Becuna (SS-319) is a BALAO-class submarine built in New London, CT and launched in 1944. During World War II, “Becky” prowled the Pacific Ocean for Japanese ships, and is credited with sinking 3.5 Japanese merchant ships. Converted in 1951 to a Guppy 1A type with sophisticated radar and torpedo equipment including nuclear warheads, she is the only Guppy 1-A submarine on display. Becuna’s Cold War missions often found her in the Atlantic, trailing Soviet submarines with eavesdropping equipment aboard. She served in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and ended her long and distinguished career as a training submarine in Connecticut. Becuna was decommissioned in 1969 and has been part of Independence Seaport Museum’s Historic Ship Zone since 1996. Becuna is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2001, Becuna received the American Welding Society’s Historical Welded Structure Award.
This is a collection of materials assembled by Douglas Buchanan, Ships Program Coordinator for ISM for the 2000 reunion of Becuna veterans. Materials include: correspondence (letters and email); photographs; color photocopies of photographs; videos; an index to oral histories (oral history tapes are not included); snapshots from the 2000 reunion; order of events for the 2000 reunion; brief biographies of Becuna veterans; brief reminiscences by veterans; print-outs from Sandy MacNaught’s Becuna history website (g-macnaught.com); volunteer forms, gift and release forms for oral histories; a notebook of contact information for veterans; secondary resource materials on U.S. Navy submarines; a xerox of a Guppy class submarine manual; a history of torpedo technology; a fleet sub manual (on CD); 1961-1964 issues of Dolphin, the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, CT newsletter; and a small number of items of ephemera from 1943-1945, including menus, invitations, programs, ration cards, and photographs (recent reproductions) donated by William Ambrose, a Becuna vet.
- Becuna, Submarine