(Page One of Four)
visited January, 2003
USS Cavalla (SS-244, SSK-244, AGSS-244) DANFS
(Cavalla Page One of Two)
I returned to the Houston area in mid-January 2003 to take part in a Hard Hat Tour of USS Texas (BB-35), just up the road towards Houston. Arriving at the Houston airport before noon, there was plenty of time to drive down to Galveston and visit Seawolf Park again. The Cavalla sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku on June 19, 1944, earning a measure of revenge for Shokaku's part in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The Cavalla is moored in Texas soil paying homage to USS Seawolf (SS-197), overdue and presumed lost late in 1944. Seawolf Park also is home to USS Stewart (DE-238), one of only two surviving destroyer escorts.
The changes made to Cavalla's exterior since my previous visit in June 2001 were nothing short of amazing. The superstructure has been rebuilt and a new deck laid. Internally, the efforts of the restoration crews are also apparent. One thing that sets the Cavalla apart from the other submarines I've visited is that you can actually climb up to the conning tower and examine it close up. It's especially interesting to see a torpedo data computer, even though it clearly had been modified (or simply replaced) when the boat was converted to an SSK, losing two forward torpedo tubes in exchange for extensive new sonar equipment.
More than ever, any visit to Galveston and the greater Houston area needs to include a trip to Seawolf Park. Fortunately, in January, there weren't any mosquitoes to accompany me through the ships.
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For More Information:
USS Cavalla Page Two
USS Stewart Page One
USS Stewart Page Two
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