Troop 32 visited the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Part of that trip included sleeping overnight on the USS Cobia. Following is some history of the submarine and pictures from this exciting trip.
USS Cobia (SS 245) was launched on November 28, 1943, in Groton, CT. In June 1944, she began the first of six war patrols in which she sank thirteen Japanese vessels. By July 1944, Cobia had established herself in the annals of World War II sub history by attacking an enemy convoy bound for Japanese-held Iwo Jima. Cobia sank two vessels, including a troop transport carrying a Japanese tank battalion of twenty-eight tanks. U.S. Marines considered this sinking critical to their success in capturing Iwo six months later.
In 1970, Cobia was brought to Manitowoc to serve as an international memorial to submariners. In 1986, Cobia was incorporated as a part of the Manitowoc Maritime Museum, declared a National Historic Landmark, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a National Historic Landmark, Cobia has been restored to her original 1945 configuration. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a guided tour through the boat and see where the crew slept, ate, and prayed to make it our alive.
USS Cobia is a major exhibit at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, requiring thousands of man-hours of maintenance and restoration. Cobia was dry-docked in 1996 and went through an intensive interior restoration over the next few years. Staff and volunteers focused on returning the submarine to her 1945 look. In 1998, the Museum was awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Statewide Transportation Enhancement Program (STEP). This grant helped underwrite interior restoration that included installation of WWII era flooring, bunks, metal trim, and crew lockers.
After many years of meticulous research, cleaning, and repair, some of the submarine’s systems have come on-line. Two specific volunteer-led projects were the installation of a DC power drive onboard the submarine and the rebuilding of main engines #1 and #2. Other recent successes include the restoration of Cobia’s SJ-1 radar, thought to be the oldest operational radar in the world, and the return of the WWII radio shack to operational status.