuclear reactor powered vessel. USS Nautilus (SSN-571) is the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine. She was the first vessel to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole on 3 August 1958. Sharing names with the submarine in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and named after another USS Nautilus (SS-168) that served with distinction in World War II, Nautilus was authorized in 1951 and launched in 1954. Because her nuclear propulsion allowed her to remain submerged far longer than diesel-electric submarines, she broke many records in her first years of operation, and traveled to locations previously beyond the limits of submarines. In operation, she revealed a number of limitations in her design and construction. This information was used to improve subsequent submarines. Nautilus’s keel was laid at General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut by Harry S. Truman on 14 June 1952, She was christened on 21 January 1954 and launched into the Thames River, sponsored by Mamie Eisenhower. Nautilus was commissioned on 30 September 1954, under the command of Commander Eugene P. Wilkinson, USN.

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