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USS Becuna
Becuna (SS-319), after commissioning in May 1944.
Career (United States)
Namesake: Becuna
Ordered: 10 April 1942
Builder: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 29 April 1943
Launched: 30 January 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. George C. Crawford, wife of Commander Crawford
Commissioned: 27 May 1944
Decommissioned: 7 November 1969
Motto: Tiger of the Sea
Honors and
awards:
4 Battle Stars
Status: Museum ship at Philadelphia, 21 June 1976
Badge: USS Becuna SS-319 Badge.jpg
General characteristics As built
Class and type: Balao-class diesel-electric submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,500 long tons (1,500 t) surfaced
  • 2,080 long tons (2,110 t) submerged
Length: 311 ft 9 in (95.02 m)
Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
Draft: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m) maximum
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 20.25 knots (38 km/h) surfaced
  • 8.75 knots (16 km/h) submerged
Range: 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Endurance:
  • 48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth: 400 ft (120 m)
Complement: 10 officers, 72 enlisted
Armament:
  • 10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
    • 6 forward, 4 aft
    • 24 torpedoes
  • 1 × 5-inch (127 mm) / 25 caliber deck gun
  • Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
General characteristics Guppy IA
Class and type: none
Displacement:
  • 1,830 tons (1,859 t) surfaced
  • 2,440 tons (2,479 t) submerged
Length: 307 ft 7 in (93.75 m)
Beam: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)
Draft: 17 ft (5.2 m)
Propulsion:
  • Snorkel added
  • Batteries upgraded to Sargo II
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
Range: 17,000 nmi (31,000 km; 20,000 mi) surfaced at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Endurance: 36 hours at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged
Complement:
  • 10 officers
  • 5 petty officers
  • 64–69 enlisted men
Armament:
  • 10 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
  • (6 forward, 4 aft)
  • all guns removed
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 Balao-class submarine
NRHP reference No. 78002458
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. She was designated a National Historic Landmark for her service in World War II, for which she earned four battle stars. She presently serves as a museum ship at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

World War II

Becuna (SS-319) was launched 30 January 1944 by Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut; sponsored by Mrs. George C. Crawford, and commissioned on 27 May 1944.

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.

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

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

Becuna Sub Philly
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 stricken 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. In 2001, Becuna received the Historical Welded Structure Award of the American Welding Society.

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