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Navy accepts first atomic submarine

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United Press
The nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus (SSN 571) slips into the Thames River in New London, Conn., on January 21, 1954. The Navy commissioned the submarine September 30, 1954. File Photo by U.S. Navy/UPI
The nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus (SSN 571) slips into the Thames River in New London, Conn., on January 21, 1954. The Navy commissioned the submarine September 30, 1954. File Photo by U.S. Navy/UPI

GROTON, Conn. (UP) -- The world's first atomic submarine, the Nautilus, will be turned over to the Navy today in a history making ceremony which will usher in new concepts of warfare at sea.

The Nautilus, which is believed to be capable of circling the globe without resurfacing, will be accepted by Adm. Jerauld Wright, commander of the Atlantic Fleet.

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The Navy will enter a new epoch when the commissioning pennant, a narrow bunting with seven stars, is run up to the 55 million dollar submarine's short mast at the top of its conning tower.

The Nautilus is the first ship which will be driven by atomic energy. A few pounds of uranium in its revolutionary new power plant is expected to supply enough power for 30 days at sea without resurfacing.

The Nautilus will be commanded by Cmdr. Eugene P. Wilkinson, a 36-year-old former schoolteacher who was chosen not only for his exploits during World War II when he was a torpedo officer but for his knowledge of mathematics. Wilkinson graduated, not from Annapolis, but from San Diego State College.

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