CLEVELAND — After more than two months of restoration work, the USS Cod is set to return home to Cleveland this week.
According to Paul Farace, president of the USS Cod Submarine Memorial, the World War II era submarine will depart from an Erie, Pennsylvania shipyard on Wednesday morning for a 13-hour tow trip back to Cleveland.
The USS Cod has been a tourist attraction on Cleveland’s lakefront for more than 62 years, but was sent to Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair Co. in Erie for 63 days of repairs to its underwater hull. The Cod's 10 torpedo tubes were refurbished, along with its ballast tank plating. The Sherwin-Williams Company donated a new hull coating system for the sub.
The $1.4 million makeover of the Cod was funded by a steadily growing endowment, a National Parks grant, and other donations.
“We’re extremely grateful to the staff at Donjon Shipbuilding & Repair Co. for their efforts to ensure our submarine will remain a proud memorial to the men and women of America’s armed forces,” said Farace in a statement. “We also can not thank Sherwin-Williams Co. enough for the donation of their world-class marine hull coating products to ensure Cod is shipshape for future generations,” he added.
June's departure of the Cod to Erie marked the first time that it had sailed in over 50 years. The voyage was not without a little drama as a collision took place between the Cod and the Coast Guard ship Morro Bay. Officials say that the collision caused only superficial damage to the hull and superstructure of the USCGC Morro Bay.
The Cod will reopen for tours once its 2-ton steel brow is set in place on Thursday to allow the public to safely board the ship. A homecoming ceremony will take place at Cod’s dock on Sunday, August 22 at 1 p.m. The event will feature a ribbon cutting and donor recognition, followed by a welcome home cake cutting (rain or shine).
The USS Cod was launched in 1943 during the height of World War II. The submarine is credited with sinking more than 12 enemy vessels totalling more than 37,000 tons, and damaging another 36,000 tons of enemy shipping. All seven of her war patrols were considered successful and the Cod was awarded seven battle stars.
Starting in 1959, the Cod started to serve as a naval reserve training vessel in Cleveland. The submarine also became popular with local school children who visited her on field trips. Since 1976, the Cod has been open for public tours and also stands as a memorial to the more than 3900 submariners who lost their lives during the 100 year history of the United States Navy Submarine Force.
In 1986, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the Cod a National Historic Landmark.