On August 8, 1988, the museum was awarded USS Growler, a Grayback-class submarine, which carried nuclear Regulus missiles, by the United States Congress from the United States Navy. The submarine is on display after extensive renovations were performed in 2009.

The USS Growler (SSG-577) was an early attempt by the U.S. Navy to field a cruise missile submarine which would provide a nuclear deterrent using its second series of cruise missiles. Built to deliver the Regulus I cruise missile, an extension and adaptation of the German V-1 vengeance weapons technologies, the navy soon switched its strategic weapons development efforts into nuclear powered subs carrying ballistic missiles leaving only a handful of diesel powered cruise missile submarines ever placed into service.

The Growler was the second and final submarine of the Grayback class, it was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named after the growler type of largemouth bass-the practice in the day to name submarines after carnivorous fish. Since Regulus I, and Regulus II programs had their problems, Growler and Grayback were the only two submarines built in this class as instead, the U.S. Navy veered its nuclear deterrence efforts into submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)-the Polaris missile program.

What makes Growler and her sister unusual was her nuclear armament, deployed on a conventional (non-nuclear powered) diesel-electric submarine. Her mission was to provide nuclear deterrent capability off the Pacific Coast of the Soviet Union during peak years of the Cold War, from 1958 to 1964. She became obsolete with the deployment of nuclear-powered submarines equipped with ballistic missiles.

From Wikipedia