USS Cobia (HPD photo, 1987)
809 South 8th Street, Manitowoc, Manitowoc County
Architects: Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut
Date of construction: 1943
The USS Cobia is a fleet-type submarine of the Gato class that was used in World War II against the Japanese army. The role and importance the United States┐ submarine force played in winning the war cannot be overestimated. The force was instrumental n the fight against Japan by creating a blockade that prevented the country from getting oil, iron ore, food, and other raw materials they needed to continue fighting the war. American submarines, including the USS Cobia, sank more thank 600,000 tons of enemy warships and more than 5,000,000 tons of merchant shipping, consequently destroying much of Japan┐s ocean commerce. During six war patrols the USS Cobia sank 13 Japanese ships to account for more than 18,000 tons of Japanese shipping and earned four battle stars. By 1945 the submarine war carried out by the United States made it virtually impossible for any Japanese ships to sail the ocean.
Today the USS Cobia is in excellent condition and is maintained as a submarine memorial by Manitowoc Maritime Museum. Although, not built in the nearby Manitowoc Shipyards, the submarine is similar to the Gato class submarines that were constructed in Manitowoc during the war. Furthermore, it is a symbol of the effort of the shipbuilding company and the people of Wisconsin to win the war. The building of the submarines by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company is considered one of the great industrial achievements of World War II.
The USS Cobia is open to the public during hours of museum operation.