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Monday, December 15, 2014

USS Cod in Cleveland Ohio


     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, Connecticut on 21 July 1942. She was launched on 21 March 1943 and commissioned on 21 June 1943 with Lieutenant Commander James C. Dempsey in command. She is now permanently moored in Cleveland, Ohio and is open to visitors
     A handful of Clevelanders formed the Cleveland Coordinating Committee to Save Cod, Inc., to preserve her as a memorial on the city's lakefront and 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. Department of the Interior designated Cod a National Historic Landmark. Cod is now a museum ship in 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.
     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. Visitors to this proud ship use the same vertical ladders and hatches that were used by her crew; unlike most other museum submarines, Cod has never had an access door cut in the side of her hull. 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.
     When I first visited the Cod it had a tour guide who had actually served aboard the boat in WW2 and he had some stories to tell that unfortunately, no one will ever get to hear again.

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