The Blueback was launched on May 16, 1959 and was commissioned the following October as the last non-nuclear submarine in the US Navy.
For over three decades she was deployed throughout the world on various missions and exercises. She visited Portland twice for the Rose Festival, in 1978 and 1981.
According to one source, the Blueback was used because it was the last active sub with six forward torpedo tubes. More modern ships had torpedo tubes off to the side. For consistency, the film’s interior scenes that included torpedo tubes had to use the Blueback as a setting. In an ironic twist on the ship’s long Cold War service, some crewmates were paid $50 to have their hair cut and put on Russian uniforms.
Blueback also appeared in the 1970’s television series, Hawaii Five-O, earning a cameo spot in the fourth episode (“Samurai”) of the first season.
She was decommissioned in 1990, and OMSI took possession in 1994.