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The USS Cusk made history as the first missile submarine of the "Silent Service" on February 12, 1947.  On that date, she successfully launched a Navy "Loon" missile near Point Mugu, California. Thus, the Cusk became the forerunner of all ballistic and cruise missile carrying submarines.  The next month, the Cusk again made history when she launched another Loon and then submerged and tracked it for 105 miles.

Welcome to the homepage of the USS Cusk (SS-348, SSG-348, SS-348 and AGSS-348).  In her 24 & 1/2 years of service, the Cusk served in three wars, made submarine and US Navy history many times, and never failed to complete a single mission.  Those of us who sailed this great ship are very proud to be a part of her history.

USS CUSK (SS/SSG-348)

1945 to 1947 1947 to 1954 1954 to 1969

"In each submarine there are men who, in the hour of emergency or peril at sea, can turn to each other.  These men are ultimately responsible to themselves

and each other for all aspects of operation of their submarine.  They are the crew.  They are the ship." - The Submariner's Creed (Excerpt)

The "Fall 2016 Cusk Newsletter is now available in .pdf format at this link. 

Or click on the "Newsletter" link on the left to access all of them.

   USS CUSK CREWMEMBERS MOST RECENTLY DEPARTED ON ETERNAL PATROL

Departures from the past  years are listed at the bottom of this page, and all other Eternal Patrol information, obituaries and pictures may be found on the "Eternal Patrol" page.

William Hale Gignac, EN2(SS)

1958 to 1959

7 October 2016

Arthur "Art" O'Meally, RM1(SS)

1964

5 October 2016

William Houston "Bill" Weaver, CS2(SS)

1956 to 1958

10 September 2016

"Of all the branches of men in the forces there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariners."  - Sir Winston Churchill

Click on any picture to see its larger size:

Memory Lane

Some sweet memory jarring pictures of Cusk's Ports of Call

Two skimmers walk past the "Brass Rail", a popular kicker bar in Yokosuka.

(Picture courtesy of Rick Greer)

Visit Memory Lane page for more pictures & information

Sights & Sounds of the Cusk

Listen to actual audio recordings of the Cusk and her crew in action including these sounds and many more:

Dive! Dive! - Hear the roar of air escaping the ballast tanks, the ladder clanging as the lookouts come down off the Bridge, and then the near silence as the Conn hatch is closed as the Cusk "pulls the plug" and slips below.

"Make your depth one-five-zero feet" - Now that we're under, take her deeper.

"Set Condition Baker" - Getting ready to come to periscope depth so all compartments must be ready in case we come up underneath another ship.

"Surface, Surface, Surface!" - The High Pressure Air Banks can be heard opening as the water is being blown our of the ballast tanks.

Visit Sights and Sounds page for more  sound clips

Awards & Patches

The USS Cusk was one of only four submarines to earn the Republic of Vietnam Unit Citation for Meritorious Gallantry.  This medal was awarded to the crew of the Cusk during one of her most daring surveillance and reconnaissance missions  conducted both on "Yankee Station" and near Vietnamese territorial waters.

Republic of Vietnam

Meritorious Unit Citation for Gallantry

Visit Cusk Patches page for more pictures and information

USS Cusk Museum Display

 

Located in the Brevard Veteran's Memorial and Museum on Merritt Island, Florida, this permanent display contains a scale replica of the Cusk from her missile period and many other items from the Cusk including her Deep Depth Gauge, numerous patches, pins, lighters, news articles, letters, pictures, etc.

Click Cusk Display for a full size picture of the display

Inside the Cusk

See the Cusk's interior compartments from bow to stern

Looking forward from the aft end of the Control Room.  The Radio Room is on the left and the High Pressure Air Manifold and Low Pressure Blower above that on the right.

(Picture courtesy of Eric Copt)

Visit Compartments for more pictures & information

Outside the Cusk

See the Cusk's exterior from various points of view and years

Picture is looking down and aft on the port side from the front of the Sail. 

(Picture courtesy of Dennis Schultz)

Visit Outside for more pictures & information

Life at Sea

Pictures and historical information about life on and under the Pacific Ocean

SWIM CALL!!

 After several days at sea, few things were more welcome than hear the Cusk's engines slow and the announcement over the 1MC that it was time for a dip in the Pacific.

Cusk Reunions

The years melt away as Cusk shipmates reunite to rekindle friendships and relive so many precious memories of our great ship.

2012 Reunion group picture at the Naval Undersea Museum in Bremerton, Washington

Visit Reunions for more pictures & information

Newsletters

Newsletters from across the years, including those published by various crewmembers when the Cusk was in service, and years later during the reunion years.

Visit the Newsletters page for more

Sea Stories

Some humorous, but all 'generally" true stories from Cusk crewmembers.

What's the difference between a Fairy Tale and a Sea Story?

A Fairy Tale begins with, "Once upon a time...". 

A Sea Story begins with, "This is no sh*%..."

AIR POWER - Norm Carkeek tells how the Cusk fanned the air with her screws.

What Grandpa did during the Cold War - Some great stories, reminiscing, and Cusk history by Billy Hrbacek

BUNK BAGS - Unique to submarines, these all purpose nylon bags were priceless.

THE SUB THAT SANK A TRAIN - The only ground operation against the Japanese motherland during WWII was carried out by crewmembers from the USS Barb including one who would later be COB on the Cusk.

THE PUPPY - Sam Lyons tells what to do with a puppy at sea when it's got to go.

PAINT JOB - Ken Van Hoy's innovative way to paint the deck in record time.

Eternal Patrol

Names, pictures and obituaries (where available) of former USS Cusk crewmembers who have departed on Eternal Patrol

"All submariners are brothers - We just haven't met yet!" - USSVI Chaplain

Visit Eternal Patrol for more pictures & information

The following sections detail the Cusk's history and identify her crewmembers on a year by year basis, from the laying of her keel to decommissioning.

1944

The USS Cusk is born as the keel is laid 25 May 1944

The location is the South Yard at Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut

Visit 1944 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1945

The USS Cusk is launched "Down the Ways", July 28, 1945

The Cusk slides down the ways at Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut

Visit 1945 for more ppictures, information & crewmember names.

1946

The USS Cusk is commissioned, 5 February 1946

Admiral Chester Nimitz congratulates the Cusk's first Captain, CDR Paul Summers

Visit 1946 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1947

The USS Cusk becomes the Navy's first missile submarine with the launch of a Loon LT-1, 12 February 1947

The Cusk slides down the ways at Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut

Visit 1947 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

"I can imagine a no more rewarding career, and any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy' " - John F Kennedy

1949

SubRonFive - 30 December 1949, Ballast Point Submarine Base, San Diego, California

Visit 1949 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1948

During a launch attempt on 7 July 1948, a Loon Missile exploded on deck just prior to launch.  When the smoke cleared, the Cusk had disappeared leaving witnesses on nearby Navy ships thinking that the Cusk had been sunk by the explosion.  Fortunately, the quick thinking Captain Fred Clarke had submerged the Cusk immediately to put out the fire and save the boat.

Visit 1948 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1950

The historical accomplishments of the USS Cusk are portrayed in a Hollywood movie.  Actual scenes of launches by the Cusk and USS Carbonero are incorporated in the movie.

Visit 1950 for more pictures, information and crewmember names.

1951

T-0 as the Cusk launches another missile on 1 October 1951

Visit 1951 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1952

Clay Gatlin earns his Dolphins and is given the traditional congratulatory throw overboard by the crew.

Visit 1952 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

I admired the PT boys.  And I often wondered how the aviators had the courage to go out day after day and I forgave their boasting.  But the submariners! In the entire fleet they stand apart!” - James Michener

1953

 11 January 1953 - the Cusk stars in a Parade Magazine article was about the Navy's new missile weapon system.

Visit 1953 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1954

Underway near San Diego in July

Visit 1954 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1955

The USS Cusk visits Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Visit 1955 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1956

"Karaoke"  Where it all began...

Unknown to many, "Karaoke" was actually invented by USS Cusk crew members during a ship's party at Port Hueneme, California in 1956.  They are shown here singing Perry Como's "Hot Diggity".  The Cusk sailor sitting down with the cigarette is Clarence "Ed" Brenke.  He's holding up the words to the song on poster board.

Visit 1956 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1957

Underway out of home port of Pearl Harbor

 

Visit 1957 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1958

The USS Cusk visits Dutch Harbor and Kodiak, Alaska

Visit 1958 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1959

 

Engine Room showdown - Paul Perry, Billy Nix and Idel Foster clowning around for the photo op.

Visit 1959 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1960

Visit 1960 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

I saw the submariners, the way they stood aloof and silent, watching their pigboat with loving eyes.  They are alone in the Navy. 

1961

Cusk crewmember families get to experience some time at sea and what it's like to dive on a submarine during a Dependent's Cruise.

Visit 1961 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1962

Publicity photo of the Cusk and the latest fighter jets, F

Visit 1962 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1963

(Photo courtesy of Herman Stickland)

Cusk is shown submerging off the coast of Oahu, 1963.

Visit 1963 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1964

Looking forward in the Control Room near the High Pressure Air Manifold

Visit 1964 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1965

Eric Copt mans the port "Sticks" in Maneuvering

Visit 1965 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1966

Nested at the Ballast Point Submarine Base in San Diego

Visit 1966 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1967

"Swim Call" Ahead of schedule, we stop for a swim about halfway between Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, Japan.

Visit 1967 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1968

 

Christmas Eve - On recon patrol on Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam

Visit 1968 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

Togetherness is an overworked term, but in no other branch of our military service is it given such full meaning as in the so-called “Silent Service.”  - Dr. Joyce Brothers

1969

Last patrol

March, 1969, the "Reserve Pier" in San Diego - the Cusk returns from her last Cold War and Vietnam War patrols.  A Navy band plays on the pier as friends and families wait to greet their loved ones after an eight month absence.

Visit 1969 for more pictures, information & crewmember names.

1971

Stripped and Mothballed at Hunter's Point April 30, 1971 - Cusk is first boat on left.  To the right are the USS Rock (SS-274), Bashaw (SS-241), Spinax (SSR-489), Pomodon (SS-486), Medregal (SS-480), and Diodon (SS-349).  The Cusk was scrapped the following year.

 

 

In the beginning...

     In the beginning was the word, and the word was God and all else was darkness and void and without form.  So God created the heavens and the earth.  He created the sun and the moon and the stars, so that their light might pierce the darkness.  And the earth, God divided between the land and the sea, and these He filled with many assorted creatures.

     And from the slime, in a land called Lympstone, God made dark, salty creatures that inhabited the seashore.  He called them Marines, He dressed them accordingly, in bright colors so that their betters may more easily find them in the holes and burrows that they'd scoured out of the ground.

     And God said, "Whilst at their appointed labors they will devour worms, maggots, C and K rations and all creatures that creep or crawl".  The flighty creatures of the air, He called Airdales, and these He clothed in uniforms which were ruffled, perfumed, and pretty.  He gave them great floating cities with flat roofs in which to live, where they gathered and formed huge multitudes.  They carried out heathen rites and ceremonies by day and by night upon the roof amidst thunderous noise.  They were given God's blue sky and their existence was on the backs of others.

     And the surface creatures of the sea, God called Skimmers, who supported the Airdales and with a twinkle in His eye and a sense of humor only He could have, He gave them all gedunks, polluted with much stickywater, to drink.  God gave them big grey "targets" to go to sea in.  He gave them many splendid uniforms to wear.  And He gave them all the world's exotic and wonderful places to visit.  He gave them pen and paper so that they could write home every week, and He gave them ropeyarn Sunday at sea and a laundry so they could clean and polish their splendid uniforms.  (When you are God it is very easy to get carried away with your own great and wondrous benevolence) .

     And on the seventh day, as you know, God rested from his labors.  And on the eighth day at 0755, just before Colors, God looked down upon the earth and He was not a happy man.  God knew He had not quite achieved perfection, so He thought about his labors, and in His infinite wisdom, He created a divine creature, His masterpiece, and this He called a Submariner.  A child of heaven.

     And these Submariners, whom God created in His own image, and to whom He gave his most cherished gift, great intelligence, were to be of the deep, and to them He gave more of his greatest gifts.  He gave them black steel messengers of death called the "Smoke Boat" class in which to roam the depths of his oceans, and He gave them His arrows and slingshots, the Mark 14 torpedo of burnished brass and black, and the Mark 37 of green, to wage war against the forces of Satan and all evil.

     He heaped great knowledge and understanding upon them, in order that they may more easily win their greatest challenge, to pass their Qualification Test and be skilled in the great works God had charged them with.

     The finest of these men, God called "Diesel Boat Submariners" for they made all happen beyond the understanding of other men.  He gave His Submariners hotels in which to live when they were exhausted and weary from doing God’s will.  He gave them fortitude to consume vast quantities of beer and booze, to sustain them in their arduous tasks, performed in His name.

     He gave them great food, submarine pay and occasionally, subsistence so that they might entertain the Ladies of the "Starlight", "White Hat", and the "Horse and Cow" on Saturday nights and impress the heck out of the creatures He called "Skimmers” and "Jar Heads".

     And at the end of the eighth day, God again looked down upon the earth and saw all was good in His realm.  But God was not happy because, in the course of His mighty labors He had forgotten one thing.  He had not kept a pair of "Dolphins" for Himself.

     But He thought about it and considered it and finally He consoled himself, in the certain knowledge that - - -

"Not Just Anybody Can Be a Submariner!"

- author unknown

Ours is a brotherhood like no other.  Its members are all volunteers, and those Dolphins we earned, those sacred fish, are worn with enormous pride.  The privilege of wearing them assures our Captain and fellow crewmembers, that their lives are safe in our hands, that we can, and will, save our ship and our shipmates, under any circumstance, and from any compartment.  We are "Brothers of the Phin", a sacred trust that only another brother shares.

In Memoriam...Cusk sailors recently departed on Eternal Patrol

"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep." - Psalm 107

2016

Years on Board

Departure Date

Edward "Ed" Heral

1963 to 1964

January 20

William "Bill" Munson, EN3(SS)

1949

March 4

Carl Bud Berg, ET1(SS)

1956 to 1957

March 19

Alexander F Nieto, RM3(SS)

1953

March 26

Maurice "Dusty" Knight, SA(SS)

1948 to 1950

April 1

Les Atchison, RM2(SS)

1960 to 1962

April 9

Garold E Prawl, FTCM(SS)

Unknown

April 26

Bill Vincent, EN2(SS)

1955 to 1957

June 27

Art Thomsen, FTSN(SS)

1959 to 1960

July 13

Joseph H Lowenhardt, EM2(SS)

1960 to 1963

August 7

David P Hirt, QM3(SS)

1951 to 1953

August 22

Harold William Haynes, Jr., QM2(SS), USS Cusk Plankowner

1946 to 1948

August 26

Arthur "Art" O'Meally, RM1(SS)

1964

October 5

William Hale Gignac, EN2(SS)

1958 to 1959

October 7

2015

Years on Board

Departure Date

Arthur Q Merrill, EMFN(SS)

1948 to 1950

January 6

James Franklin "Jim" Hume, TM1(SS)

1956 to 1960

January 15

James E Walker, EM3(SS), USS Cusk Plankowner 1946

February 2

Leo Kunkel, EN1(SS), USS Cusk Plankowner

1945 to 1948 and 1952 to 1958

February 18

Harold M Page, Jr., QM3(SS)

1948 to 1950

February 21

Clyde Kirk, FT/ST (MOMM), USS Cusk Plankowner

1945 to 1946

February 28

Earl R "Dick" White, SN(SS) 1949 to 1950

March

Robert C Zimmerman, SM2(SS), USS Cusk Plankowner 1946

July 2

Wendell Bud Reid, MOMM2(SS), USS Cusk Plankowner 1946

August 15

William Walde Von Christierson, LCDR 1964 to 1966

November 15

Roland "Ronnie" J Quick, CS3(SS) 1959 to 1960

November 25

Robert Dominic Comperini, EN3(SS) 1949 to 1952

December 1

Rick Dale "Ptomaine" Greer, CS2(SS) 1965 to1967

December 24

Gerald "Jerry" Spielman, EN1(SS) 1960 to 1966

December 30

2014    

Robert Walter Fellingham, Sr., LT

1960 to 1962

January 7

David C Lawrence STS3(SS) 

1968 to 1969

April 12

James Washington Holmes, Jr., FCS1(SS) 

1947

April 16

Charles Edwin "Scurvy" Brown, CSC(SS)  

1956 to 1957

May 13

Jack Walter Nease SO1(SS)  

1954 to 1957

June 28

Kevin F Flanagan S1c(SS)  

1946

July 26

Robert A Brown, TMCM(SS)

1958

August 22

Glenn H Rowe, RM2(SS)

1953 to 1957

September 2

J W Hickman, IC2(SS)

1954 to 1957 & 1964

September 5

Robert  J "Little Mo" Geary, EM2(SS)

1959 to 1962

September 14

George Urban Harlow, SO2(SS)  

1949 to 1953

September 16

Ray M Peckenpaugh, EN3(SS)

1950 to 1951

November 4

Craig "Barkel" Pagden, EM2(SS) 

1959 to 1961

December 5

Gary Tucker, MM1(SS) 

1945 to 1949

December 31

2013    

Gerald C Stratton, EN1(SS)

1958 to 1961

February 19

Jacob P Wittman, TM1SS) 

1963 to 1969

February 24

Roy A Hopf, EN3(SS)

1960 to 1961

March 17

Robert Bryan "Hoot" Gibson, Jr., LCDR

1958 to 1962 & 1964 to 1966

March 26

Charles Benjamin Stark, EN3(SS)

1953

April 17

Eugene P "Dennis" Wilkinson, LCDR

1947 to 1948

July 11

William D Karr, ETC(SS) 

1963

July 16

Gary Jay Carr, EMCM(SS) 

1963 to 1969

November 4

Greg Czech, LCDR 

1959 to 1961

December 5

"I have spread the mantle of my nation over the ocean, and will guard her forever.  I am her heritage, and yours.  I am the American Sailor."  - Anon

Sailors!  Rest your oars!

Visit the "Eternal Patrol" section of this webpage for more information, pictures, and obituaries.

 

 We welcome your comments, and especially your historical contributions if you have any to share or donate.  If you are a former crewmember, we especially anxious to hear from you so please contact us at your earliest convenience.  Many or your shipmates have been looking for you and an email to the Cusk Webmaster (link below) will put you in touch with them.

Ask a former crewmember about the Cusk and the answer you will most often hear will be, "She was a good boat, probably the best I ever sailed.


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 All information and pictures herein were contributed by, and are the property of crewmembers of the USS Cusk.  It is intended solely for your enjoyment and education, and for preserving the memory and history of this great ship.  If you take anything or make copies, please give proper credit.  Your questions and comments are welcomed, as are any pictorial or historical contributions you might wish to donate or loan. 

Send an email to the USS Cusk webmaster at: USS Cusk Webmaster

This page was last updated: 11/17/16