Cold War Submarine Memorial

For this Memorial, the period of the Cold War has been defined as beginning on March 12, 1947, the date on which President Harry S. Truman set forth the Truman Doctrine in a speech before the Congress of the United States; and ending on November 9, 1989, the date on which the Berlin Wall which separated East and West Germany was finally opened.  


Located on Charleston Harbor, the Cold War Submarine Memorial stands as an enduring tribute to the dedicated men who served in our submarines during this unique and dangerous period in our nation's history; to their families who remained behind and managed alone at home during their long absences; and to the men and women, both civilian and military, who provided the superb support that assured the remarkable success of their missions.  The Memorial pays special tribute to the citizens of South Carolina whose strong commitment to freedom and democracy provided strong and unflagging moral support to these Navy men and to their families throughout the challenging years of the Cold War.


 

 

The Plaza: The Plaza is a circular area at the entrance to the Memorial area.  Sixty feet in diameter, it is the location for the 24-hour display of the National colors atop a 35-foot flagpole, at the yardarm flanked by other flags as appropriate.  The flagpole is set in a raised circular area within which are displayed the principal themes of the Memorial.

Arrayed around the Plaza are granite ledgers listing the U.S. Navy submarines that participated in the Cold War, and the many generous donors to the Cold War Submarine Memorial Foundation who made possible the realization of this enduring Memorial. In recognition of the exceptional support provided the Foundation by the law firm of Ness Motley, P.A., the Plaza has been named the Ness Motley Plaza.

At the request of former Ness Motley Law Firm, the Plaza has been dedicated to the memory of Mr. Paris Jenkins, former Charleston Naval Shipyard employee, and to the many other workers in the shipyard who dedicated their lives to supporting the Navy and its Submarine force. 

 

 

 


 

The Submarine:

The focus of the Memorial is a full-sized replica of a Benjamin Franklin Class Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine, typical of those that were stationed in Charleston throughout the Cold War.  The submarine is depicted returning from a 70 day strategic deterrent patrol, headed fair in the Charleston channel on entry course of 299 Degrees True.  The earth is sculptured and landscaped to represent the smooth water build-up over the bow of the submarine, and a frothy, persistent wake crashing to either side of the ship as it moves through the water, both typical of this type of submarine when underway.  The submarine is constructed to accurate scale using segmented retaining wall stone for the hull, and with the actual sail, sail planes and rudder from the decommissioned FBM submarine USS Lewis and Clark (SSBN 644) mounted appropriately thereon.  As is the case with an actual submarine underway, there are no openings in the hull, and it is dangerous to climb on the hull.

 

 

USS Lewis and Clark SSBN 644 Crewmembers