Freedom Park, Omaha, Nebraska

The USS Marlin

The keel of the USS Marlin was laid on May 1, 1952 at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, Connecticut. Marlin was launched on October 14, 1953 and placed in service on 29 November the same year. After fitting out, completion of builder's trials, and a short shakedown period, Marlin departed New London in January 1954 and proceeded to her assigned home port of Key West, Florida.

Marlin and her sister ship Mackerel (SST-1),are the smallest operational submarines built for the US Navy since 1911. It is interesting to note that their general hull design is quite similar to that of the USS Holland, the first submarine accepted by the US Navy.

Launching Marlin

Designed and classified as a target submarine, Marlin's mission was to act as a target for our anti-submarine forces, and to develop tactics for our submarines to avoid enemy ASW vessels. Her operations consisted primarily of rendering target services to Fleet Sonar School, Key West, and ASW units (both surface and air) in the Key West and Guantanomo Bay, Cuba operating areas. Marlin, however, did possess the most modern operating equipment and machinery at the time and was equipped to fire torpedoes. Despite her role as target and small size, she was quite capable of performing successfully many of the missions common to submarine warfare. If the occasion had arisen, Marlin would have been a very likely candidate for missions in the home waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

1961 in Key West FL Marlin in 1961, Key West FL
Photo courtesy of Dustin Darnell/Bob Barbee
Marlin was deployed for services to the Fleet Training Group in 1956, 1958, 1959, 1962, and 1972. She was also utilized to train officers qualifying on fleet ballistic missile submarines. Many junior officers received a basic working knowledge of submarine shiphandling on Marlin.

USS Marlin today at Freedom Park Today Marlin is on display as a memorial submarine in Freedom Park at the Greater Omaha Marina at 2000 North 25th Street, in Omaha, Nebraska. She now serves as a reminder of the sacrifice and devotion rendered by the men of the 52 American submarines lost in the Pacific War.

Take a trip inside the Marlin

All color photos courtesy of Bill and Barry Thirtle

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