USS Blueback

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The USS Blueback is docked in the Willamette (pronounced will-AM-it) River in downtown Portland, Oregon.  I was excited when I learned she had be used in the filming of The Hunt for Red October, one of my favorite movies of all time (featuring an all star cast including Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin).  When I took the tour, however, I learned that it was only a very small role, as a source for inside scenes of the much smaller Russian sub which tried to sink the Red October.  Some of the actual crew members were paid as extras, and had their hair cut and wore uniforms to appear as Russian sailors. Very tight quarters inside these older submarines, and it was difficult to get the then-bulky movie cameras and lighting equipment (the movie was made in 1990) inside the Blueback.  She is NOT the submarine which made the dramatic surfacing scene in the movie.

The USS Blueback is a Barbel-class attack submarine.  She was the last diesel-electric sub built for the Navy and was in the fleet for over 30 years before being decommissioned in 1990.  She carried a crew of around 86 as well as approximately 22 torpedoes.

A blueback, for which she is named, is a form of rainbow or steelhead trout, very similar to salmon, which are only found in Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.