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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Terry Rioux USS Coucal

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Coucal (ASR-8)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Delta - November
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Carbolic (T)ango
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon
Second Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia or Europe clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2)
Fourth Row - Korean Service Medal - Vietnam Service Medal (4) - Philippines Liberation Medal
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Chanticleer Class Submarine Rescue Ship:
  • Laid down, 30 September 1941 at Moore Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Co., Oakland, CA.
  • Launched, 28 May 1942
  • Commissioned USS Coucal (ASR-8), 22 January 1943, LCDR. David H. Byerly, USN, in command
  • During World War II USS Coucal (ASR-8) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Coucal was assigned to Occupation service and China service for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    Asia - 17 September to 5 November 194516 June to 6 July 1951
    Asia - 24 to 27 April 1948 
    Europe - 13 June to 30 November 1948 

  • USS Coucal (ASR-8) was assigned to Joint Task Force 1, Task Unit 1.2.7 Target Vessel Group - Salvage Units for Operation Crossroads the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946
  • During the Vietnam War USS Coucal participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    20 to 30 June 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase VII
    27 to 30 November 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    1 to 31 July 1966
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    19 to 22 and 26 to 28 May 1972
  • Decommissioned, 14 September 1977
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 15 September 1977
  • USS Coucal earned four campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Laid up at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (NISMF) Pearl Harbor, HI., maintenance category X
  • Final Disposition, sunk as a target, 19 January 1991
    Displacement 1,780 t.(lt) 2,141 t.(fl)
    Length 251' 4"
    Beam 42'
    Draft 14'
    Speed 14kts.
    Officers 6
    Enlisted 96
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    two single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    eight 20mm AA gun mounts
    four depth charge tracks
    Fuel Capacity
    Diesel 1,785 Bbls
    Diesel-electric drive
    four Alco 539 Diesel main engines driving four General Electric generators and three General Motors 3-268A auxiliary services engines
    single Westinghouse Main Reduction Gears
    single propeller, 3,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed By
    Coucal 107k USS Coucal (ASR-8) at anchor near Mare Island Navy Yard, 26 January 1946.
    US Navy photo # unknown, from the US National Archives, San Bruno, CA., courtesy
    Mike Green
    Coucal 152k Amidship looking aft plan view of USS Coucal (ASR-8) at Mare Island, 30 January 1946. Coucal was undergoing repairs at Mare Island from 3 December 1945 to 3 February 1946.
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 437-46.
    Darryl Baker
    Coucal 128k USS Coucal (ASR-8) moored pierside Naval Station Pearl Harbor, circa 1965. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
    Coucal 376k USS Coucal (ASR-8) twin 20mm AA gun mounts atop the pilot house. Scott Koen
    Coucal 419k
    Coucal 138k Amidship looking forward plan view of USS Coucal (ASR-8) at Mare Island, 30 January 1946. Ships aft of Coucal are from left to right: USS Elkhart (APA 80, USS Tazewell (APA 209), YD-33, and USS Phaon (ARB 3)
    Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 440-46.
    Darryl Baker
    Coucal 125k USS Coucal (ASR-8) underway, circa 1952-53.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, August 1953.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Coucal 144k USS Coucal (ASR-8) underway, circa 1954.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, February 1955.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Coucal 194k USS Coucal (ASR-8) at anchor, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # 80-G-691255
    Henry "Hank" Wristen. FTCS USN Ret
    Coucal 97k USS Coucal (ASR-8) in dry dock at US Naval Shipyard Pearl Harbor, date unknown. Scott Koen
    Coucal 146k
    Coucal 151k USS Coucal (ASR-8) underway off Oahu, Hawaii, circa 1962-63.
    Photo from "All Hands" magazine, May 1963.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Coucal 44k A press photo of USS Coucal (ASR-8) underway circa 1960s, location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Coucal 136k USS Coucal (ASR-8) moored at Pearl Harbor, 13 February 1966 ©Richard Leonhardt
    Coucal149k USS Coucal (ASR-8), moored pierside, Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan with two submarines alongside, 1952.
    US Navy photo courtesy of US Submarine Veterans Association.
    US Submarine Veterans Association
    Coucal 370k USS Coucal (ASR-8) moored at Yokosuka, Japan in 1968 Photo by Ramon Jackson
    Coucal 88k USS Coucal (ASR-8) underway off Oahu, Hawaii, circa 1969-70.
    Photo from "All Hands" magazine, May 1970.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Coucal 178k USS Coucal (ASR-8) underway, probably Pearl Harbor, date unknown. Scott Koen
    Coucal 197k
    Coucal 626k USS Coucal (ASR-8) anchored off Lahaina, Maui, HI., 1974 Photo by Terry Rioux TM2 USS Coucal
    Coucal 398k USS Coucal (ASR-8) with USS Sea Dragon (SSN-684) alongside, Pusan Harbor, South Korea, 1974. Photo by Terry Rioux TM2 USS Coucal
    Coucal 1085k
    Coucal 259k USS Coucal (ASR-8) holding an open house at Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippine Islands during her 1974 WestPac deployment. Photo by Terry Rioux TM2 USS Coucal
    Coucal 98k USS Coucal (ASR-8) flag. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Coucal 322k USS Coucal (ASR-8) plaque.
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.

    Additional Ships Patches
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Coucal Coucal Coucal Coucal

    USS Coucal (ASR-8)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Byerly, David H., USN22 January 1943 - 5 December 1944
    02LT. Baron, William Peter, USN5 December 1944 - 6 January 1946
    03LT. Reed, James Edward, USN6 January 1946 - January 1947
    04LCDR. Griffith, Walter Bruce, USNJuly 1949 - June 1951
    05LT. Jacques, Donald John, USNJune 1951 - 30 May 1953
    06LT. Chellew, Homer Woodie, USN30 May 1953 - 31 August 1955
    07LCDR. Peirano, James Henry, USN31 August 1955 - 8 August 1957
    08LCDR. Miller, Orville Hillard, USN8 August 1957 - 16 April 1959
    09LT. Leibold, William Rudolf, USN16 April 1959 - 8 July 1961
    10LT. Steinke, Harris Eugene, USN8 July 1961 - 14 September 1964
    11LCDR. Smith, Albert Lee, USN14 September 1964 - 15 August 1966
    12LCDR. Festag Jr., Albert Peter, USN15 August 1966 - 15 August 1968
    13LCDR. Estep, Vonnie Dale, USN15 August 1968 - 21 October 1969
    14LCDR. Gibson, James William, USN21 October 1969 - 27 February 1971
    15LCDR. Benites, Robert Daily, USN 27 February 1971 - 27 February1973
    16LCDR. Barrows, Blair, USN27 February 1973 - 18 July 1975
    17LCDR. Hubbard, Richard Gene, USN18 July 1975 - 14 September 1977
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 26 March 2021