Climb Aboard The USS Becuna Submarine

Imagine stepping into the depths of history as you climb aboard the magnificent USS Becuna Submarine. This extraordinary vessel, now a museum in Philadelphia, offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the marvels of underwater navigation. From the moment you set foot on its deck, you will be transported back in time, discovering the secrets of the deep and immersing yourself in the world of submarine warfare. Get ready for an unforgettable journey that will leave you in awe of the brave souls who once called this remarkable submarine their home.

History of the USS Becuna

The USS Becuna, a Balao-class submarine of the United States Navy, holds a rich history that spans several decades. Its construction and launch marked a significant milestone in submarine development, and it played a crucial role in World War II. After the war, the USS Becuna continued to serve, until its eventual decommissioning. Let’s delve deeper into each phase of its history.

Construction and launch

The construction of the USS Becuna began on January 28, 1944, at the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. It was launched on January 30, 1944, and commissioned into the United States Navy on May 27, 1944. The submarine showcased cutting-edge technology and innovations of its time. Its construction marked a step forward in submarine engineering, contributing to the advancement of underwater warfare capabilities.

World War II service

During World War II, the USS Becuna undertook seven war patrols in the Pacific Ocean, earning a reputation for its remarkable combat performance. It targeted and destroyed several enemy ships and submarines, significantly impacting enemy supply lines and naval operations. The submarine played a critical role in supporting the war effort and protecting American interests in the Pacific. The bravery and dedication of the crew aboard the USS Becuna contributed to its success as a formidable war machine.

Post-war and decommissioning

Following the conclusion of World War II, the USS Becuna continued its service in the United States Navy. It was extensively modified and underwent several refits to keep up with evolving technology and warfare strategies. However, with the advancement of nuclear-powered submarines, the USS Becuna eventually became obsolete. It was decommissioned on November 15, 1969, after an impressive 25 years of service. Despite its retirement, the USS Becuna remains a symbol of American naval history and a testament to the bravery and dedication of its crews.

Touring the USS Becuna

If you’re interested in exploring the USS Becuna and immersing yourself in its rich history, there are several options available for a comprehensive tour. Whether you prefer guided tours, self-guided exploration, or virtual experiences, the USS Becuna offers something for everyone.

Location and accessibility

The USS Becuna is located at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Nestled along the Delaware River, the museum provides a picturesque backdrop for the submarine. Its central location ensures easy accessibility for visitors from all over. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, the USS Becuna is well worth a visit.

Guided tours

For an in-depth understanding of the USS Becuna’s history and significance, guided tours are the perfect choice. Led by knowledgeable and passionate tour guides, these tours offer a comprehensive exploration of both the exterior and interior of the submarine. They provide valuable insights into the daily life of the crew, the submarine’s operational capabilities, and its pivotal role in World War II.

Self-guided tours

If you prefer to explore at your own pace, self-guided tours are available as well. Armed with a map and information guide, you can embark on a personalized journey through the USS Becuna. This allows you to focus on specific areas of interest and spend as much time as you desire immersing yourself in the submarine’s history.

Virtual tours

In the age of technology, the USS Becuna also offers virtual tours for those unable to visit in person. These virtual experiences provide a unique opportunity to explore the submarine through interactive 360-degree images, videos, and audio commentary. While not the same as physically being aboard, virtual tours still allow you to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the USS Becuna from the comfort of your own home.

Features of the USS Becuna

The USS Becuna boasts several remarkable features that make it a captivating attraction for history enthusiasts and naval enthusiasts alike. From its exterior to its interior, every aspect of the submarine tells a story of its own.


The sleek exterior design of the USS Becuna showcases its engineering prowess and functionality. The submarine’s streamlined shape allows it to navigate seamlessly through the water while remaining undetected. Its dark gray hue mirrors the camouflage used during World War II, highlighting the vessel’s connection to the past.


Entering the USS Becuna’s interior is like stepping back in time. The cramped quarters, narrow passageways, and low ceilings provide a glimpse into the challenges faced by the crew during their time at sea. Every detail, from the dials and gauges to the sleeping berths, has been meticulously preserved, ensuring an authentic and immersive experience.

Control room

The control room serves as the nerve center of the USS Becuna, where the crew operated the submarine’s complex machinery and systems. Visitors can marvel at the array of controls, periscopes, and communication devices that were instrumental in piloting the submarine during its wartime service. Seeing this room up close offers a unique perspective on the skill and precision required to maneuver the USS Becuna through treacherous waters.

Living quarters

Exploring the living quarters of the USS Becuna provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the crew members. Visitors can witness the cramped bunks where the crew slept, the communal areas where they ate and relaxed, and the personal effects they kept aboard. It’s a humbling experience, reminding us of the sacrifices and challenges faced by those who served on the submarine.

Galley and mess hall

The galley and mess hall were central communal spaces where the crew gathered for meals and shared moments of respite. Visitors can see firsthand the compact kitchen area where meals were prepared and learn about the types of rations and menus available to the crew during their time at sea. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the ingenuity and resourcefulness required to sustain a crew in the confined environment of a submarine.

Weapons and equipment

The USS Becuna’s armament and equipment highlight its role as a formidable submarine during World War II. From torpedoes to machine guns, visitors can view the lethal weaponry that helped the submarine effectively engage enemy vessels. Additionally, displays provide insights into the advanced sonar and radar systems utilized by the crew to detect and track targets. Understanding the technological advancements represented on the USS Becuna further amplifies its historical significance.

Interesting Facts about the USS Becuna

Beyond its history and features, the USS Becuna is brimming with intriguing facts that add depth to its story. Here are some unique aspects that make the submarine even more intriguing.

Medal of Honor recipient

One fascinating fact about the USS Becuna is its connection to Vice Admiral Lawson P. Ramage, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II. Ramage played a pivotal role in the sinking of the Japanese destroyer Shimotsuki, demonstrating exceptional bravery and leadership. The association with such a prestigious military award further enhances the USS Becuna’s significance.


The USS Becuna earned the affectionate nickname “Lucky Bec” during its service due to its remarkable record of success and survival throughout World War II. The moniker serves as a testament to the submarine’s resilience and the skill of its crew, maintaining a sense of camaraderie and optimism amidst the dangers of war.

Historic milestones

The USS Becuna achieved several historic milestones during its service. It holds the distinction of being the only submarine to have sunk both an aircraft carrier and a traditional battleship. Additionally, during one of its patrols, it remained submerged for an astounding 31 consecutive days, a record at the time. These milestones cement the USS Becuna’s place in naval history and showcase its exceptional performance.

Records and achievements

Throughout its illustrious career, the USS Becuna received numerous awards and commendations, reflecting its remarkable achievements. It was awarded four Battle Stars for its actions during World War II and received the Presidential Unit Citation for its outstanding service. These accolades illustrate the significant contributions made by the crew and solidify the USS Becuna’s reputation as a highly effective combat submarine.

Preservation and Restoration Efforts

Preserving the USS Becuna’s historical significance is of utmost importance to maintain its legacy for future generations. From the early days of its retirement until today, numerous efforts have been made to ensure the submarine is meticulously preserved and protected.

Historical significance

The USS Becuna represents a pivotal era in naval history, and its preservation allows visitors to connect with the past and honor the courageous men who served aboard the submarine. As one of the few remaining World War II submarines, it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for freedom. Preserving the USS Becuna allows us to commemorate their service and preserve their memory.

Efforts to preserve

The preservation of the USS Becuna is a collective endeavor that involves the collaboration of various organizations and groups. The Independence Seaport Museum, in partnership with dedicated volunteers and experts, works tirelessly to maintain the submarine’s integrity and authenticity. Continuous efforts to protect the submarine from corrosion, structural damage, and environmental factors ensure its longevity for future generations.

Restoration projects

To maintain the USS Becuna’s historical accuracy, restoration projects are periodically undertaken to recreate its original appearance. These projects involve meticulous research and attention to detail, ensuring accurate preservation of the submarine’s exterior and interior. The restoration team works to recover and refurbish original artifacts and components, guaranteeing an authentic experience for visitors.

Importance of conservation

Conservation efforts for the USS Becuna extend beyond preservation and restoration. They encompass education and outreach programs to promote awareness of the submarine’s historical significance. By educating the public, particularly younger generations, about the role the USS Becuna played in shaping our world, we can foster an appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedom.

Events and Exhibits

The USS Becuna offers a vibrant calendar of events and exhibits that allow visitors to engage with its history and immerse themselves in its story. Whether it’s a special event, temporary exhibit, or a permanent display, there is always something new to discover.

Special events

Throughout the year, the USS Becuna hosts special events that provide unique opportunities to experience the submarine in a different light. From commemorative ceremonies honoring veterans to themed events that recreate the ambiance of its wartime service, these special events add an extra layer of depth to the visitor experience.

Temporary exhibits

To continually enhance the visitor experience, the USS Becuna frequently hosts temporary exhibits that focus on specific aspects of its history or explore related topics. These exhibits showcase rare artifacts, multimedia displays, and interactive installations that offer fresh perspectives and new insights into the submarine’s past.

Permanent exhibits

The USS Becuna features several permanent exhibits that provide comprehensive information on its construction, wartime service, and post-war legacy. These exhibits weave together visual storytelling, informative displays, and personal accounts to create an immersive experience. Whether it’s through historical photographs or firsthand testimonials, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the USS Becuna’s significance.

Educational programs

The USS Becuna also offers educational programs that cater to school groups and individuals of all ages. These programs provide in-depth workshops, lectures, and interactive activities, fostering a deeper appreciation for naval history and the USS Becuna’s role in it. By engaging students and visitors in a hands-on exploration of the submarine’s past, the educational programs cultivate a lifelong love for history and a greater understanding of the sacrifices made by the submarine’s crew.

Tips for Visiting the USS Becuna

If you plan on visiting the USS Becuna, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and memorable experience.

Opening hours and admission

Before planning your visit, be sure to check the USS Becuna’s opening hours as they may vary throughout the year. Additionally, consider purchasing your admission tickets in advance to avoid long queues or disappointment if tickets are sold out on the day of your visit. The Independence Seaport Museum’s website provides up-to-date information on ticket prices and availability.

Guidelines for visitors

To ensure the USS Becuna’s preservation and the safety of all visitors, it’s important to adhere to the guidelines set out by the museum. Respect the designated pathways and areas, refrain from touching any artifacts or displays, and follow any instructions given by staff members or volunteers. By adhering to these guidelines, you can help preserve the integrity of the submarine for future visitors.

Accessibility for individuals with disabilities

The USS Becuna strives to be an inclusive destination, with accessibility provisions in place to accommodate individuals with disabilities. The museum provides wheelchair access and has elevators and ramps to ensure visitors with mobility challenges can navigate the facility comfortably. Additionally, the museum staff and volunteers are trained to assist visitors with any special requirements or inquiries they may have.

Photography and videography policies

Photography and videography are welcome on the USS Becuna, but it’s essential to be mindful of the museum’s policies. Flash photography and tripods may be prohibited in certain areas to minimize disruption and preserve the submarine’s delicate environment. Be sure to check the museum’s guidelines and respect any restrictions in place to ensure a positive experience for both yourself and other visitors.

The USS Becuna in Popular Culture

The USS Becuna’s fascinating history has not gone unnoticed in popular culture. It has left its mark on various forms of media, including films, TV shows, literature, and artistic interpretations.

Appearances in films and TV shows

The USS Becuna’s wartime exploits have been depicted in several films and TV shows, allowing audiences to witness its action-packed missions on the silver screen. Its remarkable combat performance and historical significance have made it a compelling subject for filmmakers seeking to recreate the intensity of underwater warfare.

Literary references

The USS Becuna’s legacy extends to literature as well, with numerous books and accounts detailing its role in World War II and beyond. These literary works offer a deeper understanding of the submarine’s history, providing personal insights from crew members and historians alike.

Artistic interpretations

Artists have also drawn inspiration from the USS Becuna, translating its striking presence and historical significance into visual representations. Paintings, sculptures, and other artistic mediums have been employed to capture the essence of the submarine and its impact on naval history. These artistic interpretations add an additional layer of appreciation for the USS Becuna and its enduring legacy.

Personal Experiences and Testimonials

Visitors who have had the opportunity to tour the USS Becuna often share their personal experiences and testimonials, highlighting the profound impact of their visit. The stories and memories shared by these individuals reinforce the significance of the submarine and its ability to evoke powerful emotions.

Visitor reviews

Many visitors have reviewed their experiences touring the USS Becuna and have glowing testimonials to share. They often express awe at the submarine’s historic significance, the authenticity of the displays, and the knowledge and enthusiasm of the museum staff. These reviews serve as a testament to the USS Becuna’s ability to captivate and educate visitors of all ages.

Memorable experiences

Touring the USS Becuna can be a deeply moving experience, leaving visitors with memories that last a lifetime. From hearing the stories of the submarine’s crew to exploring its narrow passageways, each moment spent aboard the USS Becuna is filled with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the sacrifices made during its service. Visitors often describe the experience as enlightening, humbling, and a profound tribute to the courage of those who served.

Impact on visitors

The USS Becuna’s impact on visitors extends beyond a simple tour. It has the power to ignite a sense of patriotism, empathy, and historical consciousness. By creating a connection between the past and the present, the USS Becuna reinforces the importance of remembering the contributions and sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedom. The submarine leaves an indelible mark on the minds and hearts of visitors, inspiring them to delve deeper into the history of naval warfare and the brave men and women who served.

Supporting the USS Becuna

If you’re inspired by the USS Becuna’s story and want to contribute to its preservation and continued operations, several ways exist to support this historic submarine.

Volunteer opportunities

The USS Becuna welcomes enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about naval history and preservation to become volunteers. By dedicating your time and skills, you can directly contribute to maintaining the submarine and sharing its story with visitors. Volunteering offers a rewarding experience and a chance to deepen your knowledge of maritime heritage.

Donation options

Donations play a crucial role in supporting the USS Becuna’s ongoing preservation efforts. Financial contributions assist in funding restoration projects, maintaining the submarine, and providing educational programs. Whether through a one-time donation or a recurring contribution, every contribution makes a meaningful difference in safeguarding the submarine for future generations.

Sponsorship programs

Sponsorship programs offer businesses and organizations the opportunity to align themselves with the USS Becuna’s mission. By becoming a sponsor, you can support the museum’s efforts while also receiving recognition and promotional opportunities. Sponsorship programs not only demonstrate a commitment to preserving history but also contribute to community engagement and cultural preservation.

Membership benefits

Becoming a member of the Independence Seaport Museum provides various benefits while supporting the USS Becuna. Members receive exclusive access to special events, discounts on admission, and other perks, while their membership fees contribute directly to the ongoing preservation and educational programs associated with the submarine.

By supporting the USS Becuna through volunteering, donating, sponsoring, or becoming a member, you play a vital role in preserving this historic submarine and ensuring that its story endures for future generations to explore and learn from.

In conclusion, the USS Becuna’s storied history, immersive tours, captivating features, and preservation efforts combine to create a remarkable experience for visitors. From its construction and launch to its historic milestones and extensive post-war service, the USS Becuna represents the bravery and dedication of those who served aboard it. Through guided and self-guided tours, virtual experiences, and a wealth of exhibits, visitors have the opportunity to delve into the submarine’s past and uncover its legacy. Preservation efforts and support from the community ensure that the USS Becuna remains a symbol of naval history and a source of inspiration for generations to come. Plan your visit, climb aboard, and transport yourself to an era of heroism and innovation that shaped the world we know today.