Friday, 26 January 2018

USS Growler

In October we were in to New York and I took some time out to visit the USS Intrepid museum, which includes an early nuclear missile sub, the USS Growler.

It is a decent sized diesel-electric sub built in the 1950s.

It carried four of these Regulus nuclear missiles. Essentially a guided jet plane with a nuclear warhead. The sub also had conventional torpedoes.

One of the two missile hangers.

The missile guidance system. It used radar to direct it to its target, and the range was only a few hundred miles so the sub had to deploy quite close to Russia. The sub was supposed to be able to fire four missiles one after another, but the crews generally reckoned they would get one off before being located and destroyed.

A view through the periscope! 

Rather luxurious mess, with built in boardgames.

Engine room.

Aft torpedo tubes.

 View from the rear deck hatch.

The Growler from the deck of the Intrepid.

It is a neat little submarine, rather smaller than the one in the sub museum at Portsmouth, and in considerably better condition than the very beaten up old Russian one moored at Peenemunde. Recommended if you are ever in NYC and can tear yourself away from The Empire State Building etc.


  1. A fascinating insight into a piece of submarine history and the development of strategic weapons. Thanks for the photo's. It looks, for the era, to quite spacious onboard compared to HMS Alliance and even the boats I have served on or visited. Thanks again Mr Rapier

  2. Thanks for this. We only had time to visit USS Intrepid itself, but this is definitely one for our next trip there.

  3. Great stuff- always liked submarines.



  4. It was very well appointed inside, but I sussuspethe photos have made it look bigger inside than it actually was. Half the boat seems to be taken up with comms gear and the crew quarters are quite snug.

    Numbers at any one time are restricted, so I queued to get in as soon as the museum opened and went straight to the Growler, but even then there was a queue.

  5. Thanks for the kind words and pictures of the Growler. I served from 1959 to 1961 on the Growler and made several patrols to the arctic. It was cramped and noisy inside due to equipment involved. The crew is meeting in San Diego in 2022 for our tenth reunion since 2000. David Bishop, Secretary Growler Association