P-520: WWII & Korean War Crashboat

Louisville Naval Museum remains dedicated to saving and preserving America`s maritime history. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions. General inquiries can be answered at 765-377-0297.

[FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ling]

USS Ling (SS/AGSS/IXSS-297) is a Balao-class submarine of the United States Navy, named for the ling fish, also known as the cobia. The ship was grounded in the Hackensack River at the former location of the defunct New Jersey Naval Museum in Hackensack, New Jersey. It is now afloat again and an effort is underway to find a new home for the Ling. It is inaccessible to the public.


Ling was laid down 2 November 1942 by the Cramp Shipbuilding Company of Philadelphia. She was launched 15 August 1943, sponsored by Mrs. E. J. Foy, and was moved to the Boston Navy Yard for completion and testing. Ling was commissioned on 8 June 1945, with Commander George Garvie Molumphy in command.

After shakedown and further installations, Ling headed out to sea to test her equipment 15 September 1945. The submarine based at Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut until she sailed 11 February 1946 for the Panama Canal Zone, arriving eight days later. She operated out of Panama until 9 March when she sailed north. She completed inactivation 23 October at New London, decommissioned 26 October 1946, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

In March 1960, Ling was towed to Brooklyn, New York, where she was converted into a training ship at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, simulating all aspects of submarine operations. She was reclassified an Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-297) in 1962.

Ling received one battle star for World War II service. Ling was reclassified a Miscellaneous Unclassified Submarine (IXSS-297), and struck from the Naval Register, 1 December 1971.

Museum ship

Six months later the old 297 was donated to the Submarine Memorial Association, a non-profit organization formed in 1972 with the purpose of saving Ling from the scrap yard. They petitioned the Navy to bring the boat to Hackensack, New Jersey to serve as a memorial "to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country." Many citizens and corporations contributed time, professional services, and funds toward the restoration of Ling. She arrived at her present home in New Jersey in January 1973, where she was restored to near-mint condition—scrubbed, painted, and polished for public tours—through the efforts of the association. The compartments were refurbished and outfitted with authentic gear that recreated the bygone era of the World War II battle submarine. She was the centerpiece of the New Jersey Naval Museum at 78 River St., Hackensack, New Jersey.

X-rays showed that the submarine's five safes contained documents and metallic objects, but the combinations had long been lost. On 27 January 2006, Jeff Sitar, the eight-time world champion locksmith, opened the safes using only his fingers and an electronic sound amplifier, rather than drills or explosives. In the safes, he found a wide variety of objects, including a dozen pennies, two .45-caliber bullets, a ring of keys, many training and maintenance manuals and parts catalogs from the 1940s and 1950s, and two 1-US-quart (950 ml) cans of 190-proof ethanol. (Despite the inevitable jokes that it was the private stash of the yeoman, the alcohol would have been used for cleaning electrical contacts.)

In the American-produced Russian language film Katya shot in 2010, the Ling was used for a set to depict the Soviet K-129 diesel-electric powered submarine which sank on 8 March 1968 northwest of Oahu.


From 1972 until the closing of the New Jersey Naval Museum, the Museum had paid one dollar per year to rent its riverside site for Ling. In January 2007, the North Jersey Media Group, owner of the site, informed the museum that the site was going to be sold for redevelopment within the year and that the museum and submarine would need to be relocated. As of September 2013 the museum itself was closed due to damage in 2012 from Hurricane Sandy. The museum closed again for emergency repairs in late July, 2015. The museum was expected to vacate the property in August 2018.[13] Sometime in mid-August of 2018, the hull of the USS Ling rusted through flooding the ship with several feet of brackish water. It was originally believed to have been sunk by vandals but this proved to be false once efforts were made to re-float her. The USS Ling is being worked on by a new group of volunteers. She has had the hull breaches repaired and is again floating upright in the Hackensack River. Her final destination is yet unknown as the original plans have fallen through. There are no plans to allow the USS Ling to be scrapped or to be allowed to deteriorate further. Efforts are being made to find a new home for her. The swing bridge south of her on the river is functional and is no longer an issue to moving her.

Freshwater flow in the Hackensack River has been drastically reduced for use as drinking water by the Oradell Dam.[14] The navigable ship channel on the river has only been maintained as far north as the Riverbend in Hudson County.[15] The accumulation of silt has effectively filled in the formerly navigable channel. The present depth of the Hackensack River is too shallow to allow the Ling to move downstream, and there are no funds or plans to dredge the river, the muds of which are laced with industrial toxins. The Ling therefore cannot be moved from its location.

There are four bridges across the Hackensack River, south of the Ling,[18] that do not open or move.[citation needed] Two are vehicular bridges. Two are rail bridges, one operated by New Jersey Transit and one operated by both New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. These bridges also make moving the submarine downriver impossible.

USS LING: WWII Memorial Submarine
Louisville Naval Museum Inc
PO Box 1183. Cambridge, MD 21613

Drone footage courtesy of Rocky LaBarbera.

100% of all donations made are used for the USS LING. Our museum staff is unpaid and all proceeds to keep the USS LING operating. All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501c3. Donation letters are given upon request.