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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki
This article is about the location. You may be looking for the Fear episode of the same name.

That key will launch a missile from a beached submarine washed ashore in Galveston. That should do the job, don't you think?
Theodore Maddox revealing his plan.[src]

The USS Pennsylvania (SSBN-735) is a location that appears in Season 6 and Season 7 of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. It is a derelict U.S. Navy submarine that washed up near Galveston, Texas due to floods, subsequently drawing the interest of the Doomsday Cult. After the cult launches a nuclear attack using the submarine's missiles, prompting their downfall, it becomes the home of Morgan, Grace, and Mo and later the base of operations for the war against Victor Strand. However, after radiation begins leaking from the engine compartment, the sub is permanently abandoned.


Built in 1988 and comissioned in 1989, the USS Pennsylvia is an Ohio-class nuclear powered submarine and was the fourth ship to be named after the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was armed with MK-48 torpedoes and UGM-133 Trident II ballistic missles.


At the time of the outbreak, the Pennsylvania is supposed to be on a NATO run, but it is diverted to the Gulf of Mexico instead, ending up around 50 kilometers off the shore of Galveston, Texas. After receiving orders to go to the Gulf of Mexico, the Pennsylvania loses contact with command.

Dead in the Water[]

Out of contact with command for weeks, the Pennsylvania's crew run weapons' drills in anticipation for a possible order to launch its nuclear missiles. During this time, Friedman develops appendicitis which is beyond Park's ability to treat and Pierce receives an incomplete EAM message from command as well as an FM radio broadcast discussing the Army being deployed in Houston due to "medical incidents." Captain Renwick tries to call for a medevac for Friedman, but he gets no response.

Eventually, Friedman becomes septic and he dies despite Park trying to perform an appendectomy. Friedman reanimates shortly thereafter, biting Cook, Bacon and Park before Jason Riley is able to put him down. Due to the crew being unaware of the dangers of this, Cook, Bacon and Park are allowed to die and reanimate, spreading the infection throughout the ship before Riley is able to put Bacon and Park down.

The sub quickly becomes overwhelmed with walkers, the crew falling to their zombified comrades. Receiving a launch order targeting Chicago, Renwick attempts to launch with the help of Riley, Pierce and McGuire. However, Riley refuses to fire on American soil with his companions joining him. Renwick is discovered to have been bitten and Riley mercy kills him before taking command of the sub, declaring that their new mission is to get to the surface and get home to their families. A group, including Walter Schowski, is able to reach the bridge and blow the ballast tanks, bringing the sub to the surface where it is ultimately beached on the Galveston coast.

Upon reaching shore, Riley, McGuire, Walter and five others, the only eight survivors of the crew, abandon ship, leaving the Pennsylvania overrun by its reanimated crew while the few survivors set out to find their families. Before parting ways, Riley gives one of the sub's launch keys to Walter, warning him to guard it with his life as the keys can never be in the same room again.

Having lost his family, a depressed and suicidal Riley is eventually found camping on the beach nearby by Theodore Maddox.

Galveston, Texas[]

Theodore Maddox comes to see the sub's nuclear missiles as a way to bring about the destruction that he feels humanity needs in order to get a new beginning. Two members of the cult hire bounty hunter Emile LaRoux to kill Walter and retrieve the second key for the cult's usage.

Season 6[]

"The End Is the Beginning"[]

The two men await Emile's arrival beside the sub with one spray painting "The End is The Beginning" on the sub's side. Emile is able to hunt down and kill Walter, but before he can make his rendezvous with the two men, Virginia hires him to hunt down and kill Morgan Jones. Morgan ultimately kills Emile in self-defense and takes the key for his own.

As the older man finishes up the spray paint, a walker approaches and he puts it down. The men become worried as Emile should've arrived by now, more walkers are bound to show up and they need the key. The two decide to wait for Emile in another location and leave the sub sitting on the beach.

"The Key"[]

On his way to Humbug's Gulch in search of Grace, Morgan is ambushed by the two men who hired Emile to get the key from Walter. The men demand the key from Morgan and attack him, forcing Morgan to kill both men. Studying the key, Morgan is left wondering what it unlocks.

"In Dreams"[]

Jason Riley and three cultists hunt Morgan and Grace for the key that is still in Morgan's possession, but he kills the three other cultists and forces Riley to flee. In Grace's dream, Athena is wearing the key which she states that Morgan gave to her as a reminder of "the price of peace." When Riley returns and demands the key at gunpoint, Grace has Morgan hand it over to him, convinced that Athena will bring everyone together based on her dream.


Teddy is revealed to possess two keys which he gives to Jason Riley, drawing the interest of Alicia Clark.

After Cole's Group is wiped out, Alicia asks how Teddy intends to bring about the destruction of everything. Feeling that Alicia has earned the truth, Teddy reveals that the keys go to the USS Pennsylvania washed up in Galveston. The keys, when used, will launch a nuclear missile from the sub which Teddy believes will be enough to do the job. Alarmed, Alicia takes Teddy's radio at gunpoint and she manages to contact Victor Strand. As more cultists arrive, Alicia asks if she can trust Strand and once he confirms that she can, Alicia warns him that she knows what the keys are for and that he must get to Morgan, and they need to find a beached submarine near Galveston. Riley snatches the radio from Alicia before she can pass on any more information and Dakota is sure that Strand will simply get as far away as he can rather than doing as Alicia wants.

"USS Pennsylvania"[]

The USS Pennsylvania will appear in this episode.

"The Beginning"[]

The USS Pennsylvania will appear in this episode.

Season 7[]

Following the nuclear destruction, Morgan, Grace and Mo move into the Pennsylvania, clearing the sub of walkers and turning it into their home.

"Six Hours"[]

The USS Pennsylvania will appear in this episode.

"Follow Me"[]

The USS Pennsylvania will appear in this episode.


The USS Pennsylvania will appear in this episode.

"The Raft"[]

Dwight contacts Sherry from the sub after getting a distress call on the Dark Horses' emergency channel. Sherry, who is secretly preparing the Pennsylvania's emergency life raft at a safe location, reluctantly joins Dwight in rescuing Maya Vazquez from danger. Sherry later explains that, afraid that Dwight would join the Tower and revert to his old ways, she had been preparing the sub's life raft so that Dwight would leave.

Dwight and Sherry later get a radio call from Luciana revealing that the sub's engine compartment is leaking radiation. As a result, the Pennsylvania's residents are forced to evacuate it and abandon the sub for good.

Before the others launch their attack on the Tower, Morgan takes the Pennsylvania's emergency life raft in search of a safe new home for Mo.


The USS Pennsylvania will appear in this episode.

Season 8[]

"More Time Than You Know"[]

The Pennsylvania appears in a flashback to Morgan and Grace preparing to commit suicide in the Weapons' Control Room before the arrival of baby Mo causes them to stop.


U.S. Navy[]




Fear the Walking Dead[]

Season 6[]

Season 7[]

Season 8[]


Dead in the Water[]


  • The USS Pennsylvania is in fact a real submarine that is currently still in active service with the U.S. Navy.
  • While many of the submarine's crewmembers were identified in Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead and in Dead in the Water, several more names of crew were revealed in Season 7 when various characters began wearing crewmembers' protective gear:
    • Driscoll - Morgan Jones wears a hood with his name on it in "Six Hours".
    • Holt - Morgan Jones wears a coat with this name on it in "The Portrait" and "The Raft".
    • Jennings - Morgan Jones wears a hood with his name on it in "The Portrait" and "The Raft".
    • Pacheco - Jacob Kessner wears a coat with this name on it in "Divine Providence".
  • Although Dead in the Water explains much of what happened on board the sub, some things are still left unexplained.
    • The four dead bodies found by Dwight and Sherry handcuffed to bunks are never explored.
    • No explanation is ever given for the source of the radiation encountered by Morgan Jones and Victor Strand. However, it is shown to have continuing radiation problems in "Ofelia" and "The Raft", ultimately leading to the sub being abandoned.