USS Chicago (SSN 721)

Submarine Squadron 19

Bangor, WA
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About USS Chicago (SSN 721)

The Navy's first USS Chicago (CA-14), a protected cruiser, was launched December 5, 1885. Chicago had a distinguished career in the Atlantic, including a stint as flagship for Commander Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet during World War I. As a young naval officer, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz served aboard Chicago as aide, and later, chief of staff, to the commander of the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force during the war.

In December 1919, USS Chicago reported to the fledgeling submarine base at Pearl Harbor to serve as a submarine tender and flagship for Commander, Submarine Flotilla 14 until 1923. 
During part of that time, Chicago was commanded by a more seasoned Chester Nimitz , who also served as Commander, Submarine Flotilla One as he built the submarine base at Pearl Harbor. In September, 1923, Chicago was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor, but continued to serve as a barracks ship here until 1935. Having been renamed the Alton in 1928, the proud ship was sold in 1936. Alton was lost at sea while being towed from Honolulu to San Francisco in July 1936. 

The Navy's second USS Chicago (CA-29) was launched April 10, 1930 and made port in Honolulu, Tahiti, and American Samoa during her shakedown cruise. During the early 30's, Chicago was based in California, but frequently operated out of Pearl Harbor. On September 29, 1940, Chicago changed her base of operations to Hawaii. The cruiser was at sea December 7, 1941 when the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor, and Chicago's crew was immediately dispatched in an attempt to intercept the enemy.

Chicago shifted operations to the Southwest Pacific on February 2, 1942 and earned three battle stars before being lost in battle January 30, 1943. The third Chicago (CA-136) was launched August 20, 1944. On May 7, 1944, Chicago departed Philadelphia for her homeport in Pearl Harbor, arriving May 30. Her crew conducted training in Hawaiian waters until June 28, then headed east to support carrier air strikes and provide gunfire support for the final months of the war.

Following victory in World War II, Chicago remained in Asia until 1947 when she was decommissioned. Chicago was later returned to service as a guided missile cruiser. The fourth USS Chicago is the Navy's 34th Los Angeles-class nuclear powered attack submarine. She was christened by Mrs. Vicky Ann Paisley, wife of former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Melvin R. Paisley and launched on October 13, 1984. Chicago was commissioned on September 27, 1986.

Chicago's stealth, endurance, mobility and responsiveness make her a formidable force in a wide range of mission roles.