Cusk's History
Captains & XO's
Inside & Outside
Cusk Patches
Loon Missile
Eternal Patrol
Sounds & Video
Sea Stories
Site Search
Fwd Torpedo Rm
Forward Battery
Control Room
Conning Tower
After Battery
Missile Center
Forward Engines
After Engine Rm
Aft Torpedo Rm

The USS Cusk made history as the world's first missile submarine on February 12, 1947 when she successfully launched a Navy "Loon" missile near Point Mugu, California.  With that launch, the Cusk became the forerunner of all ballistic and cruise missile carrying submarines.  The Loon was essentially a recycled German V1 "Buzz Bomb" from World War II.  A few years later, 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.


"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


Make your reservations now for the
USS Cusk 2016 Reunion Cruise
Getting underway from Cocoa Beach, Florida
23 to 29 April


FREE!   USS Cusk Dive Ringtone.  Click here for your copy


Recent crewmember departures on Eternal Patrol:  Clyde Kirk (45 - 46), Earl R. White (49 - 50) and James E Walker (46)

See Recent Eternal Patrol listings below or visit the Cusk's "Eternal Patrol" page.


Listen to actual recordings of the Cusk diving, going to 150', conversing over the underwater telephone (UQC-8), returning to 100', setting Condition Baker", returning to periscope depth, and surfacing.

"Clear the Bridge, clear the Bridge"

Dive!  Dive!

Listen as XO Tommy Sawyer commands the Cusk to submerge.  Quartermaster Lee Krabill counts out the men coming down from the bridge and engineering officer John Troutman closes the hatch and reports, "Last man down, Sir!"


Prepare to Surface

Click on buttons to hear the sounds, or visit the "Sounds & Video" page for more

Start making plans for the

USS Cusk 2016

Reunion Cruise

Cocoa Beach, Florida

April 23 to 29


Visit the "Reunions" page for more information on 2014 and other Cusk reunions


"The Flying Missile"

This movie was made about the USS Cusk in 1950 starring Glenn Ford and Viveca Lindfors.  Ford plays the fictitious Commander Talbot, a submarine captain who was determined to show that missiles could be launched from submarines. 

This movie uses actual film footage from some of he Cusk's early missile launches, as well as footage of launches from the USS Tunny (SS-282) and the USS Carbonero (SS-337).  These missile launches took place off-shore of the Point Mugu, California test site where the Cusk also made her famous first launch.


Visit the "1950" page for more information


This picture was taken May 5, 1953 as the Cusk fired an exercise torpedo at the USS McDermott, DD-677.  A small arrow can be seen on the left center of the picture showing the location of the nose of the torpedo - clearly, a solid hit amidships had this been a warshot torpedo fired at an enemy ship.

Visit the "1953" page for more pictures & information

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

Cusk Makes National News!

Parade Magazine article about the Cusk

 January 11, 1953 - the article was about the Navy's new long range weapon system.  Few imagined that this would be the birth of today's Trident ballistic, and Tomahawk cruise missile submarine weapon systems.

Visit the "1953" page for more recordings and footage

"Down the Ways"

The USS Cusk is launched, July 28, 1945

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

Visit the "1945" page for more pictures & information

USS Cusk's artifacts, pictures and history...

On permanent display...

Actual Cusk artifacts, pictures and historical

data may be viewed firsthand in a permanent

display case located in the "Brevard Veteran's

Memorial Center and Military Museum" on

Merritt Island, Florida. 

Click here to visit the Museum's Website

Remembering Yoko

Some 1967 memory jarring pictures of Yokosuka, Japan

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

(Pictures courtesy of Rick Greer)

Anyone have a picture of the "Starlight Bar"?

Visit the "1967" page for more pictures & information


Remember White Beach?

The club on the hill?

The old wooden pier?

Those strange rock formations?

Click here on "Okinawa" to see more pictures

USS Cusk Service Medals

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 during which she was detected and pursued by enemy destroyers.  This mission was conducted both on "Yankee Station" and outside Vietnamese territorial waters.

Republic of Vietnam

Meritorious Unit Citation for Gallantry

Visit the "Cusk Patches" page for more information

Cusk Sinks the USS Constellation

During an exercise off the coast of Long Beach, California, the Cusk penetrated a screen of three U.S. Frigates, anti-submarine helicopters, and anti-submarine P3 Orion aircraft to "sink" the USS Constellation, CVA-64 as she emerged from Long Beach.

Connie Down

A U.S. Navy helicopter can be seen through the Cusk's #1 periscope as it dips a sonar buoy in the water and searches in vain for the Cusk.  In the background, a Navy frigate, the USS William H. Standley, DLG-32, is blasting away with its SQS-25 sonar while trying to find the Cusk.  Minutes later, an attack approach was made on the USS Constellation (CV-64), a solution was obtained, the Cusk simulated firing a spread of torpedoes, and then launched a symbolic flare and "Black Smoke" from the Cusk's After Torpedo Room.  A brief message was also broadcast over the UQC-8 underwater telephone advising the task force that their screen had been penetrated, and the USS Constellation had been sunk.  (Boy, was the Admiral pissed about that!)

Click here on "Constellation" to see more pictures

Home at Last

Cusk returns home from her last patrol

March, 1969, the "Reserve Pier" in San Diego - the Cusk is returning from her last Cold War and Vietnam War patrols.  The flag in the foreground is the in-port flag flying from the stern of either the USS Perch (SS-313) or the USS Razorback (SS-394), both of which were docked at the pier.  A Navy band played as friends and families waited on the pier.

Visit the "1969" page for more pictures & information


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

These dolphins, once you pin them on your chest, leave deep marks, right over your heart, long after the uniforms have been put away.” - Bud F. Turner ex-MT2(SS)


SubFlot1 News - 1968

Visit the "1968" page for more pictures & information


During a launch attempt on July 7, 1948, a Loon Missile exploded on deck.  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 the "1948" page for more pictures & information


Where it all began...

Most people do not know that "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 smoking a cigarette is Clarence "Ed" Brenke.  He's holding up the words to the song on poster board.

Visit the "1956" page for more pictures & information

USS Cusk Museum Display


A scale replica of the Cusk complete with missile launcher and hanger is on permanent display along with the Cusk's depth gauge, and numerous patches, pins, lighters, news articles, letters, pictures, etc.


 Sea Stories

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

Easy - 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.

(Photo courtesy of Herman Stickland)

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

Visit "1963"  for more recordings & footage

USS Cusk in 1963 coming out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  The USS Remora (SS-487) and another unidentified submarine can be seen in the background.

(Picture size is 4629 x 3923 or 3.72 MB)

* Suitable for Framing *


USS Cusk Pictures

Click on either of these pictures and you will get a very large, high resolution picture that is printable as an 8x10 or other size of your choosing.

USS Cusk in 1968 near Point Loma Sub Base  (Picture size is 5714 x 3912 or 4.38 MB)

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

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


Submarine History:

California Center for History - Submarine History - Historical information about submarines in California including the ones built at Mare Island and the west coast submarine base at San Pedro.

CNO Submarine Warfare Division - Submarine History - Submarine historical information and pictures from the Chief of Naval Operations "Submarine Warfare Division".

HNSA Submarine War Patrol Reports - Historical Naval Ships Association with links to information to most diesel submarines from "S" class to Fleet boats.

Submarine History Online - An illustrated survey of key events in submarine history including timelines and original concept drawings.

Submarine Research Center, Bangor Washington - A free information site by a small group of retired submariners who in civilian life performed various kinds of research and who have applied this knowledge and ability to collecting and disseminating information about submarines.

UBoat.net - An extremely comprehensive and detailed website about German U-Boats.  Information includes U-Boat commander listings, battles stories, books, history, etc.

US Naval Academy Submarine History - Overview of submarine history with pictures.  Very little on diesel submarines but some links about nukes, boomers, submarine officers, etc.

Wikipedia - Submarine - Wikipedia's "Submarine" page with numerous links to submarine related sites on a worldwide basis.

Submarine Organizations:

Fleetsubmarine.com - a great, highly comprehensive diesel submarine website.

Naval Submarine League - a professional organization for submariners and submarine advocates.

PigBoats.com - Ric Hedman's great site that is a consolidation of a number of differing but related subjects concerning submarines and submarining.

USSVI (United States Submarine Veterans, Inc.) - National organization of submarine veterans that is a comprehensive resource of U.S. submarine information including links to bases, historical data, reunions, boat crews, etc.

Ours is a brotherhood like no other.  It is service that we volunteer for, and we wear our Dolphins, those sacred fish, with enormous pride.  To earn the privilege of wearing them means that you have proven to the captain and to the crew, that you can save the ship and your shipmates, by yourself, under any circumstance, from any compartment, and under any condition.  Thus you become a "Brother of the Phin".  Meeting another such brother is to know instantly that you have met someone who you can truly trust with your life.

In Memoriam...

Cusk sailors recently departed on Eternal Patrol

Sailors, rest your oars!
James E Walker, EM3c(SS)

Departed 2 February 2015

Served aboard Cusk in 1946

Earl R "Dick" White, SN(SS)

Departed  2015

Served aboard Cusk in 1949 to 1950

Clyde Kirk, FT/ST (MMOM) 

Departed: 28 February 2014

USS Cusk Plankholder 

Served aboard Cusk from 1945 to 1946

Leo Kunkel, EN1(SS) 

Departed: 18 February 2015

USS Cusk Plankholder 

Served aboard Cusk from 1945 to 1948 & 1952 to 1958

Jim Hume, TM1(SS) 

Departed: 15 January 2015

Served aboard Cusk from 1956 to 1960

Gary Tucker, MM1(SS) 

Departed: 4 November 2014

Served aboard Cusk from 1945 to 1949

Craig "Barkel" Pagden, EM2(SS) 

Departed: 5 December 2014

Served aboard Cusk from 1959 to 1961

Ray M Peckenpaugh, EN3(SS)  

Departed: 4 November 2014

Served aboard Cusk from 1945 to 1949

Kevin F Flanagan S1c(SS)  

Departed: 26 July 2014

Served aboard Cusk in 1946

David C Lawrence STS3(SS) 

Departed: 12 April 2014

Served aboard Cusk from 1968 to 1969

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


 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.

Home | Cusk's History | Captains & XO's | Inside & Outside | Cusk Patches | Loon Missile | Eternal Patrol | Newsletters | Sounds & Video | Sea Stories | Reunions | Site Search | Fwd Torpedo Rm | Forward Battery | Control Room | Conning Tower | After Battery | Missile Center | Forward Engines | After Engine Rm | Maneuvering | Aft Torpedo Rm | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

 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: 06/27/15