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Home > August 2014 > Celebrating the Commissioning of USS Growler
Celebrating the Commissioning of USS Growler
Posted: 8/29/2014 9:40:48 AM

USS Growler (SSG-577) was commissioned on August 30, 1958 at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. A few days before the ceremony, the crew gathered for a commissioning party. Here’s the program from that party, complete with a list of Growler’s commissioning crew.

Growler commissioning party program. (Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Gift of Capt. James Murphy. A00.2011.49)
Officers, enlisted men and guests gathered to celebrate the occasion, as shown in the below photograph. LTCDR Charles Priest assumed command of the newly commissioned vessel.

Officers and crew of Growler on commissioning day. (Collection of Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. P00.2013.01.496)
One interesting commissioning tradition is that of the commissioning pennants. Robert Owens, one of Growler’s commanding officers, donated two commissioning pennants from Growler to the Intrepid Museum. Commissioning pennants are slender, streamer-like flags in the national colors of a particular navy. By naval tradition, commissioning pennants are hoisted during a vessel’s commissioning ceremony and not struck (taken down) until a ship’s decommissioning. Growler’s commissioning pennants are well-worn.

Growler commissioning pennants. (Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Gift of Robert L. Owens. 2009.29.01)
Come visit and learn more about Growler, the aircraft carrier Intrepid and all the aircraft on board!