Sponsored by Mrs. G. M. Mahoney, the USS Cod was commissioned in June of 1943 with Lieutenant Commander J. C. Dempsey in command. After arriving in Brisbane, Australia the Cod prepared for her first war patrol, sailing out 20 days after shoring. She patrolled the South China Sea, launching only one attack that had unobservable results. From there she returned to Fremantle, Australia to be refitted.
After January of 1944 the Cod was put to sea for her second war patrol in the same location as before. However, this time she surfaced to sink a sampan by gunfire and then later torpedoed a Japanese merchantman. Days later she attacked a second and third merchantman, sending one to the bottom only to be forced deep by a concentrated depth charge that was delivered by an alert escort ship. On her third war patrol Cod sailed to the Sulu and South China Seas off Luzon. On May 10, 1944 she was able to attack a heavily escorted convoy of 32 ships, sinking the destroyer Karukaya and a cargo ship before escort ships caused her to descend, avoiding depth charges. The Cod was cleared for her fourth war patrol in July of the same year, during which her patrol ranged from the coast of Luzon to Java. During this time she was able to sink a merchantman, and a landing craft LSV-129, successfully returning to Fremantle toward the end of August.
Cod was put to sea in September 1944 for her fifth war patrol, this time bound for Philippine waters. Her first contact was a cargo ship in October that she successfully sent to the bottom. Two days later she was able to inflict severe damage on a tanker, followed by a succession of unsuccessful attacks. She was a component of the invasion of Leyte in late November when she took up a lifeguard station off Luzon, prepared to rescue carrier pilots participating in a series of air strikes on Japanese bases.
Cod’s sixth war patrol put her in the East China Sea, where she was assigned primarily to lifeguard duty. She still managed to sink a tug and its tow by gunfire in April of 1975, rescuing three survivors. From there Cod launched an attack on a convoy, resulting in the most lethal depth charge of her career. The following day she sent the minesweeper W-41 to the bottom, followed by threats of fire which her men were able to subdue. Following a refitting at Guam between May and June of 1945, Cod put out for her seventh war patrol in the Gulf of Siam and the coast of Indo-China. In July she was paramount in rescuing the crew of a grounded Dutch submarine. Between July 21st and August 1st the Cod made 20 gunfire attacks on the junks, motor sampans, and barges that were attempting to supply the Japanese at Singapore, subsequently sinking 23 vessels.
All seven of Cod’s war patrols were deemed successful and she received seven battle stars for her efforts. She was credited with sinking 26,985 tons of Japanese shipping, and returned to New London to be decommissioned and placed in reserve on June 22, 1946.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially throughout conflicts of the last century, submarines also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. However, these risks extend beyond the inherent dangers that existed while operating the vessels during military conflicts. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were also common aboard submarines because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Furthermore, the enclosed environment of submarines put servicemen at an even higher risk of exposure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with or served on submarines should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.