Allied Warships

USS Coucal (ASR 8)

Submarine rescue vessel of the Chanticleer class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeSubmarine rescue vessel
PennantASR 8 
Built byMoore Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Co. (Oakland, California, U.S.A.) 
Ordered30 Dec 1940 
Laid down30 Sep 1941 
Launched28 May 1942 
Commissioned22 Jan 1943 
End service 

Stricken on 15 September 1977
Sunk as a target


Commands listed for USS Coucal (ASR 8)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. David H Byerly, USNR22 Jan 1943??? (1)

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Notable events involving Coucal include:

17 Sep 1944
Around 0825H/17, HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. L.E. Tozer, RAN), departed Fremantle to make rendezvous with the damaged submarine USS Crevalle (T/Cdr. F.D. Walker, Jr., USN) coming from Darwin.

Rendezvous was affected around 1815H/19, and HMAS Adelaide took over the escort duties from USS Coucal (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Byerly, USNR).

HMAS Adelaide and USS Crevalle arrived at Fremantle around 1330H/22. (2)

6 Nov 1944
During 6 and 7 November 1944, HMS Sea Rover (Lt. J.P. Angell, RN), conducted exercises off Fremantle. First gunnery exercises were carried out on a target that was being towed by HMAS Alfie Cam. These were followed by attack exercises during which USS Coucal (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Byerly, USNR) served as target.

In the evening radar tracking exercises were carried out during which HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN) served as target. On completion of these exercises HMS Sea Rover returned to Fremantle where she arrived early the next day. (3)

22 Nov 1944
During 22 and 23 November 1944, HMS Sirdar (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN), conducted exercises off Fremantle. These included night exercises. These included practice attacks on USS Coucal (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Byerly, USNR). During the night convoy attack exercises were carried out with USS Coucal, HMAS Bunbury (Lt. J.F. Bleckman, RANR(S)), HMAS Inverell (Lt. A.I. Chapman, RANR(S)) and HMAS Warrnambool (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.J.B. Wight, RAN) pretending to be a convoy. (4)

1 Dec 1944
During 1 and 2 December 1944, HMS Storm (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.P. Young, DSO, DSC, RNVR), conducted exercises off Fremantle with USS Coucal (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Byerly, USNR). These included night exercises.


  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Adelaide for September 1944
  3. ADM 173/18679
  4. ADM 173/18790

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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