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USS Cod (SS-224)

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Launched:21 March 1943
Commissioned:21 June 1943
Fate:Decommissioned 22 June 1946
General Characteristics
Displacement:1526 tons
Length:311 feet, 9 inches
Beam:27 feet, 3 inches
Draft:15 feet, 3 inches
Speed:20 knots
Complement:60 officers and men
Armament:one three-inch gun, ten 21-inch torpedo tubes

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

Cod was launched on 21 March 1943 by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, sponsored by Mrs. G.M. Mahoney. She was commissioned on 21 June 1943 with Lieutenant Commander J. C. Dempsey in command.

Cod arrived in Brisbane, Australia, on 2 October 1943 to prepare for her first war patrol, on which she sailed 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 to 11 January 1944, 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 and two days later attacked a third, only to be forced deep by a concentrated depth charging delivered by an alert escort ship.

Refitting at Fremantle again from 13 March to 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 daringly attacked a heavily escorted convoy of 32 ships and sank destroyer Karukaya and a cargo ship before the escorts concentrated to drive her down with depth charges. Returning to Fremantle to replenish 1 June, she cleared 3 July on her fourth war patrol, during which 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.

Cod put to sea on her fifth war patrol 18 September 1944, bound for Philippine 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 Leyte later that month.

Cod returned to Pearl Harbor on 20 November 1944, and sailed on to a stateside overhaul, returning to Pearl Harbor on 7 March 1945. On 24 March she sailed for the East China Sea on her sixth war patrol. Assigned primarily to lifeguard duty, she also sank a tug and its tow by gunfire 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 after torpedo room, but was saved by the heroism and skill of her men who fought the fire under control and manually fired a torpedo already in its tube before the fire could explode it. One man was lost overboard during the emergency.

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. On 9 July and 10 July she went to the rescue of a grounded Dutch submarine, taking its crew on board and destroying the submarine when it could not be gotten off the reef. 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 friendly natives, Cod sank it by gunfire, sending a total of 23 to the bottom. On 1 August, an enemy plane strafed Cod, forcing her to dive leaving one of her boarding parties behind. These men were rescued two days later by another submarine.

Cod returned to Fremantle 13 August 1945, and on the last day of the month sailed for home. 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.

All of Cod's seven war patrols were designated as "successful" for which she received seven battle stars. She was credited with having sunk a total of 26,985 tons of Japanese shipping.

Cod is now a memorial in Cleveland, Ohio.


This article includes information collected from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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