History of The USS Cavalla at the Galveston Naval Museum

Experience history aboard the USS Cavalla, the World War II submarine that sank one of the Japanese aircraft carriers responsible for bombing Pearl Harbor.

The USS Cavalla is berthed in Seawolf Park, Galveston, Texas as a memorial to the lost submarine USS Seawolf. Cavalla was a Gato class fleet sub, designed and built in the summer of 1943 by the Electric Boat Company and launched on November 14, 1943. Read on to learn more history about this historic submarine.

History of the USS Cavalla

The Galveston Naval Museum is home to the USS Cavalla (SS-244), one of the most accomplished World War II submarines open to the public today. The “Lucky Lady,” as she was known to her crew, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This moniker comes from the fact that Cavalla was commissioned on February 29, 1944, leap year day.

Did You Know?
Predator and Protector

One thing you may not know about the Galveston Naval Museum is that it is the only place in the world where you can see an attack submarine and a destroyer escort side by side. Predator and Protector. A submarine is designed to silently stalk and destroy surface vessels, and a destroyer escort is engineered to hunt and destroy submarines.

Did You Know?
Avenger of Pearl Harbor

The USS Cavalla is the only submarine in the US fleet to have successfully destroyed one of the aircraft carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor. This is why she is nicknamed the “Avenger of Pearl Harbor.”

USS Cavalla & USS Stewart

Touring this vessel you'll learn how submariners lived, slept, and worked together as a fighting force in the Pacific Ocean. Visitors to the museum on Seawolf Park can round out a tour of the sub and the destroyer escort, USS Stewart (DE-238), with fishing in the bay or playing in the park. We are more than a WWII museum. We are an educational center, and unique venue for sleepovers, private events, and special occasions.

Galveston Naval Museum
Annual Ceremonies

Every year, the museum hosts 3 important ceremonies, honoring and remembering those who have sacrificed and served in the United States Military.

  • Memorial Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Each of these events is memorialized with a color guard ceremony, a live taps performance, key-note speakers, musical performances, reenactments, and pyrotechnics.

Galveston Naval Museum's Mission:

To PRESERVE the historic integrity and authenticity of our ships. To REMEMBER our greatest generation who sacrificed so much for our enduring freedom and the courage of our military heroes and their families. And to EDUCATE all generations about American history, U.S. Naval heritage, and innovation.

If you would like to volunteer, donate or become a docent, please contact the Galveston Naval Museum at GalvestonNavalMuseum.com or call at (409) 770-3196.


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Urs E. Schmid Chairman of Communications, Galveston Naval Museum