Length: 307 feet, 7 inches
Beam: 27 feet
Displacement: 1,800 tons surfaced, 2,400 tons submerged
Crew: 8 commissioned officers, 5 chief petty officers, 67 enlisted men
Top Speed after Guppy refit: 15 knots (17mph) submerged, 18 knots (21mph) surfaced
Launched in 1944, the Becuna (SS-319) completed five wartime patrols in the Pacific Ocean. Becuna is similar to many submarines built in Philadelphia for the U.S. Navy.
Becuna is a BALAO-class submarine built in New London, CT. 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.
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 is an official project of Save America's Treasures.
Special Behind-the-Scenes Tours of Olympia & Becuna
First Saturday of every month, Noon - 4 pm, April through December.
Explore areas of the ships normally off-limits to the public. See the Olympia's triple expansion steam engines, boiler room, and working ash hoist, and the Becuna's conning tower, plus take a peek through the sub's periscope.
Must be 12 or older and able to climb steep stairs. Tickets are $15 and include Museum admission. Free for Museum Members.
Please note: Historic Ships are not wheelchair accessible.
Historic Ship Collections
Along with the Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna, the Seaport Museum also maintains a vast collection of historical artifacts and records relating to both vessels. The Cruiser Olympia Collection has been inventoried and a collections guide can be found on the Online Resources page of the website.
The Submarine Becuna collection, which is not currently processed, dates from the 1940s until the 1960s. The collection is essentially divided into two parts: the submarine's plans and mechanical operations, and the personal accounts and artifacts of those that served aboard her. Accounts and artifacts include correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, oral histories, biographies and ephemera, like menus, ration cards, invitations, and programs, relating to submariner's time on Becuna.
For more information about either historic ships' collection, please contact the Archives & Library. If you are interested in donating historical artifacts and records to the collections, please contact the Seaport Museum's Collection Manager.
Forward Torpedo Tubes
Become a Volunteer!
To learn more about volunteer opportunities aboard Becuna, contact Jesse Lebovics at 215-413-8643 or visit our Volunteer page.