Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Growler (SSG-577)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Growler (SSG-577)

USS Growler (SSG-577), second of the Regulus II guided missile submarines, was built by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, N.H. At her launching 5 April 1958 she was sponsored by Mrs. Robert K. Byerts, widow of Comdr. Thomas B. Oakley, Jr., who commanded the third USS Growler (SSG-577) on her 9th, 10th, and fatal llth war patrols. Growler commissioned at Portsmouth on 30 August 1958, Lt. Comdr. Charles Priest, Jr., in command.

After training exercises off the East Coast USS Growler (SSG-577) sailed south for her shakedown cruise, arriving at the Naval Air Station, Roosevelt Roads, P.R., on 19 February 1959. After a brief run back to Portsmouth, she returned to the Caribbean in March to train in launching Regulus I and II guided missiles. USS Growler (SSG-577) returned to Portsmouth 19 April via Fort Lauderdale and New London.

USS Growler (SSG-577) then proceeded to the Pacific via Norfolk, Key West, and the Panama Canal, putting in at Pearl Harbor on 7 September to serve as flagship of Submarine Division 12. At Pearl Harbor the guided missile sub participated in a variety of battle and torpedo exercises as well as missile practice before beginning her first Regulus Deterrent Mission. On this mission, which lasted from 12 March to 17 May 1960, USS Growler (SSG-577) departed Hawaii with a full store of Regulus II sea-to-surface missiles, armed with nuclear warheads, and patrolled under a strict cloak of secrecy. 

From May 1960 through December 1963 USS Growler (SSG-577) had made nine such deterrent mission patrols, one of which, the fourth, terminated at Yokosuka, Japan, on 24 April 1962, as the Navy proudly displayed one of its newest and most effective weapons. Returning to Mare Island, Calif., in May 1964, USS Growler (SSG-577) decommissioned 25 May and was placed in reserve. At present she is berthed at Mare Island with the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

For a complete history of USS Growler (SSG-577) please see its DANFS page.