USS Cavalla

Class: Gato Class Submarine
Number of boats in class: 73
Nickname: Lucky Lady
Builder: Electric Boat of Groton Connecticut
Keel Laid: March 4, 1943
Launched: November 14, 1943
Commissioned: February 29, 1944
Decommissioned in 1946, brought back into service from 1951-1958

Length and Maximum Breadth: 311ft 9 in x 27ft 3 in
Draft: 15 feet 3 inches
Displacement: 1526 tons surfaced; 2410 tons submerged
Operating depth: 300 feet
Watertight compartments: 8 plus conning tower
Pressure Hull Plating: 11/16 inches mild steel
Torpedo Tubes: ten 21inch –six bow, four stern
Armaments: one, 3 inch/50 deck gun; two .50 cal. Machine guns, two .30 cal. Machine guns

Maximum Speed: 21 knots surfaced; 9 knots submerged
Cruising range: 11,000 miles surfaced at 10knots
Submerged Endurance: 48 hours at 2knots
Fuel Capacity: 94,400 gallons
Patrol Endurance: 75 days
Propulsion: Four diesel engines x 1600 shaft hp main motors x 1370 hp two 126-cell Sargo main storage batteries/ one auxiliary generator

The USS Cavalla is berthed in Seawolf Park, Galveston, Texas as a memorial to the lost submarine USS Seawolf. Cavalla was a Gato class fleet sub, designed and built in the summer of 1943 by the Electric Boat Company and launched on November 14, 1943. She was commissioned on Feb. 29, 1944, the first “leap year” boat built by E.B. On June 19, 1944, on her maiden patrol, she sank the 30,000 ton aircraft carrier Shokaku (veteran of Pearl Harbor and Battle of Coral Sea). This earned her the Presidential Unit Citation.

The Cavalla was decommissioned in 1946, but was brought back to service in 1951 and assigned to Submarine Squadron 10 in New London, CT. To meet the Cold War Soviet threat, she underwent conversion in 1952 to a new class of American sub–the SSK (hunter/killer) with a new bow and sonar. In 1963, she was again reclassified. This time to AGSS-244 as an Auxiliary Submarine with a continued experimentation mission. In 1971, the U.S. Navy transferred possession of Cavalla to the Texas Submarine Veterans of WWII. Berthed at Seawolf Park, many visitors refer to her as the “Seawolf”, mistaking the name of the memorial park for that of the submarine on exhibit there. Saved from the scrap yard, Cavalla continues to be a “Lucky Lady.”

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Undersea Warfare Museum, USS Cavalla, USS Stewart, Galveston, TX

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