This 1963 film documents one of the USS Robert E. Lee's (00:06:20:00) deterrent patrols in the 1960s while operating out of Holy Loch, Scotland. The film opens with footage of a sailor partying with his family before traveling to Holy Loch. (00:01:15:00) We witness a scenic bus ride through Scotland (00:03:20:00) so military men can get to their station. At (00:04:55:00) , we see vintage footage of the USS Proteus. Footage of the Commodore greeting the new crew can be seen at (00:07:10:00). It features excellent film footage of the sub (00:08:39:00) and good documentation of the crew's daily routine. Footage of sailors in the mid-ship is seen, where the 16 Polaris missiles are stored. (09:25:00:00) Vintage footage of submarine equipment can be seen at (00:11:00:00). The mess hall is dressed as a chapel on Sunday at (00:12:25:00). Rare footage of sailors relaxing and playing board games in the mess can be seen at (00:15:20:00). Footage of the sub’s pilot can be seen at (00:10:55:00) and (00:17:03:00). More amazing vintage footage of submarines and ships can be seen at (00:17:00:00) , (00:06:32:00) , (00:26:53:00) and (00:27:38:00). The return celebration topside can be seen at (00:23:05:00) , along with footage of the sailor reuniting with his family at (00:24:35:00).
The USS Robert E. Lee, a George Washington-class fleet ballistic missile submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), the commanding general of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War.
Her keel was laid down on August 25th, 1958 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on December 18th, 1959 sponsored by Mrs. Hanson E. Ely II; and commissioned on September 16th, 1960 with Commander Reuben F. Woodal commanding the Blue Crew and Commander Joseph Williams, Jr. commanding the Gold Crew.
The third nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine to join the fleet, and the first nuclear-powered ship built in the southern United States, Robert E. Lee operated in and out of Newport News, Virginia, until December 2nd, 1960, when she got underway for the Narragansett Bay Operating Area for torpedo firing tests. Following the successful firing of five torpedoes in December of 1960, Robert E. Lee departed for Cape Kennedy, Florida. She then loaded Polaris test missiles and on December 22nd conducted her first missile launch.
In January 1961, Robert E. Lee conducted additional simulated missile launches and on January 15th, departed for the Bermuda Operating Area. There, joined by the submarine USS Torsk, she engaged in antisubmarine warfare training with Torsk.
Robert E. Lee conducted "special operations" out of Cape Kennedy during May and June of 1961, and in late June departed for Holy Loch, Scotland, where she joined Submarine Squadron 14 on July 10th, 1961.
She conducted practice torpedo firing during the first week of August and departed Holy Loch on August 9th, 1961 on her first deterrent patrol. During the next two years she completed nine more deterrent patrols. Continuing to operate out of Holy Loch into 1964, she got underway on November 27th, 1964 for her 16th patrol, which terminated on January 28th, 1965 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California.
Robert E. Lee was decommissioned on December 1st, 1983, and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on April 30th, 1986. Her hulk was stored at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard until it entered the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program. On September 30th, 1991, it ceased to exist.