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USS Cod (SS/AGSS/IXSS-224) is a Gato-class submarine, the only vessel of the United States Navy to be named for the cod, the well-known food fish of the North Atlantic and North Pacific.

Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticutmarker on 21 July 1942. She was launched on 21 March 1943 (sponsored by Mrs. G.M. Mahoney), and commissioned on 21 June 1943 with Lieutenant Commander James C. Dempsey (Classmarker of 1931) in command.

She is now permanently moored in Cleveland, Ohiomarker and is open to visitors.

World War II

First and second patrols

Cod arrived in Brisbanemarker, Australia, on 2 October 1943 to prepare for her first war patrol. She sailed from there 20 days later. Penetrating the South China Seamarker, she contacted few targets, and launched an attack only once, on 29 November, with unobserved results. Returning to Fremantlemarker, Western Australiamarker, to refit from 16 December 1943 to 11 January 1944, Cod put to sea for her second war patrol in the South China Sea, off Javamarker, and off Halmaheramarker. On 16 February, she surfaced to sink a sampan by gunfire, and on 23 February, torpedoed a Japanesemarker merchantman. She sent another to the bottom on 27 February and two days later attacked a third, only to be forced deep by a concentrated depth charging delivered by an alert escort ship.

Third and fourth patrols

Refitting at Fremantle again from 13 March – 6 April 1944, Cod sailed to the Sulu Seamarker and the South China Sea off Luzonmarker for her third war patrol. On 10 May, she daringly attacked a heavily escorted convoy of 32 ships and sank destroyer Karukaya and a cargo ship before the escorts drove her down with depth charges. Returning to Fremantle to replenish 1 June, she cleared 3 July on her fourth war patrol, under the command of Commander James "Caddy" Adkins. She ranged from the coast of Luzon to Java. She sank a merchantman on 3 August, and a landing craft, LSV-129, on 14 August, and, once more successful, returned to Fremantle 25 August.

Fifth patrol

Cod put to sea on her fifth war patrol 18 September 1944, bound for Philippinemarker waters. She made her first contact, a cargo ship, on 5 October, and sent it to the bottom. Two days later, she inflicted heavy damage on a tanker. Contacting a large convoy on 25 October, Cod launched several attacks without success. With all her torpedoes expended, she continued to shadow the convoy for another day to report its position. In November she took up a lifeguard station off Luzon, ready to rescue carrier pilots carrying out the series of air strikes on Japanese bases which paved the way for the invasion of Leytemarker later that month.

Cod returned to Pearl Harbormarker on 20 November 1944, and sailed on to a stateside overhaul, returning to Pearl Harbor on 7 March 1945.

Sixth and seventh patrols

On 24 March she sailed from Pearl Harbor for the East China Seamarker on her sixth war patrol. Assigned primarily to lifeguard duty, she used her deck gun to sink a tug and its tow on 17 April, rescuing three survivors, and on 24 April launched an attack on a convoy which resulted in the most severe depth charging of her career. The next day, she sent the minesweeper W-41 to the bottom. On 26 April Cod was threatened by a fire in the aft torpedo room, but was saved by the heroism and skill of her men who fought the fire under control and manually launched a torpedo already in its tube before the fire could detonate it. QM2c L.E. Foley and S1c A.G. Johnson were washed overboard while freeing the torpedo room hatch. Foley was recovered the next morning, but Johnson was drowned during the night.
HNLMS O 19 stuck on Ladd reef
After refitting at Guammarker between 29 May and 26 June 1945, Cod put out for the Gulf of Siammarker and the coast of Indo-China on her seventh war patrol under the command of Lieutenant Commander Edwin M. Westbrook, Jr. On 9 and 10 July she went to the rescue of a grounded Dutch submarine, O-19, taking its crew on board and destroying the Dutch boat when it could not be gotten off the reef. This was the only international submarine-to-submarine rescue in history. After returning the Dutch sailors to Subic Baymarker, between 21 July and 1 August, Cod made 20 gunfire attacks on the junks, motor sampans, and barges which were all that remained to supply the Japanese at Singaporemarker. After inspecting each contact to rescue friendly natives, Cod sank it by gunfire, sending to the bottom a total of 23. On 1 August, an enemy plane strafed Cod, forcing her to dive, leaving one of her boarding parties behind. The men were rescued two days later by .

When Cod returned to Fremantle 13 August 1945, the crew of O-19 was waiting throw a party for their rescuers. During that celebration, the two crews learned of the Japanese surrender. To symbolize that happy moment, another symbol was added to Cod’s battle flag: the name O-19 under a martini glass.

Cod sailed for home on 31 August. Arriving in New Londonmarker, on 3 November after a visit to Miami, Floridamarker, Cod sailed to Philadelphiamarker for overhaul, returning to New London where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 22 June 1946.

1951 – 1971

Cod was recommissioned in 1951, under the command of Captain Francis E. Rich, to participate in NATOmarker anti-submarine training exercises. Her Cold War voyages took Cod to St. John's Newfoundland, as well as ports in Cubamarker and South America. During LANTFLEX '52 fleet exercise, Cod was credited with "sinking" a U.S. aircraft carrier.

Cod was decommissioned in 1954 and placed in reserve. In 1959 she was towed through the newly opened St. Lawrence Seaway to serve as a naval reserve training vessel in Cleveland, Ohiomarker. The veteran submarine was an instant hit with school children who visited her on field trips. Cod was reclassified an Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-224), 1 December 1962, and a Miscellaneous Unclassified Submarine (IXSS-224), 30 June 1971. In 1971, no longer useful as a training ship, Cod was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.

Cod is credited with sinking more than 12 enemy vessels totaling more than 37,000 tons, and damaging another 36,000 tons of enemy shipping.

All seven of her war patrols were considered "successful" and Cod was awarded seven battle stars.

Museum ship

300 px
handful of Clevelanders formed the Cleveland Coordinating Committee to Save Cod, Inc., to preserve her as a memorial on the city's lakefront. In January, 1976, the Navy gave guardianship of the submarine to the group. Cod began her career as a floating memorial in May 1976 when she opened for public tours and quickly established herself as a popular tourist attraction. In 1986, the U.S.marker Department of the Interiormarker designated Cod a National Historic Landmark.

Cod is now a museum ship in Cleveland, Ohiomarker and is maintained and operated as a memorial to the more than 3900 submariners who lost their lives during the 100 year history of the United States Navy Submarine Force. The public is invited to visit the boat daily between 1 May and 30 September each year.

Cod is one of the finest restored submarines on display and is the only U.S. museum submarine that has not had stairways and doors cut into her pressure hull for public access. Visitors to this proud ship use the same vertical ladders and hatches that were used by her crew. Cleveland can claim partial credit as Cod's birthplace, since the submarine's four massive diesel engines were built by General Motors' Cleveland Diesel plant on Cleveland's west side.

The Cod memorial recently acquired two GM Cleveland Model 248 engines that had originally been used aboard another World War II submarine, . The two engines will be used for parts for the restoration of Cod's engines.

USS Cod combat statistics

  • Cod sailed during her seven patrol runs (exclusive of miles sailed to and from the USA).
  • Cod burned 1,023,963 gallons of diesel fuel.
  • Total patrol days were 415, with 108 of them submerged from dawn to dusk.
  • During her seven WW-II war patrols Cod fired 122 torpedoes, recording 39 hits (32%).
  • Her skippers claimed 10 ships sunk and 5 damaged by torpedo. This is the same average torpedo/ship sinking ratio as for all US subs during WW-II—that is, one ship sunk for every 12 torpedoes fired. In comparison, the German U-boats sank one ship for every four torpedoes fired.
  • Cod also was also credited with another five ships, 24 junks and 11 floating mines as "sunk by gun fire".
  • Cod's deck guns fired 117 rounds of 4 inch 50-caliber; 117 rounds of 5 inch 25-caliber, 1,404 rounds of 40 mm, 200 rounds of 20 mm, and 1,450 rounds of .50-caliber machine gun ammo. Like most ships preserved from World War II, she has encountered problems with toxins such as lead and asbestos.


References

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