publicized but wonderful spot is Seawolf Park.
Seawolf Park is located on the end of Pelican Island which is just North of Galveston. Seawolf Park is home to a WWII submarine and destroyer. As a child, I remember visits to the park and the
thrill of being on board these actual war-faring vessels.
The WWII submarine USS Cavalla is a memorial to the lost submarine USS Seawolf. She was commissioned on Feb. 29, 1944. On June 19, 1944, during her maiden patrol, she sank the 30,000 ton aircraft carrier Shokaku. This carrier was an enemy ship of Pearl Harbor and Battle of Coral Sea. This destruction of Shokaku earned her the Presidential Unit Citation.
After the war, the Cavalla was decommissioned in 1946. She was brought back to service in 1951 and assigned to the Submarine Squadron 10 to meet the Soviet threat. In 1952, she was converted to the SSK submarine class.
In 1971, the U.S. Navy gave possession of the Cavalla to the Texas Submarine Veterans of WWII and delivered her to Seawolf Park. The Cavalla has been involved in renovation efforts for years. Many volunteers provide the needed resources to bring her back to pristine condition.
Resting next to the USS Cavalla is the USS Stewart. She is one of only two surviving destroyer escorts in the United States. The USS Stewart has officially been cited in the National Register of Historic Places by the Texas Historic Commission.
The USS Stewart is the second ship named for Rear Admiral Charles Stewart, commander of the USS Constitution from 1813 to 1815. TheStewart began as a training ship, developing officers before critical missions. She made 30 North Atlantic crossings in 1944 with occasional enemy submarine and aircraft encounters. The Stewart joined the Pacific theater in 1945 to conduct training exercises out of Pearl Harbor.
The USS Stewart was decommissioned near the end of 1945 and donated to Seawolf Park in 1972. Participants of the Save Our Ship Program have been restoring and maintaining her. The group meets often to work on the ship and share information with her guests. Many U.S. Navy veterans are dedicated to keeping the memory of Stewart alive.
For a memorable summer excursion, be sure to visit Seawolf Park. A small parking and entry fee will provide all day access to both ships. The experience will instill a well-deserved appreciation of those sailors who served our great country.