2009-2010 Project Research - Team 2

Forest Hills Lego Club Home

Team #2 - Submarine transportation & Communication

 Field Trip: Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum

We will plan a trip to the Intrepid museum to visit the Growler Submarine.
(212) 245-0072
Pier 86 12th Ave. & 46th Street,
New York, NY 10036
Adult – $19.50 , Youth (6-17) – $14.50, Child (2-5) – $7.50
Seniors (62+) – $15.50, Veterans – $15.50, College Students (w/valid ID) – $15.50
Free for : Child under (2), Retired Military, Active Duty, Museum Members 
Suggested Dates: Election Day(Tue 11/3) or Veteran's Day (Wed 11/11) 


Photo of USS Growler under tow 2006.

The Growler's History


During World War II (1939–45), submarines primarily served in an anti-ship attack role. By the start of the Cold War (1948–89), they were part of a new defensive strategy. American submarines armed with nuclear missiles would patrol near Russian territory, thereby deterring them from launching an attack on the United States. The former USS Growler (SSG-577) was one of these early U.S. Navy guided missile submarines.

The Growler at the Intrepid Museum was named for the highly decorated World War II Gato-class submarine Growler (SS-215), which was lost in action in the Pacific in 1944. As with the like-designed, slightly earlier USS Grayback (SSG-574), the Growler was laid down as an attack submarine, but was altered to carry Regulus I nuclear missiles. The Growler was commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine on August 30, 1958. She soon joined four other Regulus missile submarines at Pearl Harbor to form Submarine Squadron 1. Between 1960 and 1963, the Growler conducted eight strategic deterrent patrols in the western Pacific, each of which lasted about two months.

While the Growler patrolled the Pacific, the Navy was developing improved submarines and missiles. Regulus missile submarines had to surface to launch their weapons and to operate their diesel generators. The new generation of nuclear-powered Polaris ballistic missile submarines could launch their weapons while submerged and could remain underwater for the duration of a patrol. The Growler was decommissioned on May 25, 1964 and was scheduled to be destroyed as a test target. In 1989, the Growler became part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum complex. The Growler serves as a uniquely preserved survivor of this type of early American nuclear missile submarine and offers visitors a glimpse back into the Cold War 1950s and 1960s.
USS Growler under tow Dec 2006

Class: Grayback/Regulus II Submarine
Launched: April 5, 1958
At: Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Commissioned: August 30, 1958

Length: 317 feet, 7 inches
Beam: 27 feet, 2 inches
Draft: 19 feet (surface trim)
Displacement: 2,768 tons (surfaced)
Armament: Regulus I and II missiles

Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
Pier 86
West 46th Street & 12th Avenue
New York, New York 10036-4103
(212) 245-0072
Fax: (212) 245-7289
Latitude: 40.76511, Longitude: -73.99999
Google Maps, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo Maps, Mapquest

While under construction as a diesel powered attack submarine, USS Growler was converted to carry nuclear guided missiles of the short-lived Regulus Program. Her career was brief but significant, as she participated in the initial strategic nuclear deterrent patrols made by the United States submarine force. Growler is the sole survivor of the Navy's fleet of pioneering strategic missile diesel powered submarines. As such, she is the only American nuclear missile submarine on display. All of her successors are regulated by treaty.

Destined to be sunk as a target, Growler was saved at the last minute by the Intrepid Museum. She is maintained in her original operational appearance, except for access modifications and air conditioning.

USS Growler underway
USS Growler firing a regulus missile.