USS Cod (SS 224)

U.S.S. Cod (SS 224), was launched on March 21, 1943. under the command of CDR James C. Dempsey, USN. Dempsey had already won fame by sinking the first Japanese destroyer lost in the war while in command of a tiny, World War I-era submarine.

It was on Cod‘s third patrol, Dempsey’s last in command, that Cod fought her biggest battle. Tracking a massive Japanese convoy heading for Subic Bay in the Philippines on the night of May 10, 1944, Cod maneuvered into firing position just after sunrise. Cod fired three of her four stern tubes at the Japanese destroyer, IJN Karukaya, before unloading all six of her bow tubes at two columns of cargo ships and troop transports. Dempsey watched as the first torpedo exploded under the destroyer’s bridge after a short, 26 second run. Both smoke stacks collapsed and dozens of enemy sailors (watching for submarines) were tossed high into the air. The enemy ship started to sag in the middle, with both bow and stern rising, just as the second torpedo hit near the main mast causing the whole rear half of the Karukaya to disintegrate.

A minute later, all six of Cod‘s bow shots hit targets among the columns of enemy ships. Cod submerged to her 300-foot test depth and ran at her top underwater speed of 8.5 knots for 10 minutes to clear the firing point, which was clearly marked by the white wakes of Cod‘s steam-powered torpedoes. The high-speed run had to be kept to 10 minutes to preserve as much of the submarine’s electric battery as possible for later evasive maneuvers.

The firing point was quickly saturated with aircraft bombs and depth charges dropped by enemy escort ships. Between the explosions of enemy depth charges, Cod‘s sonar operators could hear the sounds of several Japanese ships breaking up and the distinct firecracker sound of an ammunition ship’s cargo exploding. Cod‘s own firecracker show soon followed: a barrage of more than 70 Japanese depth charges shook Cod in less than 15 minutes. After 12 hours submerged Cod surfaced 25 miles away from the attack area in the midst of a heavy night thunderstorm.

It was on Cod‘s seventh and final war patrol that she would carve a unique niche for herself, not for destroying enemy ships, but for performing the only international submarine-to-submarine rescue in history. On the morning of July 8, 1945 Cod arrived at Ladd Reef in the South China Sea to aid the Dutch Submarine O-19 which had grounded on the coral outcropping. After two days of attempts at pulling O-19 free, the captains of both vessels agreed that there was no hope of freeing the Dutch sub from the grip of the reef. After removing the 56 Dutch sailors to safety, Cod destroyed the O-19 with two scuttling charges, two torpedoes, and 16 rounds from Cod‘s 5-inch deck gun. The Cod was home to 153 men for the two and a half-day run to the recently liberated Subic Bay naval base.

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After delivering the O-19 crew, Cod returned to her patrol area off the coast of Vietnam where she resumed boarding and sinking Junks carrying enemy supplies. During one of these “pirate-like” operations, a five-man boarding party was stranded on a junk after Cod was strafed by a Japanese plane and forced to crash dive. It was several hours before Cod could surface to retrieve her boarding party. When she did, the horizon was littered with Junks.

After a two-day search involving several U.S. submarines, the lost crewmen were recovered by the submarine Blenny. Highlights of the patrol, including the O-19 rescue and return of the lost boarding party, were recorded in color movies made by Norman Jensen, a Navy photographer, who was assigned to film Cod‘s war patrol. The films were discovered in the National Archives in 1992.

Start to a series on warships – USS Cod

Today, Cod is one of the finest restored submarines on display and is the only U.S. 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 five massive diesel engines were built by General Motors’ Cleveland Diesel plant on Cleveland’s west side.

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. Patrols 1, 2, and 3 were under the command of CDR James C. Dempsey, USN; patrols 4, 5, and 6 were under the command of CDR James “Caddy” Adkins, USN; and patrol 7 was under the command of LCDR Edwin M. Westbrook, Jr., USN.

Cod is now docked in Lake Erie at Cleveland, Ohio 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.

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1940’s Naval Humor –

Navy Humor – courtesy of Chris @ Muscleheaded.wordpress.com

Navy training…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Paul Appelbaum – Los Angeles, CA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, radioman, submarine service

Demetrius, Babiak – brn: Lug, POL; US navy, WWII, medic

Frank Eckert – Bridgeport, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, tail gunner

Paul Green – Bay County, FL; US Navy, WWII, Korea & Vietnam (Ret. 25 y.)

Jack Harris Sr. – Quebec, CAN; US Navy, WWII, PTO / US Air Force, Korea & Vietnam (Ret. 28 y.)

Donald MacDonald – Elizabeth, NJ; USMC, WWII, PTO, 4th Marine Division

James May – East Aurora, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. B/457 Artillery/11th Airborne Division

Wesley Nutt – Davison, MI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 188/11th Airborne Division

Leon Spinks – St. Louis, MO; USMC  /  Olympic + pro boxer

Theodore Weygandt – New Eagle, PA; US Navy  /  US Air Force, Korea & Vietnam, MP (Ret. 20 y.)

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 11, 2021, in Current News, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 110 Comments.

  1. I appreciate your like of my post, “Salvation In Christ . “The Book Of John 1:15-18 . 26 A.D.;” you are very kind. Please know how much I enjoy going through your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story. I hadn’t read that when I was on the Cod a couple of years ago. It’s a very nice self tour of the whole boat and they have shoved regulation food tins in everywhere to give you some idea of how those boats put to sea on patrol with food literally stuffed in every crack, corner, crevice, angle and under the deck plates. I got a kick out of its evaporators. I had the same thing on one of my ships which was built about 10 years after the Cod.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Phenomenal history of an heroic vessel and its crew! I am glad that it now serves as a memorial, rather than being remodeled for tourists.
    As to learning “mopping up tactics,” I have a nephew in the Navy boot camp right now; I am sure he is doing just that! He is the fifth generation of a military family, starting from pre-revolutionary time. We are understandably proud of him.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Submarine stories always freak me out a little bit–I admire their bravery in going down, down, down. USS Cod sounds heroic. I just read: Escape from the Deep: A True Story of Courage and Survival During World War II–another Alex Kershaw history. Wow what a tale!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful! Preservation is incredibly important.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I cannot imagine the courage it took just to serve on a submarine. We owe those men an enormous debt of gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I got to tour a sub in the Key West Navy Yard when I was about 11.
    It was an amazing tour. I do not remember the subs name

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I admit I know little of subs in WW 2 so this is informative to lean about USS COD!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I saw in Spain a long time ago an old one and never known he was so big. Great adventure to visit it. Good end. ouThis sub suh has brought the soldiers home again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I cannot think of anything more terrifying than being aboard a sinking submarine.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve been on one of those submarines. I can’t imagine what it would be like with 153 men

    Liked by 1 person

  12. More interesting history. A WWI-era tiny sub–love that.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A terrific story, and the troup sign ? is also very horrible. Makes fear for the enemies. Thank you for sharing, GP! Enjoy your weekend! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What an incredible history and what a marvel to tour if one had the opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am always in awe of those submariners who risked all in combat in those claustrophobic close quarters.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Quite an eventful life for the USS Cod! I’m so glad that this wonderful vessel has been preserved 100%. It must give the visitors a very accurate example of the true meaning of “claustrophobia”!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I may have to visit this sub as Cleveland is only a couple of hours away. I doubt if I’ll be able to climb the rope ladders! I’ve explored other subs throughout the years but I was younger then.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This was a great and informative post. I learned a lot. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a remarkable story. Mind-boggling, really.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That was some informative video about the Cod!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Life on a submarine could not have been easy with cramped quarters and diesel fumes, not to mention extremely hazardous. If you were hit you drowned.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great post nice pic that missile is covid attacking uss cod

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Terrific story, GP. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Reblogged this on Janet's Thread 2 and commented:
    Brave men!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Great post, GP. I have great respect for those wearing Dolphin medals. They did something I don’t know if I could. I did serve with a man who earned both Dolphins and Airborne Wings.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Well this is a surprise to see the Cod showing up. Then again it is kind of ironic to have a submarine on display here on the shores of Lake Erie the shallowest of the Great Lakes. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Reblogged this on Subli and commented:
    A wonderful tribute to a great submarine!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. A great tribute to USS Cod. It deserves a place in naval history. I can’t imagine what it was like to have 153 men in a sub that size for two and a half days! I joined a tour of a sub years ago and could not wait to get out of it. It was so tight inside. I felt great respect for those submariners!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This is such a great story. I can’t imagine being under the sea while those ‘fireworks’ are exploding above me. Nerves of steel for those sailors. I have toured that sub while bin Cleveland on business. Enjoyed the cartoons, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I enjoyed the documentary film, GP. The torpedoes seemed almost as dangerous to the sub as they were to enemy shipping. Great tribute!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Excellent video. Very much enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Pete, a great story. I believe I’ve toured that sub. Cleveland was in my sales territory so I took time to see some interesting sights. That was one, for sure. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. What a story! Glad they were able to do the sub to sub rescue and equally happy not to be on the boat for that particular run. I’m guessing that going topside for some fresh air was not a real option.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. There’s nothing ‘fishy’ about this post! I was curious about the name, and found that the Cod is the only US naval vessel that was named after that particular fish. It seems they’re going to be bringing back fish names; another pair of subs will be named the Wahoo and the Tang. This one certainly has a fascinating history. Given a tendency toward claustrophobia, I’d never be able to serve aboard a sub, but I certainly admire those who do.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. This was a very interesting post to read, GP. What an adventure that sub had. I’m glad it brought everyone home safe. I can’t imagine what it must have been like waiting while all of those depth charges were going off. I’ve toured a couple WWII subs, and I also can’t imagine sailing with over 150 men inside.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. A 153 sailors in that smallish sub. That’s quite a feat on top of all the rest of its actions. It deserves its place in history.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. A remarkable record. As we are not that far away, we shall visit it sometime. We recently saw a program on TV featuring the “Batfish”, now in Muskogee, OK, which sank three Japanese subs for a record.
    Submariners, per capita, suffered the highest losses in our military during the war. Each time Alie’s father requested duty on a sub, the Navy moved him further inland and he ended up in Cleveland. Had they granted his request, she might not have been born.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Great post, GP! Such a remarkable sub with its history. I’ve always thought that it took a special breed to serve as submariners! I’ve been on the USS Clamagore at Patriot’s Point in Charleston, SC. It’s the only surviving balao-class, pre-cold war submarine. Quite an eye-opener.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: USS Cod (SS 224) | IA-Blog

  2. Pingback: USS Cod (SS 224) — Pacific Paratrooper | Ups Downs Family History

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