SS SSK AGSS
Presently on board:
Were you on Cavalla? Click here to send your profile and stories.
Jack Finley ~ 1964-1965 ~ Ensign
My primary duty (other than qualifying) was Sonar Officer. As a Development
Group Two boat, Cavalla carried a lot of new sonar equipment for test. We
worked closely with what was then the Naval Underwater Sound Lab to install
and test equipment. Cavalla had the first AN/BQQ-3.
Joe Bellinghiere ~ 1944-45 ~ TM2C
I remember staying at the King Edward Hotel in Perth. Since all outgoing mail was read by officers for possible breaches of security, I tried to outwit the censor by writing to my wife, "I can't tell you where we are, but there are a heck of a lot of kangaroos here." On one occasion Torpedoman Charles "88" Keyes and I went to a restaurant in Perth where they were offered "styke" and "eyggs." "What in the world are 'styke' and 'eyggs?' " I wondered. After they repeated it a few times, I finally got it: steak and eggs with an Aussie accent. A big bottle of Aussie beer was 10¢. One day a crew member brought a baby kangaroo aboard as a pet. When Captain Kossler found out, he asked the sailor, "Do you know how long we'll be on patrol?" Sailor: "About 60 days." Kossler: "And do you know how big that kangaroo will be in 60 days? It won't fit through the hatch!" And the Captain ordered him to take the kangaroo off the boat, over his protestations of "But Captain, that's my pet!"
David Longberry ~ 11-11-62 until 1-19-65 ~ EM1c
"Cavalla is the boat that I qualified on. Started out on Cavalla as EMFN when I was transfered to EM"B" I was EM3(SS). After B school, I went to the Tusk. For a short time I was on Tigrone, from 11-19-65 until 4-10-68. My last boat was the Cobbler; 5-10-68 until 6-6-69 when I went to shore duty in Norfolk. Got out of Navy as EM1(SS) in 1970. My first reenlistment was on Cavalla, I believe Capitan Anderson was the Captain then. I reenlisted in Philly when we were in ship yard. I have some pictures of Cavalla if I can find them after several moves. I remember the Chase brothers on Cavalla--Wayne and Nasty-- both TM's."
Patrick Kailing ~ 1961-62 ~ YN3(SS)
What a stroll down memory lane. I just read Bob Mahon's interview and had to laugh. When he was fixing the head, which he and Coup had screwed up, as mess cooks, and the MM's made them fix it. He wasn't sitting on a bucket, he was sitting a #10 can. When 180 psi of air let loose and that can started to bang around inside the stall, with Mahon in it the door flew open. At that time Chief Jeffcoat, a man of about 260 pounds came through the passageway and thought that a pipe had blown. He threw his weight against the door, muffling Mahon yells and screams and the can banging around like it was in a wind storm. We thought we were laughing hard at that time, but when the door finally opened and there stood Mahon. Everything in that stall was pointing to the overhead; his collar, his eyebrows, his hair and everything pertaining to him was plastered in an upward pattern held in place by the contents of #2 sanitary. Laugh, my god, I thought my ribs were going to break. But I must give Bob credit, he took it in good stride.
I then moved on to THRESHER & ALBACORE. What memories!
Ernest J. Zellmer ~ 1944-45 ~ Engineering Officer
"I was a plank owner on the CAVALLA and served on her first 5 patrols. Initially, my job was Communications Officer (Radio, Radar, Sonar). Received orders to New London to put CUSK in commission just before CAVALLA's 6th patrol. Thus I missed the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay."
William E (Bill) Kemper ~ 1966 - 1967 ~ RM1(SS) Leading Radioman
"Made Chief while aboard and then "shanghaied" to USS Dace SSN-607 cause they had lost their chief and Cavalla was said not to rate a Chief Radioman. Good duty aboard Cavalla although we spent an awful long time at sea during the time I was aboard. Think we had about 60 days in port during the year and only about half that in New London, our homeport."
Don Haseley ~ 1945-46
"Came aboard in Subic Bay in 1945 and stayed through to decommissioning when I left the Navy like so many others to go back to school, thanks to the G.I Bill. After a long career as Design Engineer for the Dupont Comp. in their engineering department, I am retired here in N.C."
Jack Bessette ~ 1966-68 ~ Electrician's Mate, Third Class
"I was onboard from August 1966 until decommissioning in June 1968. I was a seaman when I came onboard, I qualified and became EM3 on the USS Cavalla. I work as an "IC" electrician in control room for a while then I went to maneuvering room and ended up becoming a senior controllerman."
Fred Polgardy ~ 6/59 through 6/60
"My memories include MM2 "Inky" Cockerton walking around with his imaginary dog on a leash; drinking my dolphins in Bermuda; HMC Scott getting s--tfaced in the head; Crew members Paul Kollar, Joe McKinley, George Maxwell, Goins, Chase, Bianci, EMC McQuillen, EMC Burkhart, ENC Jeffcoat, ST1 Ragland, Lt Hannon, Lt jg Boyne, XOP Feffer, Vasquez, Byron (sleeping in the head after drinking his dolphins in Bermuda); SN Ogden waiting for the mail buoy on a northern cruise; Sweeny, Svensen trying to keep in shape tying a string around his waist and us moving the knot. I will stop for now but remember many other stories. Capt Kaufman getting me in trouble in Belfast topped most of them though."
Dave Harvey ~ 1962-3 ~
"I reported aboard Cavalla in Dec 1962 as an SN(SS) and left to go to separation in Jul 1963 as an FN(SS). In the short time I was onboard we went to Bermuda (for Easter), Bristol, RI, for Memorial Day, and Martha's Vineyard, MA, where I left the boat and returned to New London for my separation.
Seeing Greg Rohkohl's name on the web page brings back some very clear pictures of a Destroyer leaving Bermuda with "Sunk By Sub" painted on its side. Of course, there was no connection with the streak of paint under the pier, up our tank tops, and down the Engine Room hatch. It also reminds me of New York City, upon our return from Bermuda, and a flooded apartment building elevator, bagels, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Tiffany's. "
Sam D. Bradley ~ 1944 ~
Ship's Cook, Second Class
"I put the Cavalla in commission & left her after the second patrol run. I was a Ship's Cook Second Class. I spent time on the USS ATULE. I was only seventeen when I entered the Navy. I enjoyed my entire time on Cavalla."
Henri L. Baxter ~
1960-63 ~ FTCM (SS/SW/DV), USN
"Cavalla was in port, New London/Groton when the Cuban blockade was ordered, we
went North to the "Barrier," did snorkel operations, 1 warm meal a day. #7 MBT
in the After Torpedo Room caused ice on the deck. There were icicles from the drain in the
Forward Torpedo Room escape trunk reaching the deck. The crew was great. VADM Yogi Kaufman
was a great CO, hard but good. I personally like him and he helped me greatly in my 30
year career. Several of us still keep in touch, perhaps we will have a reunion. I don't
know exactly what our orders were, but we snorkeled and kept track of ships' movement up
north on the old barrier.
Cavalla was originally scheduled to be commissioned 3/15/44, however, the CO and crew thought it to be lucky to be first "Leap Year Boat." Permission was granted to move to FDC date up two weeks. Yes it proved correct."
Fred E. Fare ~ 1963 ~
"I qualified in USS Cavalla (SSK-244) in the summer of 1963 as an MMFN, Auxiliaryman. LT Johnson was the "Chief Engineer" and my Division Officer. He subsequently shipped me over - "STAR" and put me in for NESEP. Admiral "Red" Ramage attended my first Change of Command ceremony. I'll never forget him and his wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor that day."
Cieplenski ~ 1944-46 ~ EM1c Aux. Electrician
"My station was the forward battery room, all alone. Anyways, I was on my hands and knees. So here I am 50+ years to talk about it. It was a great day for Cavalla, plus the other subs who attended the Surrender Ceremonies in Tokyo Bay aboard the BB Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945."
Click HERE for the next page of Cavalla Crews.
Attention, all members of USS Cavalla's past
crews. Now hear this:
THIS PAGE CAN ONLY BE FILLED BY YOU, THE MEN WHO RODE BENEATH THE WAVES IN THE USS CAVALLA. I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT STORIES, PATROL DIARIES, REMEMBRANCES, AND PHOTOS. THE TALES OF THE CAVALLA'S CREW WILL LIVE ON HERE.
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All information on this page is accurate to my knowledge. I welcome corrections and I am solely responsible for any errors. -- Neal Stevens