USS Cod SS-224
The USS Cod is a WWII Gato Class US Fleet Submarine. The Cod's specifications are:
Length: 311' 9"
Crew: 6 Officers 51 Men
Displacement: Surface - 1,525 tons / Submerged - 2,424 tons
Max Speed: Surface - 21kts / Submerged - 9kts
Range: Surface - 11,000 miles at 10kts. Submerged 48hrs at 2kts
Fuel Capacity: 116,000 gallons of diesel fuel
Diving Depth: 300' test / 500' emergency
Original 1945 -
24 21" torpedoes with 600lb warheads in 10 torpedo tubes
1 4 "x 50cal deck gun
2 40mm Bofors AA guns
Power Plant: 4 1,600hp GM Cleveland Model 16-248 16cyl diesel electric generators driving 2 screws
Launching Date: March 21, 1943 at the Electric Boat Company, Groton, CT, commissioned June 21, 1943
You can visit the USS Cod on the waterfront in Cleveland, OH. This submarine is an American Gato class fleet sub which saw significant action during WWII.
What is unique about this particular museum submarine is that the sub's pressure hull is intact. No stairs or doors have been cut into the pressure hull to allow easy visitor access. It is a downside for those who are not particularly mobile, but a fantastic experience for anyone who can navigate a short ladder. It is the only submarine I've visited that hasn't been cut up, and I believe the only museum sub in America that you can enter and exit the same way the original crew did.
But even more important than having an intact pressure hull, the USS Cod is the best restored submarine I've visited. It is extremely original inside. Unlike other museum subs, SS-224 has all of its crew's bunks intact. It gives you a true feeling for how crowded the environment it must have been, especially as the enlisted crew's accommodations were "Hot Bunks". On a boat with Hot Bunk accommodations the bunks were shared between the different watches. As one watch went on duty, a crewman left a bunk and another got in if he were going to sleep. Since the bunks were warm most of the time they were referred to as "Hot Bunks".
Every compartment in the submarine has been extremely well restored. The staff and volunteers have done an outstanding job of fitting and restoring the USS Cod. The guys are friendly and very proud of the SS-224, and rightfully so considering what a great job they have done restoring and equiping her. Aside from diving valve knobs and handles that have been removed to prevent the Tots from doing what Tojo would have liked to have done, all of the controls are in place. Some are chained and some covered with plexiglas for safety's sake but everything seems to be there.
I especially liked seeing all of the bunks in place. Many had bedding fitted, and all had crew's stowage bags in place. I wonder how they were able to source all this stuff as many of it would have disintegrated over time. There are a lot of bunks in the crews quarters. It must have been very tight and very ripe in the tropics inside the USS Cod with only a couple of showers per man per week. The torpedo rooms pack additional bunks wherever they could be squeezed in. Period cans of food are stowed in nooks throughout the boat, just as they would have at the beginning of a wartime patrol.
The heads and showers were in very good shape and all knobs and nozzles seemed to be in place. The crew's mess and galley were in great shape, which is amazing considering it hosted rotating crew members for almost 3 years of wartime service. It must have been a true labor of love to bring it up to the level it is today.
Both torpedo rooms are in great shape. The forward torpedo room has two MK 14 Torpedoes. One is intact, and the other is a cutaway which shows the internal components and layout of a US WWII torpedo.
The USS Cod's Officer's Quarters are quite interesting. The captain has his own "Stateroom" with a private sink and desk which is smaller than a lot of US walk in closets. Staterooms for more junior officers pack in 3 or more officers into each room. None have private heads (toilets) yet they are heads and shoulders above the conditions the enlisted crew endured. The wardroom is downright posh compared to the rest of the submarine, and has its own "pantry" or small kitchen where meals and snacks were whipped up for the officers.
The submarine's heads are stark and probably the only privacy most of the crew experienced during a tour at sea. Each has a bewildering series of valves and levers and probably come with an instruction manual for flushing. The showers are tight but fairly conventional. Shower time was extremely limited due to the relatively small amount of freshwater the onboard salt water distillers could produce each day, the most important use of which was to keep the batteries topped off.
The USS Cod is not in any way handicap accessible. Visitors should be able to manage climbing down then up a ladder through steel hatches to enter the sub, then be able to step over high thresholds at each watertight door between compartments. Food is not available on site but it is a short drive to downtown Cleveland. There are picnic tables on the grounds so packing a lunch is a good idea. The view is great too. Tours of the sub are self-guided. Visit the USS Cod Museum Website for information on hours and directions.