US NAVY SUBMARINE USS COD (SS-224)
IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS DURING WWII

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USS Cod, a Gato Class submarine, was commissioned on 21 June 1943 and spent time operating out of the submarine base at New Farm in Brisbane and the submarine base at Fremantle in Western Australia during WWII.

Lieutenant Commander James A. Dempsey was the first to take command of USS Cod. After a shakedown cruise, USS Cod sailed for Australia and arrived at the submarine base at New Farm in Brisbane, on 2 October 1943. After some repairs were carried out, USS Cod was ready for her First War Patrol. USS Cod sailed from Brisbane on 22 October 1943 headed for the South China Sea, where she made a few contacts with Japanese targets. USS Cod sailed for the submarine base at Fremantle in Western Australia at the end of its First War Patrol.

 

USS Cod (SS-224)

 

USS Cod arrived in Fremantle on 16 December 1943 and after a refit she sailed again on 11 January 1944 for the South China Sea off Java and Halmahera. USS Cod surfaced on 16 February 1944 and sank a sampan with her deck gun.

On 23 February 1944, USS Cod sighted and sunk a Japanese tanker, the Ogura Maru No. 3 of 7,330 tons. USS Cod also sighted and sank another Japanese cargo ship, the Taisoku Maru, of 2,473 tons.

On 29 February 1944, USS Cod sighted another Japanese ship, and fired a spread of torpedoes, but was forced deep by a concentrated depth charge attack delivered by a Japanese escort ship. USS COD compled its Second War Patrol and was ordered to return to the submarine base at Fremantle, for a further refit which took place between 13 March and 6 April 1944.

After the refit, USS Cod sailed on her Third War Patrol, again into the South China Seas off Luzon. On the 10 May 1944 she sighted a heavily escorted convoy of some 32 ships and went to battle stations and commenced her attack on the Japanese ships. USS Cod sank the Japanese Destroyer Karukaya of 820 tons and then sunk a cargo ship the Shohei Maru, of 7,256 tons, before being forced to dive deep to avoid a concentrated depth charge attack.

USS Cod returned to Fremantle on the 3 June 1944 to be replenished. Whilst at Fremantle, Commander James A. Adkins took over as the new skipper of USS Cod. The submarine left Fremantle on 3 July 1944 on her Fourth War Patrol. She patrolled the waters from the coast of Luzon to Java. On 3 August 1944, USS Cod sighted and sank an ex net tender of 708 tons, and then she sighted and sank a Japanese landing craft, LSV No. 129 of 1,000 tons. USS Cod returned to Fremantle on 25 August 1944.

USS COD sailed again on 18 September 1944 on her Fifth War Patrol headed for the waters off the Philippines. On 5 October 1944, USS Cod sighted and sank a Japanese cargo ship Tatsushiro of 6,886 tons. Two days later, she inflicted heavy damage to a Japanese tanker. On 25 October 1944 she sighted and launched several attacks on a large convoy without success. As she had run out of torpedoes, USS Cod continued to shadow the convoy for another day reporting its position to base. In November 1944, USS Cod took up lifeguard duties off Luzon, on standby to rescue carrier pilots carrying out air strikes on the Japanese bases as part of the lead up to the invasion of Leyte later that month.

USS COD was then ordered to Pearl Harbour arriving there on 20 November 1944. She then sailed Stateside for an overhaul, and returned to Pear Harbour on 7 March 1945. Commander Edwin M. Westbrook Jnr, had taken command of USS Cod. On 24 March 1945, USS Cod sailed on her Sixth War Patrol for the East China Sea, where she was assigned mainly to lifeguard duties. On 17 April 1945, USS Cod sank a tug and its tow using its deck gun, and then rescued three survivors. On 24 April 1945, USS Cod attacked a Japanese convoy and was then forced to dive deep and experienced its most severe depth charging of her career.

On 25 April 1945, USS Cod sighted and sank a Japanese Minesweeper W-41 of 492 tons. On 26 April 1945, a fire broke out in the after torpedo room, but fortunately the men brought the fire under control but were forced to manually fire a torpedo already in place in its tube before the fire could explode it. One crew member was unfortunately lost overboard during this emergency response.

USS Cod ended her Sixth War Patrol at Guam and underwent a refit from 29 May 1945 until 26 June 1945. USS Cod then sailed on her Seventh War Patrol, for the Gulf of Siam and along the Coast of Indo-China. On 9 and 10 July 1945, USS Cod went to assist a Royal Netherlands Navy submarine HNMS O-19 which had grounded itself on Ladd Reef. After some unsuccessful attempts to drag HNMS O-19 off Ladd Reef, USS Cod recovered the crew of the Dutch submarine and then scuttled her with demolition charges, her deck gun and torpedoes so that she could not fall into enemy hands. A full account of the salvage attempt and rescue of the Dutch crew can be seen at my web page on HNMS O-19.

USS Cod berthed at Subic Bay at 0837 hours on 13 July 1945 and disembarked the personnel from HNMS O-19. The War Diary then shows that USS Cod was underway to Fremantle from Subic Bay at 1459 hours on 14 July 1945. The Dutch sailors of HNMS O-19 held a large thank you party for the crew of USS COD when they met up again in Fremantle, which some claim lasted for three days. USS Cod immortalised this event by adding a cocktail glass and the name O-19 to their battle flag on the side of their Bridge.

From 21 July 1945 to 1 August 1945, USS COD sunk by gunfire, 23 junks, motorised Sampans, and barges which were all that remained to supply the Japanese at Singapore. They rescued some friendly natives from the destroyed vessels. On 1 August 1945, USS Cod was strafed by a Japanese aircraft and was forced to dive leaving behind one boarding party on one of the junks, but 2 days later the crewmen were rescued by another submarine.

USS COD returned to Fremantle on 13 August 1945. USS Cod the sailed home for the US arriving in New London on 3 November 1945. After a visit to Miami, USS COD sailed to Philadelphia for an overhaul, and then returned to New London where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve on 22 June 1946.

USS Cod received seven Battle Stars and was credited with having sunk a total of 26,985 tons of Japanese shipping.

Paul Sobol contacted me on 11 July 2020, to alert me that Submarine USS Cod (SS-224) is still in existence in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as a floating museum called the USS Cod Floating Memorial. Paul Sobol is the Head Shipkeeper of the USS Cod which basically means that he handles most things outside the boat. Paul advised they were hoping to drydock USS Cod later in 2020. On 11 July 2020, USS Cod Floating Memorial held their annual re-enactment of USS Cod's rescue of the Dutch submarine O-19, which also spent time in Fremantle in Western Australia. Paul told me that he has met some of the original WWII USS Cod crew as well as some of the Dutch sailors that she rescued.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Paul Sobol and Russ Walter for their assistance with this web page.

 

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This page first produced 11 July 2020

This page last updated 13 July 2020