At the height of World War II, the submarine USS Cobia sank thirteen Japanese ships and helped establish a Pacific blockade that hampered Japan’s oceanic commerce, preventing the Axis powers from acquiring supplies. Although the Cobia was built by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, not by the local Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, the submarine’s presence here reminds us that Manitowoc’s shipyards did build twenty-eight similar submarines that saw action against the Japanese. The Cobia survives unaltered. The 312-foot-long ship was one of the last thin-skinned, Gato-class submarines to be built. The navy designed these submarines to maintain speeds averaging seventeen knots and to reach a depth of three hundred feet. Soon after the Cobia was built, the navy switched from the Gato class to the new Balao-class submarines, capable of descending to greater depths. The Cobia’s weaponry included torpedoes, a deck gun, and two machine guns. Today the ship is maintained as part of a maritime museum and as a memorial to submariners.
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Wisconsin Maritime Museum (USS Cobia )
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