(Patch photo by Eric Marleau, son of Richard Marleau RM3SS, deceased 2011)

November Juliet Sierra Hotel

USS CUBERA (SS-347) was the first of 24 post-war "GUPPY-II" - converted fleet attack submarines of the Balao class. GUPPY comes from the FRAM* submarine classification "greater underwater propulsive power".

Characterized by a thicker and stronger hull, more powerful electrics, higher fuel and battery capacity than the famous Gato class WWII fleet submarine, Balao class boats like CUBERA became test subjects for pre-nuclear submarine technology development.

In the search for greater speed, stealth and range, many devices invented before and during WWII by the Germans, Dutch and British like the "snorkel" and SONAR, were perfected by the U.S. Navy and found their way into these boats.

Click the icons below to see and hear all that remains of CUBERA: Her bell, preserved as the quarterdeck gong aboard the USS COD memorial, and her diving alarm, under the stewardship of Al Sabatino.

Interactive demo -
How a Sub Works!

* Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization - a joint military/congressional commission formed after WWII to evaluate needs of the modern Navy in the cold-war scenario. There were some 50 GUPPY boats in all, in several versions, some boats being converted several times. Many boats got snorkels only and were sold to foreign allies for cash to support U.S. conversions.

What's new:

  • I'm saddened to report the loss of Merrill "Gus" Negus. Gus went on eternal patrol 6/29/2014 but I just found out this morning (12/3/2014). Gus and I met in the New London submarine school in the fall of 1963 and became fast friends. We were both ordered to USS CUBERA in 1964 where Gus's impish humor and easy laughter often entertained the entire crew. Gus taught me how to light off a 16-cylinder General Motors diesel to earn my dolphins later that year. My dear friend and shipmate, rest your oar. Mary Ann, I know he loved you so much from the beginning and I'm deeply saddened by your loss. Our loss.


  1. What was the name of the martial music we suffered through during physical training with our '03 Springfield rifles at San Diego Boot Camp?
  2. Which ballast tank vent operating gear was in the overhead above the coffee urn in the crew's mess?
  3. Send answers to:

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