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Aircraft Carriers






Torpedo Boats

Liberty Ships

Foreign Warships

Warships Associated With
World War II in the Pacific



Gato class

USS Cobia
USS Cobia, Manitowoc, WI
(Photo by Manitowoc Maritime Museum, 1984)

Name:USS Cobia (SS-245)
Location:809 South 8th Street, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Owner:Manitowoc Maritime Museum
Condition:Excellent, unaltered

Displacement:1,526 tons surface / 2,424 tons submerged
Length:312 feet
Width:27 feet (at the beam)
Mean Draft:15 feet
Machinery:Diesel-electric drive
Maximum Speed:20 knots (surface) / 9 knots (submerged)
Designed Depth:300 feet
Armament:Ten torpedo tubes; one 3"/50 caliber deck gun; one single 20mm gun; one single 40mm gun; two 50 caliber machine guns; two 30 caliber machine guns; 24 torpedoes (Mark 14 or Mark 18s used). [1]
Crew:72 enlisted, 8 officers

Builder:Electric Boat Company
Launched:November 28, 1943
Commissioned:March 29, 1944


USS Cobia (SS-245) was launched on November 28, 1943, by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. She is a fleet-type submarine (built to maintain speeds averaging 17 knots) of the Gato class. USS Cobia is he last thin-skin Gato type submarines to be built in the war. Soon after the completion of USS Cobia the Navy switched from the Gato design with its test depth of 300 feet to the newer improved Balao design with a test depth of 400 feet.

USS Cobia is in excellent condition and is now maintained as a submarine memorial by Manitowoc Maritime Museum.

Role of the Submarine in World War II

In the conflict against Japan in World War II, the role and importance of the submarine forces of the United States cannot be overestimated. American sub marines sank more than 600,000 tons of enemy warships and more than 5,000,000 tons of merchant shipping, thus destroying much of Japan's ocean commerce. This was accomplished by a force that never numbered more than two percent of naval personnel engaged in the war. The American submarine war against Japan created a blockade that denied her the oil, iron ore, food, and other raw materials she needed to continue to fight. By 1945 this submarine war made it Impossible for any Japanese ship to sail the ocean. Without this commerce and the raw materials it supplied to her war effort, Japan found it impossible to continue the war outside of the homeland. [2]

USS Cobia represents the U.S. submarine forces that fought against Japan in World War II for the following reasons:

  1. During six war patrols USS Cobia sank 13 Japanese ships to account for more than 18,000 tons of Japanese shipping. USS Cobia made 6 war patrols, and earned 4 battle stars.

  2. USS Cobia, although not built by the Manitowoc Shipyards, is representative of the Gato class of submarines that were constructed here during the war. The building of submarines by the Manitowoc Ship building Company was one of the great industrial achievements of World War II. Twenty-five Manitowoc submarines saw action against the Japanese in World War II and sank 132 ships with a total of 488,918 tons destroyed. No Manitowoc-built submarine has survived unaltered; thus, USS Cobia best represents this effort by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company and the people of Wisconsin to win the war against Japan in World War II.

  3. USS Cobia was dedicated by the people of Wisconsin as an International Memorial to submariners throughout the world on August 23, 1970. Countries participating in this memorial include the following: United States, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

  4. USS Cobia is in excellent physical condition and retains her World War II integrity.


1. The Manitowoc Maritime Museum, The Submariner's Memorial (Manitowoc, Wisconsin: The Manitowoc Maritime Museum, no date), no page number.

2. Drew Middleton, Submarine--The Ultimate Navy Weapon-Its Past, Present and Future (Chicago, Illinois: Playboy Press, 1976), pp. 109-12.

Edwin P. Hoyt, Submarines at War--The History of the American Silent Service (New York: Stein and Day, 1983), pp. 297-98.

Richard H. O'Kane, Clear the Bridge (New York: Bantam Books, 1981), pp. 465-67.


Alden, John A. The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy--A Design and Construction History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979.

Galli, Fred A. et al., Manitowoc Submarines. Manitowoc, Wisconsin: Manitowoc County Historical Society, 1968.

Hoyt, Edwin P. Submarines at War--The History of the American Silent Service. New York: Stein and Day, 1983.

Manitowoc Maritime Museum. The Submariner's Memorial. Manitowoc, Wisconsin: Manitowoc Maritime Museum, no date.

Middleton, Drew. Submarine--The Ultimate Naval Weapon-Its Past, Present and Future. Chicago, Illinois: Playboy Press, 1976.

O'Kane, Richard. Clear the Bridge. New. York: Bantam Books, 1981.

Roscoe, Theodore. United States Submarine Operations in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute, 1965.


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(click on the above photographs for a more detailed view)

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Last Modified: Fri, Aug 25 2000 12:00:00 pm PDT

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