|Several decommissioned submarines are on display at museums and memorials across the United States. However, Freedom Park in Omaha, Nebraska can boast of one unique ship: the only target and training submarine left in the world, USS Marlin (SST 2) (formerly T-2).
Marlin is one of the smallest operational submarines ever built for the United States Navy, measuring 131 feet in length, drawing 12 feet, and displacing just 347 long tons submerged. Marlin’s keel was laid on 1 May 1952 by the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Conn. She was launched on 14 October 1952, sponsored by Mrs. William R. DeLoach, and commissioned 20 November 1953 with Lt. Edward Holt in command.
Marlin conducted initial sea trials in the Massachusetts Bay before proceeding to her home port of Key West, Fla. There she provided target services for air and surface antisubmarine units of the Atlantic Fleet for nearly two decades, aiding in the development of tactics and equipment for both submarine and antisubmarine warfare. In addition to Marlin’s contributions to antisubmarine warfare training, she also took part in mine warfare exercises with her sister ship T-1 (SST 1); Amberjack (SS 522), Batfish (SS 310), Chivo (SS 341); and Atlantic Fleet minecraft.
Marlin was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for services to the Atlantic Fleet Training Group in July and August 1958, March 1960, and December 1961. Though the ship had a brief stint in Pascagoula, Miss. for refurbishing in 1969, from 1963 until her decommissioning she operated mainly as a target out of Key West, Fla.
After Marlin’s decommissioning on 31 January 1973 at Naval Station, Key West, Fla. she was transferred to the Greater Omaha Military Historical Society of Omaha, Nebraska. On 25 August 1974, Marlin was dedicated at the open- ing of Freedom Park, where she can still be seen today. Located on the Missouri River just north of downtown Omaha, Freedom Park is an outdoor United States Naval Museum and park at the Greater Omaha Marina. In addition to Marlin, the park houses the minesweeper USS Hazard (AM 240), an Anchor and Propeller Garden, shipboard rocket launchers, and a Douglas A-4D Skyhawk attack aircraft.