USS Becuna (SS-319)

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USS Becuna (SS-319)
Becuna (SS-319), after commissioning in May 1944.
Career (United States)
Namesake: Becuna
Ordered: 10 April 1942
Builder: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut[1]
Laid down: 29 April 1943[1]
Launched: 30 January 1944[1]
Sponsored by: Mrs. George C. Crawford, wife of Commander Crawford
Commissioned: 27 May 1944[1]
Decommissioned: 7 November 1969[1]
Struck: 15 August 1973[1]
Motto: Tiger of the Sea
Honors and
4 Battle Stars
Status: Museum ship at Philadelphia, 21 June 1976[2]
Badge: USS Becuna SS-319 Badge.jpg
General characteristics
As built
Class and type: Balao-class diesel-electric submarine[2]
Displacement: 1,500 long tons (1,500 t) surfaced[2]
2,080 long tons (2,110 t) submerged[2]
Length: 311 ft 9 in (95.02 m)[2]
Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[2]
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum[2]
Propulsion: 4 × General Motors Model 16-278A V16 diesel engines driving electrical generators[2][3]

2 × 126-cell Sargo batteries [4]
4 × high-speed General Electric electric motors with reduction gears [2]
two propellers [2]
5,400 shp (4.0 MW) surfaced[2]

2,740 shp (2.0 MW) submerged[2]
Speed: 20.25 knots (38 km/h) surfaced[4]
8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged[4]
Range: 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)[4]
Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged[4]
75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)[4]
Complement: 10 officers, 72 enlisted[4]
Armament: 10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
 (six forward, four aft)
 24 torpedoes[4]
1 × 5-inch (127 mm) / 25 caliber deck gun[4]
Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
General characteristics
Guppy IA
Displacement: 1,830 tons (1,859 t) surfaced[5]
2,440 tons (2,479 t) submerged[5]
Length: 307 ft 7 in (93.75 m)[6]
Beam: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)[6]
Draft: 17 ft (5.2 m)[6]
Propulsion: Snorkel added[5]
Batteries upgraded to Sargo II[5]
Speed: Surfaced:17.3 knots (32.0 km/h) maximum
12.5 knots (23.2 km/h) cruising
Submerged: 15.0 knots (27.8 km/h) for 12 hour
7.5 knots (13.9 km/h) snorkeling
3.0 knots (5.6 km/h) cruising[5]
Range: 17,000 nmi (31,000 km; 20,000 mi) surfaced at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)[6]
Endurance: 36 hours at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged[6]
Complement: 10 officers
5 petty officers
64–69 enlisted men
Armament: 10 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
(6 forward, 4 aft)[6]
all guns removed[5]
USS Becuna (SS-319)
Location Penn's Landing, Delaware Ave. & Spruce St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Area less than one acre
Built 1944
Built by Electric Boat Co.
Architectural style Other, Balao-class submarine
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 78002458[7]
Added to NRHP 29 August 1978

USS Becuna (SS/AGSS-319), a Balao-class submarine, is a former ship of the United States Navy named for the becuna, a pike-like fish of Europe.

World War II[edit]

Becuna (SS-319) was launched 30 January 1944 by Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut; sponsored by Mrs. George C. Crawford, wife of Commander Crawford,[who?] and commissioned 27 May 1944, Lieutenant Commander H. D. Sturr in command.

Becuna departed New London 1 July 1944 and arrived at Pearl Harbor 29 July. Her war operations extended from 23 August 1944 to 27 July 1945. During this period she completed five war patrols in the Philippines, South China Sea, and the Java Sea. Becuna is credited with having sunk two Japanese tankers totaling 3,888 tons.[8]

The submarine arrived at Subic Bay, Luzon, from her last war patrol 27 July 1945. In September 1945 she arrived at San Diego.

Becuna received four battle stars for her World War II service.

Post-war service[edit]

After World War II Becuna continued to operate with Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, until April 1949 when she was ordered to Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, as a unit of Submarine Squadron 8.

Between May 1949 and May 1950 she conducted refresher training exercises and also assisted in training of student officers and men at New London, Connecticut. In November 1950 she returned to Electric Boat Co., for a complete modernization overhaul, being refitted as a GUPPY-type submarine. The overhaul was completed in August 1951, and Becuna sailed to the Caribbean for shakedown. She returned to New London in September 1951.

Becuna operated with the Atlantic Fleet, making two cruises with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and one to Scotland. Other than these extended cruises, the majority of Becuna‍ '​s service was at New London as a training submarine.

In 1969, she was reclassified an Auxiliary Submarine, AGSS-319.

Museum ship[edit]

Becuna in Philadelphia. Note the difference in her appearance after her extensive modernization in 1951.

Becuna was decommissioned on 7 November 1969, and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She reverted to SS-319 in 1971. She was struck from the Naval Register on 15 August 1973.

Becuna was placed on permanent display adjacent to the cruiser USS Olympia (C-6) at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia on 21 June 1976. Since 1996 both vessels have been operated by the Independence Seaport Museum.

She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[9] In 2001, Becuna received the Historical Welded Structure Award of the American Welding Society.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 275–280. ISBN 0-313-26202-0. 
  3. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 261
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305-311
  5. ^ a b c d e f Friedman, Norman (1994). U.S. Submarines Since 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 11–43. ISBN 1-55750-260-9. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Submarines Since 1945 pp. 242
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  8. ^ "Seaport Museum Philadelphia Submarine, Becuna". [dead link]
  9. ^ "Listing at the National Park Service". Retrieved 2012-08-23. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′37″N 75°08′28″W / 39.943550°N 75.141179°W / 39.943550; -75.141179