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USS Cod USS Cod (SS-224)
USS Cod (SS-224), about 40 mi (64 km) south of Block Island, R.I., 1951 December
USS Cod (SS-224) underway off Block Island, Rhode Island. 1951 December.
United States
NameUSS Cod
Ordered9 September 1940
BuilderElectric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut[3]
Laid down21 July 1942[1][2]
Launched21 March 1943[1]
Sponsored byMrs. G.M. Mahoney
Acquired21 June 1943
Commissioned21 June 1943[1]
Decommissioned21 June 1954
In service21 March 1943
Out of service15 December 1971
ReclassifiedAGSS-224, 1 December 1962, IXSS-224, 30 June 1971
Stricken15 December 1971[1]
Honors and
7 battle stars for World War II
StatusMuseum ship and memorial in Cleveland, Ohio since 1 May 1976[4]
BadgeUSS Cod SS-224.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type Gato-class diesel-electric submarine[4]
  • 1,525 long tons (1,549 t) surfaced[4]
  • 2,424 long tons (2,463 t) submerged[4]
Length312 ft 0 in (95.10 m)[4]
Beam27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[4]
Draft17 ft (5.2 m) maximum[4]
  • 21 knots (24 mph) surfaced[5]
  • 9 kn (10 mph) submerged[5]
Range11,000 nautical miles (13,000 mi) surfaced at 10 kn (12 mph)[5]
  • 48 hours at 2 kn (2.3 mph) submerged[5]
  • 75 days on patrol
Test depth300 ft (90 m)[5]
Complement6 officers, 54 enlisted[5]
USS Cod (submarine)
Cleveland August 2015 36 (USS Cod).jpg
USS Cod is located in Cleveland
USS Cod is located in Ohio
USS Cod is located in the United States
LocationCleveland, Ohio
Coordinates41°30′36.3″N 81°41′29.7″W / 41.510083°N 81.691583°W / 41.510083; -81.691583Coordinates: 41°30′36.3″N 81°41′29.7″W / 41.510083°N 81.691583°W / 41.510083; -81.691583
AreaLess than one acre
Built byElectric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut
Architectural styleSubmarine
NRHP reference No.86000088[9]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP14 January 1986
Designated NHL14 January 1986

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, an important and very popular 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. The submarine's five diesel engines were built by General Motors Cleveland Diesel Plant on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. She was launched on 21 March 1943 (sponsored by Mrs. G.M. Mahoney), and commissioned on 21 June 1943 with Commander James C. Dempsey, USN; in command. Dempsey had already won fame by sinking the first Japanese destroyer lost in the war while in command of USS S-37, a tiny World War I-era submarine.

She is now a National Historic Landmark, preserved as a memorial and museum ship permanently moored in Cleveland, Ohio, and is open to visitors daily from 1 May to 30 September.

World War II[edit]

First patrols, 1943 October- 1944 January[edit]

Cod arrived in Brisbane, Australia, on 2 October 1943 to prepare for her first war patrol. She sailed from there 20 days later. Penetrating the South China Sea, she contacted few targets, and launched an attack only once, on 29 November, with unobserved results. Returning to Fremantle, Australia, to refit from 16 December 1943 to 11 January 1944.

Second patrol, 1944 February- 1944 March[edit]

Cod put to sea for her second war patrol in the South China Sea, off Java, and off Halmahera. On 16 February, she surfaced to sink a sampan by gunfire, and on 23 February, torpedoed a Japanese merchantman. She sent another to the bottom on 27 February, Taisoku Maru (2,473 tons) and two days later attacked a third, only to be forced deep by a concentrated depth charging delivered by a Japanese escort ship.

Third patrol, 1944 March- 1944 June[edit]

Refitting at Fremantle again from 13 March – 6 April 1944, Cod sailed to the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea off Luzon for her third war patrol. On 10 May, she attacked a heavily escorted convoy of 32 ships and sank the destroyer Karukaya and cargo merchantman Shohei Maru (7,256 tons) before the escorts drove her down with depth charges. Returning to Fremantle to replenish on 1 June 1944.

Fourth patrol, 1944 July- 1944 August[edit]

Cod was put to sea again 3 July on her fourth war patrol, under the command of Commander James "Silver Leader" Adkins. She ranged from the coast of Luzon to Java. She sank the converted net tender, Seiko Maru (708 tons) on 3 August, and a landing craft, LSV-129, on 14 August, and, once more successful, returned to Fremantle 25 August.

Fifth patrol, 1944 September- 1944 November[edit]

Cod put to sea on her fifth war patrol 18 September 1944, bound for Philippine waters. She made her first contact, a cargo ship, Tatsushiro Maru (6,886 tons) on 5 October, and sank it. 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 Leyte later that month.

Cod returned to Pearl Harbor on 20 November 1944, and sailed on to a stateside overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, returning to Pearl Harbor on 7 March 1945.

Sixth patrol, 1945 March- 1945 May[edit]

On 24 March she sailed from Pearl Harbor for the East China Sea 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 the ship's crew brought 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, the Cod's only fatality during the war.[10]

O-19 stuck on Ladd Reef

Seventh patrol, 1945 May- 1946 June[edit]

After refitting at Guam between 29 May and 26 June 1945, Cod put out for the Gulf of Siam 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 Bay, 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 Singapore. After inspecting each contact to rescue civilian crew, 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 the USS Blenny.

When Cod returned to Fremantle 13 August 1945, the crew of O-19 was waiting to throw a party for their rescuers. During that celebration, the two crews learned of the Japanese surrender. To symbolize that moment, another symbol was added to Cod's battle flag: the name O-19 under a martini glass.[11]

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

Post-War Service 1946 June-1954 June[edit]

Cod was Mothballed in 1946, Cod was recommissioned in 1951 to participate in NATO anti-submarine training exercises under the command of Captain Francis E. Rich, USN. During the Cold War, Cod traveled to St. John's, Newfoundland, as well as Cuba and South America.

Great Lakes training vessel, 1954 June - 1971 December[edit]

Cod was decommissioned on 21 June 1954 and placed in reserve. In 1959 she was towed through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Cleveland, Ohio and was used as a training vessel. The Cod served as a training platform during the reservists' weekend drills. The Cod was reclassified first as an Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-224) on 1 December 1962, and later as a Unclassified Miscellaneous Submarine (IXSS-224) on 30 June 1971. The Cod was in commission, but classed as "in commission in reserve". On 15 December 1971, the 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 for her service in World War II, Cod's battleflag and conning tower both carry a cocktail glass above the name O-19 to commemorate the rescue and the party.


Museum ship and National Historic Landmark[edit]

General Motors Cleveland Model 16-248 V16 diesel engine

A group of Cleveland residents formed the Cleveland Coordinating Committee to Save Cod, Inc., with the goal of preserving the ship as a memorial. In 1976 January, the United States Navy gave guardianship of the submarine to the group. Cod opened for public tours as a floating memorial on 1 May 1976. In 1986, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Cod a National Historic Landmark. The memorial is open daily between 1 May and 30 September of each year from 1000 to 1700 hours.

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, Cod is the only World War II Fleet submarine that is still intact.[12] Visitors to the ship use the same vertical ladders and hatches that were used by her crew. She also has unique attractions such as the 5-inch deck gun that still can be rotated by visitors and mock-fired by Cod's volunteer crew. The Cod's Mark IV Torpedo Data Computer is also fully restored, as well as other various parts on the submarine.

Cleveland can claim partial credit as Cod's birthplace, since the submarine's five diesel engines were built at the General Motors Cleveland Diesel Plant on Cleveland's west side. Cod acquired two General Motors Model 248 engines that had originally been used aboard another World War II submarine, USS Stingray. The engines were used for parts for the restoration of Cod's engines. Four out of the five main engines on the Cod are in running and working order, and are fired up on special events throughout the year.

The Cod operates an amateur radio station, W8COD,[13] and participates in various amateur radio contests and other events such as Field Day.

Normally, United States Navy submarines are dry-docked every five years while on active duty. If permanently moored in fresh water the maintenance interval can be extended to 25 years. On 30 September 2020 The USS Cod announced that they needed more donations so Cod can be sent to Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair in Erie, Pennsylvania for dry docking to repair and renew her underwater hull. The last time the Cod was in dry dock for repairs was in 1963 in Lorain, Ohio. Cod was closed to tours for 60 days for a dry dock maintenance program that started 13 June 2021.[14] The goal of the $1.4 million project is to conserve and restore the underwater hull of this 78 year old submarine so that she will continue to be a well-preserved National Historic Landmark and memorial for Naval veterans. Cod spent 63 days in Erie at Donjon Shipping & Repair. Cod returned to Cleveland on 18 August 2021 to the 1201 North Marginal Road berth that she has occupied since her arrival in Cleveland in 1959. Cod's next dry docking project should happen in about eight to ten years.[15][16]

The Cod returns to Cleveland on 18 August 2021 after maintenance in Erie, aided by the tug Manitou.
Cod returns to Cleveland on 18 August 2021 after her dry docking project completion in Erie, aided by the tug Manitou.

Media Productions[edit]

Cod was subject of the television series The Silent Service and was the main plot for an episode titled "The U.S.S. Cod's Lost Boarding Party" which aired on 30 May 1958 on NBC.

Cod was used for exterior and interior scenes in the 2016 Smithsonian Channel war documentary Hell Below to depict the USS Tang, U-99 and U-100. Filming took place aboard the Cod in 2015. The series premiered Sunday 17 July 2016.

Cod was the subject of a two-part documentary in the World of Warships YouTube channel named Naval Legends: USS Cod. The documentary published on 2 and 4 July 2019.

Cod was used for exterior and interior scenes in the National Geographic war documentary WWII: Hell Under the Sea to depict World War II submarine action.

Cod was used for exterior and interior scenes for the upcoming Dolph Lundgren film Operation Seawolf which will be released in 2022 to depict World War II German U-Boats.


  1. ^ a b c d Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
  2. ^ Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
  3. ^ "Cod (SS-224) (AGSS-224) (IXSS-224)". Navsource. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 271–273. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
  5. ^ a b c d e f U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  6. ^ a b c d e Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 270–280. ISBN 978-0-313-26202-9. OCLC 24010356.
  7. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 p. 261
  8. ^ U.S. Submarines Through 1945 pp. 305–311
  9. ^ "National Register Information System – (#86000088)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 9 July 2010.
  10. ^ McDaniel, J.T., Ed. (2005) U.S.S. Cod: American Submarine War Patrol Reports, Riverdale, Georgia: Riverdale Books, pp. 241–242. ISBN 1-932606-04-1
  11. ^ Video of USS Cod sinking O 19
  12. ^ WWII Submarine USS COD arrives in Erie for repairs
  13. ^ "Vanity License - W8COD - USS COD AMATEUR RADIO CLUB". FCC ULS. US Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  14. ^ USS Cod to set sail for first time in 58 years
  15. ^ USS Cod Needs Hull Repair Donations
  16. ^ USS Cod undergoing $1.4 million renovations
Butowsky, Harry A. (May 1985). "Accompanying Photos" (pdf). Retrieved 27 August 2012.

External links[edit]