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USS Cavalla (SS/SSK/AGSS-244), a Gato-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the cavalla, a salt water fish of the pompano family inhabiting waters off the eastern coast of the Americas from Cape Codmarker to Río de la Platamarker.

 was laid down on 4 March 1943 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Connecticutmarker. She was launched on 14 November 1943 (sponsored by Mrs. M. Comstock), and commissioned on 29 February 1944, Lieutenant Commander  Herman J. Kossler, USN, (Classmarker of 1934) in command.

Operational History

Departing New Londonmarker 11 April 1944, Cavalla arrived at Pearl Harbormarker 9 May for voyage repairs and training. On 31 May 1944 she put to sea, bound for distant, enemy-held waters.

On her maiden patrol Cavalla, en route to her station in the eastern Philippinesmarker, made contact with a large Japanesemarker task force 17 June. Cavalla tracked the force for several hours, relaying information which contributed to the United States victory in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (the famous "Marianas Turkey Shoot") on 19 – 20 June 1944. On 19 June she caught the carrier Shōkaku recovering planes, and quickly fired a spread of six torpedoes for three hits, enough to sink Shōkaku at . After a severe depth charging by three destroyers, Cavalla escaped to continue her patrol. The feat earned her a Presidential Unit Citation.

Cavalla's second patrol took her to the Philippine Seamarker as a member of a wolfpack operating in support of the invasion of Peleliumarker 15 September 1944.

On 25 November 1944, during her third patrol, Cavalla encountered two Japanese destroyers, and made a surface attack which blew up Shimotsukimarker at . The companion destroyer began depth charging while Cavalla evaded on the surface. Later in the same patrol, 5 January 1945, Cavalla made a night surface attack on an enemy convoy, and sank two converted net tenders at .

Cavalla cruised the South Chinamarker and Java Seasmarker on her fourth and fifth war patrols. Targets were few and far between, but she came to the aid of an ally on 21 May 1945. A month out on her fifth patrol, the submarine sighted , damaged by enemy depth charges and unable to submerge or make full speed. Cavalla stood by the damaged submarine and escorted her on the surface to Fremantlemarker, arriving 27 May 1945.

Cavalla received the cease-fire order of 15 August while lifeguarding off Japan on her sixth war patrol. A few minutes later she was bombed by a Japanese plane that apparently had not yet received the same information. She joined the fleet units entering Tokyo Baymarker 31 August, remained for the signing of the surrender on 2 September, then departed the next day for New London, arriving 6 October 1945. She was placed out of commission in reserve there 16 March 1946.

Recommissioned 10 April 1951, Cavalla was assigned to Submarine Squadron 8 and engaged in various fleet exercises in the Caribbeanmarker and off Nova Scotiamarker. She was placed out of commission 3 September 1952 and entered Electric Boat Co. yard for conversion to a hunter-killer submarine (reclassified SSK-244, 18 February 1953).

Cavalla was recommissioned 15 July 1953 and assigned to Submarine Squadron 10. Her new sonar made Cavalla valuable for experimentation, and she was transferred to Submarine Development Group 2 on 1 January 1954, to evaluate new weapons and equipment, and to participate in fleet exercises. She also cruised to European waters several times to take part in NATOmarker exercises, and visited Norfolk, Va.marker, for the International Naval Review (11 June – 12 June 1957. On 15 August 1959, her classification reverted to SS-244.


She was reclassified an Auxiliary Submarine AGSS-244 in July 1963. Cavalla was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 30 December 1969.

On 21 January 1971, Cavalla was transferred to the Texas Submarine Veterans of World War II. She now resides at Seawolf Park on Pelican Island, just north of Galvestonmarker, Texas. Cavalla has undergone an extensive restoration process (see photos, below), and is open for self-guided tours. Among the early benefactors was the former Texas secretary of state George Strake, Jr.

In addition to the Presidential Unit Citation, Cavalla received four battle stars for service in World War II. Of her six war patrols, the first and third were designated as Successful War Patrols. She is credited with having sunk a total of 34,180 tons of shipping.

Cavalla was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 2008.

After receiving damage in Hurricane Ike in September 2008, Cavalla reopened in April 2009.


Image:Usscavallass-244mess.jpg|The mess of the restored USS Cavalla (SS-244).Image:Usscavallass-244offquarters.jpg|The cramped officer quarters of Cavalla.Image:Seawolf Park damage following Ike.jpg|Damage in Seawolf Park following Hurricane Ike.

See also


  1. Connelly, Richard. " Galveston's World War II Submarine Finally Reopens." Houston Press. April 16, 2009. Retrieved on April 16, 2009.

External links

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