published Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Submarine, its sailors maintain Cold War secrets

In this 2007 file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the research submarine NR-1 is moored at U.S. Naval submarine base, in New London, Conn. The nuclear-powered NR-1, launched in Groton in 1969, was one of the most secretive vessels in the U.S. undersea force.
In this 2007 file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the research submarine NR-1 is moored at U.S. Naval submarine base, in New London, Conn. The nuclear-powered NR-1, launched in Groton in 1969, was one of the most secretive vessels in the U.S. undersea force.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

GROTON, Conn. — It could dive deeper than any other submarine, and when it reached the ocean floor, the one-of-a-kind Navy vessel could roll on wheels with lights illuminating the depths outside its windows.

The nuclear-powered NR-1 was launched in Groton in 1969 and was one of the most secretive vessels in the U.S. undersea force.

It was known primarily as a research vessel, but it also carried out a range of Cold War military missions that remain secret today. Veterans who served aboard the 140-foot-long sub say it was one of the most fascinating assignments of their careers, but not even their wives know all the details.

The NR-1 was taken out of service in 2008, and the Navy has collected pieces of it for an exhibit at a submarine museum in Groton.

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