US Navy and the Panama Canal
Page 6

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SSBN626 USS Daniel Webster

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Approach to Gatun Locks

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Panama Canal Mule

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Lock gates opening

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Gatun Lake

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Passing Gamboa and the PC Dredging Division

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Not everyone gets to barbeque on top of a sub while transiting Gaillard Cut

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Going thru ...

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... Gaillard Cut

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Gold Hill

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Miraflores Locks

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Viewing Platform at Miraflores Locks

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Leaving Miraflores Locks Heading for ...

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... Hawaii

Photos Courtesy of
Frank Price


Through the Panama Canal on the USS Daniel Webster

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A sunny ...

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... tropical day ...

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... on Gatun Lake

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Skip Spar & Chuck Fedorow

Photos Courtesy of
Don Murray

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Taking pics of ...

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... other Canal traffic

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View thru ...

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... the periscope


Frank M. Price

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On March 14th, 1970 I had the privilege to pass through the Panama Canal while I served in the United States Navy. Of course riding a ship through one of the greatest building ventures accomplished by man is one thing, but I was fortunate to be on a special ship. My crew members and I did this on a Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine, commonly called by those who rode them, BOOMERS.  We were stationed aboard the USS Daniel Webster SSBN 626. We had just completed a period in the shipyards at Newport News, Virginia where an overhaul of the boat (submarines are called boats) was performed.   We had completed all the tests required to certify that the boat and crews (two crews-blue and gold) were able to perform our mission.  We (the gold crew) were headed to Hawaii where the blue crew would take the boat on to Guam, our operating port.   It was a great day for all of us. Most of the crew were young sailors who had only been to sea for a short time and very few of the more seasoned sailors had ever been through the canal.  When the day was over, we all could say "we passed through the Panama Canal in a nuclear powered submarine".  Only a few lucky sailors would be able to say that and remember the thrill as they looked back in time.

Don Murray

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I remember surfacing off the coast of Panama early in the morning, I was the lookout on the bridge. There were over 100 ships waiting at the anchorage to make their transit through the Canal. The Daniel Webster SSBN626 had priority one and went to the front of the line. It took the better part of the day to make the transit, but was a day I will always remember.  As we entered the Pacific Ocean, I remember looking starboard and seeing the Panama City skyline it was beautiful.   Next stopHawaii!

More on  U
SS Daniel Webster

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August 6, 2004