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Rescue at Ladd Reef

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A singular sub-to-sub rescue forges unbreakable bonds between U.S. and Dutch submariners within the closing days of World Conflict II.

By Paul Farace

Because the submarine USS Cod left Apra harbor, Guam, on the afternoon of June 26, 1945, for her seventh struggle patrol, her crew of 97 officers and enlisted males have been all however sure that their new task was to be junk searching—a thankless and harmful job that within the phrases of 1 Cod crewman noticed “Uncle Sam danger a seven million greenback submarine and crew to sink a leaky sailboat not value greater than $20,000!” However what lay forward for Cod was a rendezvous with historical past—and a rescue that may unite submariners of two nations in lifelong bonds of friendship which might be remembered 63 years later.

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On that early summer time day in 1945, ideas of creating historical past took a again seat to easy survival. A torpedo hearth on Cod’s earlier patrol had almost triggered the lack of the boat and all arms. Three crewmen fought blinding smoke to load and hearth the burning electrical fish whilst the extreme warmth brought about the Torpex explosive in its warhead to soften and start dripping onto the deck—a prelude to detonation. Regardless of the well timed ejection of the torpedo, Cod suffered the lack of considered one of her crewmen who drowned after being washed overboard trying to battle the hearth. After a patrol like that, the lads aboard Cod hoped patrol quantity seven can be a gravy run.

With sailors manning a deck gun, the crew of the submarine USS Cod prepares to investigate a suspicious junk in the waters of the South China Sea.

With sailors manning a deck gun, the crew of the submarine USS Cod prepares to research a suspicious junk within the waters of the South China Sea.

Junk searching was not a gravy run. After 4 years of unrestricted submarine warfare, Japan’s service provider fleet was decimated. In an act of desperation the Japanese pressured native junks plying the coastal waters of the South China Sea to hold tiny cargoes consisting of some dozen barrels of oil, blankets, rice, or horseshoes to their bypassed garrisons. U.S. subs have been compelled to enterprise into shallow coastal waters to examine and sink these contraband- carrying junks whilst enemy pilots discovered to house in on the thick columns of black smoke rising from the burning junks to discover a U.S. sub racing for deep water—and survival.

Scuttlebutt on the Cod

Frequent hearth management drills and apply dives stored Cod’s crew busy as her diesels drove her towards Batan Island. However no crew is ever too busy for scuttlebutt, and it shortly turned recognized among the many crew that few of Cod’s sizable cadre of plankowners have been completely happy to danger their necks for the paltry payoff provided by junk raiding. These previous palms, who had probably the most pals on the mounting variety of boats declared “overdue and presumed misplaced,” have been additionally uneasy about Cod’s new skipper, Edwin M. Westbrook, a veteran of seven patrols in out of date S-boats. A number of of the graybeards felt the younger lieutenant commander may be too desperate to make his mark within the conflict—at their expense.

A radio dispatch from the commander of Activity Pressure 71 (CTF-71) decoded on the night of July 1 assigned Cod a junk patrol station off Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina. The crew’s fears have been realized. This was prime junk territory, and the few Japanese marus transiting the world have been nicely protected by seasoned escorts and almost steady air cowl.

Poker provided distraction for Junk-hunting patrols

Poker offered distraction for Junk-hunting patrols

The scuttlebutt aboard Cod abruptly modified as information unfold concerning the poor well being of one of many new males aboard, Jack Hemphill, fireman second class, who had transferred aboard from one of many aid crews in Guam. Hemphill had not felt nicely since he was a part of the portray gang getting ready Cod for patrol. Now, after six days at sea, he started struggling acute nausea. Robert M. Purtill, a chief pharmacist mate aboard Cod, evaluated Hemphill and reported his analysis to Westbrook: acute lead poisoning..

Hemphill was relieved of duties and was confined to his bunk. Over the subsequent a number of days his situation worsened as his physique started swelling like a balloon. Purtill started feeding his affected person intravenously and began administering sulfa medicine, however his affected person continued to deteriorate.

The outlook for a profitable patrol appeared gloomy as nicely. Military B-24 Liberator bombers scouting forward of Cod’s course informed Westbrook that no enemy delivery was to be discovered. On the night of July 5, Cod arrived within the neighborhood of Cape Padoran and established communication with the submarine USS Besugo. After studying that Besugo had spent three fruitless weeks patrolling the world, Cod relieved her sister sub, and within the phrases of Westbrook’s patrol report entry, “bid her farewell and took-up our lonely vigil.”

July 6 handed with solely the sightings of a pleasant B-24 and quite a few native fishing boats. Hemphill, mendacity in his bunk within the submarine’s cramped after-battery berthing compartment, started complaining of much more extreme swelling and ache in his proper lumbar area. Purtill, operating out of remedy choices for his affected person, started administering doses of an unfamiliar drug, penicillin, from Cod’s medical locker. Westbrook determined Hemphill’s grave state of affairs warranted a radio dispatch to CTF-71. The message was encoded and transmitted simply after midnight on July 7.

Cod spent the daylight portion of July 7 submerged, patrolling three miles off the boundary of the plotted enemy minefields defending Cam Ranh Bay. Westbrook surfaced Cod simply after sundown. Inside 20 minutes the sub was charging eastward after receiving a dispatch from CTF-71 ordering Cod to proceed to Subic Bay, Philippines, so Navy docs there might deal with Hemphill. All through the night time of July 7, the 312-foot submarine drove by way of the South China Sea to get Hemphill to a physician.

Setting off to Rescue O-19

The USS Cod rests at anchor during a lull in her wartime duties.

The united statesCod rests at anchor throughout a lull in her wartime duties.

At 6:46 am on July eight, Cod’s radio shack acquired a startling message from CTF-71 informing Cod that the Dutch submarine O-19 had run aground on Ladd Reef, greater than 200 miles from her current place. Cod was directed to vary course for the reef and lend all help attainable to the stranded Allied sub. Purtill was shortly referred to as to the wardroom the place Westbrook requested for excellent news relating to the sick crewman. Purtill’s final examine on Hemphill had discovered him in horrible ache, however the common doses of penicillin had begun to point out slight success in decreasing the crewman’s discomfort. Greedy on the slim bit of excellent information, Westbrook felt that risking the lifetime of considered one of his crewmen for a whole crew of Dutch submariners is perhaps a worthwhile gamble. Inside minutes, the gyrocompass repeaters aboard Cod swung to a brand new heading because the sub drove towards Ladd Reef at four-engine velocity.

The scuttlebutt aboard Cod now targeted intently on the newest information of their sick shipmate. As Cod made her daylight sprint throughout the South China Sea, two air contacts on the boat’s air search radar clearly indicated that the skies overhead couldn’t be relied upon as pleasant, even at this late stage of the conflict. The primary contact noticed didn’t reply to Cod’s IFF (identification pal of foe) inquiry, however a second contact 20 minutes later flashed a constructive IFF sign. No additional contacts, both plane or floor, have been made that afternoon as the space closed between the 2 Allied subs.

And not using a clear image of the state of affairs aboard the grounded Dutch sub, Westbrook ready to convey the Dutch crew instantly aboard. He assembled a rescue staff armed with heaving strains, two of Cod’s inflatable boats, and all of her life rings. Under deck Cod’s cooks ready giant portions of scorching soup and occasional whereas empty bunks and dry garments have been readied.

At eight:35 within the fading mild of July eight, the darkish form of a submarine loomed within the distance, surrounded by whitecaps breaking over the coral fingers of Ladd Reef. A sign mild flashed from the O-19 giving her actual location on the reef. Hopes of a fast crew switch for the sake of Hemphill pale as a second message quickly blinked throughout the darkening waters asking that Cod try a tow at daybreak. Earlier than backing Cod away from the treacherous reef currents, Westbrook signaled his Dutch counterpart that they might see one another once more at daybreak. The skipper of O-19, J.F. Drijfhout van Hooff, indicated that he had not misplaced his humorousness in his dire state of affairs by signaling again, “We will definitely be right here.”

In Cod’s after-battery, Hemphill lay nonetheless in his rack, attended by volunteer nurses recruited from amongst off-duty shipmates.

The Reef’s Dying Grip on OS-19

Because the sky within the east brightened with the approaching daybreak on July 9, Cod raised her keel-mounted sound gear and pit sword, flooded down on the bow, and cautiously commenced a bow-on strategy to the stricken sub. Highly effective reef currents that constantly pulled Cod to the east made a stern tow unattainable. With lower than 500 yards between the boats, Cod’s deck watch was blinded by a terrific rain squall that lowered visibility to lower than 200 yards for greater than an hour. At 7:21 the rain abated, revealing to Westbrook the sight of a submarine hopelessly aground. Empathizing together with his Dutch counterpart, Westbrook was decided to provide the towing try his greatest effort.

At eight:06, Cod’s deck crew acquired the primary line from O-19 hooked up to a size of latest 11/2-inch chrome steel cable that was secured via Cod’s bullnose. At eight:35 on the rising tide, each boats started backing as gunners aboard O-19 commenced quickly firing their 88mm deck gun in a determined try and jar their boat from the grip of the reef. At eight:40, the chrome steel line parted with a loud crack.

As crewmen aboard the subs tried to get well the parted ends of the cable, Cod’s SD radar introduced the strategy of an plane that provided no IFF sign. Lookouts aboard each subs nervously scanned the skies for 5 lengthy minutes till the contact might be recognized as an Military B-24. Utilizing Cod’s short-range VHF voice radio, Westbrook discovered that the plane was a part of an air umbrella ordered by CTF-71 to safeguard the rescue effort. A Navy PB4Y-2 Privateer digital surveillance plane quickly joined the B-24.

At 11:55, with the repaired cable in place, each boats started backing once more for a second try. Inside a minute, the cable broke a second time. Crewmen aboard each boats scrambled to retrieve their ends of the cable as Westbrook ordered his government officer, Lieutenant Ken Beckman, to take one among Cod’s rubber boats and discuss with the Dutch skipper.

Arriving aboard the O-19, Beckman discovered the crew of O-19 had develop into very resourceful of their efforts to free their boat. All ballast had been pumped overboard or moved to the strict, the bow torpedoes and all spare gear now littered the reef across the O-19. In the course of the first two tow makes an attempt, large Kingston valves have been closed to seal the ballast tanks of the O-19 as her low-pressure blowers pressurized them as a lot as attainable. When shortly opened, the Kingston valves explosively launched the entrapped air, rocking the 262-foot-long sub a couple of inches. However Beckman additionally realized that an uncommon offensive function of the Dutch boat—20 vertical minelaying chutes in her ballast tanks—now doomed her. Coral outcroppings on the reef had penetrated the bottoms of most of the chutes, holding the O-19 in a dying grip.

Challenges on the Reef

Several attempts to free the Dutch submarine O-19 from the reef on which it had run aground proved unsuccessful. In this photo, American sailors watch the progress in attaching the towline to the marooned vessel.

A number of makes an attempt to free the Dutch submarine O-19 from the reef on which it had run aground proved unsuccessful. On this photograph, American sailors watch the progress in attaching the towline to the marooned vessel.

O-19’s officers had one final plan to free their boat, and at 2:16 pm, Drijfhout van Hooff arrived aboard Cod to pitch his concept to Westbrook. The O-19’s anchor chain could possibly be wrapped round her conning tower and glued to Cod for a last tug try in the course of the subsequent morning’s excessive tide. Westbrook was sure that even when the plan labored the chain would possible inflict extreme structural injury to the Dutch sub. With the insurance coverage of fixed air protection, Westbrook agreed to attempt.

Cod’s bow maneuvered to inside 10 ft of the O-19’s stern to permit the Dutch sub’s heavy anchor chain to be taken aboard and ready to be used as a towing line. The highly effective currents allowed Westbrook to take care of his place for not more than 20 minutes earlier than he was pressured to again off and are available for an additional strategy. Crewmen on Cod’s bow took fixed soundings. The jagged backside was by no means greater than three fathoms away.

At four:05 pm, the Dutch skipper returned to his stranded sub, and a cable hooked up to the anchor chain was handed again aboard O-19. The crew of the O-19 shortly realized their sub’s capstan was unable to raise the 80-fathom size of chain and requested Cod carry it for them. Unwilling to danger the security of Cod within the shifting currents of the reef with daylight shortly fading, Westbrook signaled to Drijfhout van Hooff that he would return to raise the chain within the morning. He then moved Cod a number of miles off the reef for the night time.

The night time’s scuttlebutt included excessive marks from the previous arms for Westbrook’s skilled boat dealing with talents whereas preventing the reef currents. The opposite excellent news got here from Purtill. Affected person Hemphill was drastically improved and was capable of sit for a short while at one of many tables within the crew’s mess. However Purtill had a brand new medical disaster to cope with—most of the males dealing with strains topside all through the day turned severely sunburned. Unaccustomed to coping with equatorial sunshine on submarine conflict patrols, lots of Cod’s topside crew shed their foul-weather gear after the morning’s rainsquall handed. By the point the sunshine overcast gave solution to full sunshine, few realized their beet-red pores and skin had already absorbed an excessive amount of solar. Lieutenant Charles Podorean, Cod’s gunnery and torpedo officer, spent a lot of the day topside sporting solely boxer shorts and sandals. Now, as he climbed into his stateroom bunk to sleep, his physique shook violently with chills as he tried to struggle off the accompanying nausea.

Westbrook completed his breakfast within the wardroom and was on Cod’s bridge by 5:47 on the morning of July 10. By 7:15, the primary manila line from O-19 landed on Cod’s ahead deck as her crew ready to raise the Dutchman’s anchor chain. However Westbrook realized that circumstances on the reef had deteriorated in a single day—much more highly effective currents have been pulling Cod out of place quicker than they did on the day gone by. A number of hours handed because the murderous currents repeatedly snagged the chain towline on jagged coral outcroppings. Life jackets have been inflated and tied to the top of the towline as a marker in an try to hurry the retrieval course of every time Cod was pressured to drop the road and pull again to make a brand new strategy.

At 9:50 am, the day’s air cowl, a PBY Catalina flying boat, made its presence recognized to the Allied subs under with a low cross over the reef.

Condemning O-19

A number of Cod crewmen have been put over the aspect in a rubber boat in an try and free the towing rig, which consisted of the bitter finish of the O-19’s chain, a phase of manila mooring line, and 20 fathoms of 21-thread rope. Westbrook, his nerves frayed by the fixed maneuvering, was now chain-smoking as he backed clear as soon as extra and commenced yet one more strategy to the O-19—his last try, he declared to the bridge watch.

The fouled rigging was lastly free of the grip of the reef and secured round Cod’s bow capstan, which started taking over rigidity. Crewmen aboard the 2 subs stared intently because the towing rig was pulled from the water between the 2 boats. Then at 11:45, simply as Cod put excessive pressure on the road, it parted for the final time, sealing the destiny of the O-19.

Cod crewmen stared in silence throughout the dozen yards of open water at their Dutch counterparts. A lot of the Dutch crew was now topside, immobile, observing what remained seen of the severed towline.

Westbrook ordered a message flashed to his Dutch counterpart: “We’ll standby to take off personnel.”

Westbrook wrote in his patrol report for the day: “Felt virtually as dangerous because the O-19 skipper at his having to desert his ship. Nevertheless, didn’t see what extra we might do. Had labored eight hours yesterday and 6 in the present day with no progress. Had touched backside ahead ourselves at the least as soon as in our many approaches, and didn’t want to have two submarines aground. Our towing gear was makeshift, and our personnel, although prepared and resourceful, have been inexperienced at rigging for a tow. Additionally, Jap planes or subs may need appeared at any embarrassing second.”

Deck arms lashed collectively Cod’s two yellow inflatable rafts and put them over the aspect. Lieutenant Thomas Hurst III and crewmen Dan Krusenklaus, Jr., and George McKnight quickly boarded them. The trio needed to paddle furiously towards the highly effective currents to succeed in O-19 to supervise the crew switch. At 12:55, the primary load of Dutch crewmen was hauled aboard and despatched under.

The faces of the O-19 crewmen clambering aboard, an assortment of ethnic Dutch and Javanese, all bore expressions of complete exhaustion, heartbreak, and aid that they have been not sitting geese for the closest enemy ship or aircraft. Most arrived aboard Cod with solely the garments on their backs, a couple of carried tiny rucksacks. One of many Dutch petty officers cradled a small, carved doll beneath his jacket—the O-19’s good luck allure.

A First Try at Destroying O-19

Westbrook ordered Lieutenant Podorean, nonetheless affected by sunburn, to take two of Cod’s scuttling expenses and lead a demolition group to O-19 as soon as the subsequent load of Dutch submariners left the rafts. Arriving aboard the Dutch boat, Podorean and his staff set about their grim process, noting that the Dutch crewmen getting ready to go away their house for the final time couldn’t bear to take a look at the explosive costs or acknowledge the workforce’s mission. Under decks, the People have been stunned to seek out the Dutch sub was absolutely stocked with beer and spirits, they usually helped themselves to samples. As soon as the fees have been wired and the timers set, their empty canvas gear luggage have been full of souvenirs from the Allied sub—not all of O-19, or its libations, can be misplaced to the reef.

Torpedoes fired by the USS Cod slam into a Japanese merchant vessel. The enemy ship sank minutes later.

Torpedoes fired by the united statesCod slam right into a Japanese service provider vessel. The enemy ship sank minutes later.

At 2:55, beneath an excellent solar, the final boatload arrived aboard Cod; amongst them was Drijfhout van Hooff. Cradled underneath his arm was the O-19’s flag.

Podorean reported to Westbrook that the demolition expenses have been set with a 90-minute delay, adequate time for Cod to again away from the reef and conduct a trim dive to compensate for the added weight of the 56 Dutch submariners now aboard.

At three:45, Cod surfaced and approached to some extent about 1,000 yards off the starboard beam of O-19 to await the detonation of the fees. At four:27, a column of black smoke spewed out of the conning tower of O-19. A second later the thunderclap sound of the detonation rushed previous Cod’s place.

Westbrook now ready to fireside his first shot of the struggle as a submarine commander. Realizing that a lot of the males had by no means seen a torpedo explosion, he invited off-duty crewmen to return topside. At four:36, the second cost detonated, sending extra smoke skyward together with one among O-19’s deck hatches.

A minute later a Mark 14 torpedo, set for a depth of zero ft to permit it to move over the reef, was fired at some extent simply abaft the O-19’s conning tower. As soon as the firing button was pushed, the monitoring social gathering scrambled up the hatch to the bridge, intent on seeing the consequences of their handiwork. Thirty-four seconds later a flash engulfed O-19’s conning tower as an enormous black and brown cloud of particles surged skyward.

Cheers and exclamations amongst Cod’s crew have been shortly stanched as they realized the Dutch crewmen amongst them have been weeping. Most of the Cod’s crew quickly wiped their very own moist eyes because the contingent of Dutchmen started singing “Het Wilhelmus,” their nationwide anthem.

Sinking into the Reef

Because the smoke cleared, Westbrook famous an enormous gap within the aspect of O-19, however the robust Dutch sub had not budged an inch. At four:43 a second Mark 14 was fired, this time on the after torpedo room of O-19 within the hope it will additionally detonate the 2 torpedoes stowed there. The fish broached about 100 yards in need of its goal earlier than plunging again beneath. A second later it glanced off a coral head and leaped out of the water to slam towards the Dutch sub. Immediately, a second flash, adopted by a good bigger explosion, disintegrated the strict of O-19 and left the boat a smoking wreck.

Nearly each off-duty crewman was topside to witness the spectacle. Because the thunderclap of the detonation reached Cod, the lads realized that items of O-19, giant and small, have been now flying towards them. The submariners scrambled for the restricted safety afforded by the tiny free-flooding storage space within the aft finish of Cod’s conning tower superstructure as particles from O-19 splashed into the water surrounding them.

The bow of the Dutch submarine O-19 juts from the water as the vessel lie trapped after running aground on a coral reef in the Pacific.

The bow of the Dutch submarine O-19 juts from the water because the vessel lie trapped after operating aground on a coral reef within the Pacific.

Not eager to loiter on the reef any longer than mandatory, Westbrook referred to as his gun crew to motion. Over the subsequent 10 minutes, Cod’s 5-inch, 25-caliber deck gun pumped 16 rounds into the shattered hull.

With the boat now burning and holed alongside its hull, Westbrook backed Cod away from Ladd Reef a ultimate time and headed towards Subic Bay. Glancing backward, Westbrook famous that O-19 had taken on a barely larger listing however was nonetheless held quick by the reef. Westbrook wrote in his patrol report that he “wished my first torpedo fired had been at a slant-eye as an alternative of this. Might recognize the captain’s emotions as he silently watched his boat being destroyed.”

Camaraderie Among the many Crews

Belowdecks two full submarine crews occupied an area hardly giant sufficient for one. Cod’s chief prepare dinner, George Sacco, busily ready a double order of fried hen, mashed potatoes, biscuits, inexperienced beans, and carrots for supper. Ice cream, made in Cod’s ice cream machine, can be served for dessert. The Dutchmen, resigned to a seemingly inexhaustible provide of canned beef stew aboard O-19, have been amazed on the galley fare aboard Cod.

Over dinner in Cod’s wardroom, the Dutch officers described how O-19 rushed from its house base in Fremantle, Australia, to ship particular mine warfare coaching gear to the brand new Allied submarine base at Subic Bay. Their superiors informed them that their offensive patrol might begin solely after they delivered their cargo. Heavy overcast for a lot of the earlier week had prevented van Hooff and his navigator from acquiring star fixes for celestial navigation. Counting on lifeless reckoning alone, van Hooff anticipated to move the damaging shoal waters by a cushty margin.

That margin vanished instantly with a horrible screeching sound simply after four am on July eight. Right away, males and unfastened gear hurled towards the ahead bulkheads of the sub. O-19, driving at 18 knots with as a lot of her hull above water as potential to make her greatest velocity, got here to a whole cease in simply 60 ft. O-19’s engineering officer, who had the watch, instantly ordered full astern, however the one outcome was heavy vibration all through the boat as the ideas of her twin screws clattered towards coral. Realizing they have been sitting geese as soon as the solar rose, the Dutch captain shortly encoded and transmitted an pressing plea for assist to CTF-71.

The three-day journey to Subic Bay was calm if uncomfortable aboard the U.S. submarine. In accordance with Cod crewman Howard Dishong there was congestion across the crew’s heads, however no accidents occurred. Like lots of Cod’s crew, Dishong turned his bunk over to the friends and slept at his obligation station among the many diesels. The extra our bodies made the air under decks very stuffy regardless of the continual operation of Cod’s air con plant. Westbrook responded by periodically closing Cod’s primary air induction valve and permitting the diesels to attract their air by way of the ahead torpedo room hatch. The outcome was a wind tunnel impact by means of the boat that significantly improved dwelling circumstances.

Following the safe arrival of the O-19 crew in Australia, a rousing party was held to celebrate.

Following the protected arrival of the O-19 crew in Australia, a rousing get together was held to rejoice.

Cod moored alongside the tender USS Anthedon in Subic Bay at eight:37 on the morning of July 13. After a quick farewell among the many two crews, the Dutchmen have been transferred to the tender. Drijfhout van Hooff remained in Subic Bay whereas his crew thumbed a aircraft journey again to Fremantle.

Cod topped off her gasoline tanks and returned to the French Indochina coast to proceed her junk-hunting mission. Over the subsequent month Cod boarded and sank greater than 23 junks laden with enemy provides. Twice she was strafed and bombed by Japanese plane. One Cod boarding celebration was trapped aboard the junk they have been inspecting when a strafing Japanese plane pressured to the Cod to crash dive. The lads drifted within the Gulf of Siam for 2 days believing Cod had been sunk earlier than being rescued by the submarine USS Blenny and returned to their boat.

Westbrook lastly acquired an opportunity to assault a small, well-protected Japanese convoy, however all of his torpedoes missed. After darkish, in very poor visibility, as Westbrook approached for a second assault on the convoy his floor radar burned out, thwarting his try to trace the ships for the rest of the night time. Within the morning two different U.S. subs additionally attacked the convoy. All their torpedoes missed as nicely.

On the morning of August four, Cod was launched from her patrol station and ordered south to Fremantle. Arriving on the sub pier on the morning of August 13, Cod was greeted by the crew of O-19, who invited their new buddies to a proper thank-you get together scheduled the subsequent night time on the Dutch officer’s membership throughout the harbor.

On the celebration, the submariners and their dates loved reside music, meals, and the potent native Swan lager. Because the band completed a polka, somebody grabbed the microphone on the bandstand and introduced that radio stations have been reporting that Japan was looking for give up phrases. The 2 submarine crews, who realized that that they had survived the warfare, celebrated as lengthy misplaced household into the subsequent day.

Inside a couple of weeks Cod was heading again to the USA. Within the last days of her commissioning, Cod crewmen designed and commercially produced battle flags to doc their wartime exploits. Featured prominently on the flags is a martini glass over the identify “O-19” to commemorate the one rescue in naval historical past involving submarines of two nations and one hell of a thank-you get together that adopted. Additionally on the flags, situated slightly below the Navy’s twin dolphin submarine insignia, is the Onderzeedienst submarine service ribbon of the Royal Netherlands Navy, commemorating Cod’s distinctive standing as an adopted submarine of the Dutch Navy. That honor was bestowed by members of the Dutch excessive command between the various toasts on the get together.

The united statesCod After the Warfare

Westbrook and Drijfhout van Hooff turned shut buddies after the struggle. Whereas serving as a naval intelligence officer in Singapore within the early 1950s, Westbrook had a Navy aircraft fly over Ladd Reef and movie the wreckage of O-19 as a memento to his Dutch good friend, whom he typically chided by saying, “There isn’t any justice on this job, you misplaced your boat on a reef and make Admiral. I saved your disguise and solely made Captain!”

Cod was recommissioned in 1951 to assist practice NATO antisubmarine forces within the Atlantic. Cod’s crew lastly obtained their gravy run—a number of in reality. Cod’s Chilly Struggle cruises took her to unique harbors all through the Caribbean, together with Curaçao and the Netherlands Antilles, the place van Hooff was captain of the port.

Westbrook died in 1973, not lengthy after returning to his house in Burlingame, California, from a go to to van Hooff’s residence within the Netherlands.

Today the USS Cod lies berthed at the waterfront along Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The vessel remains a memorial to those who were members of the silent service during World War II

Right now the united statesCod lies berthed on the waterfront alongside Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The vessel stays a memorial to those that have been members of the silent service throughout World Warfare II

Decommissioned in 1954, Cod was later taken out of mothballs and towed to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1959 to function a naval reserve coach. Cod was transferred to civilian custody in 1976 to start service as a memorial to the lads of the Silent Service who gave their lives in protection of their nation. In 1986, she was declared a Nationwide Historic Landmark in recognition of her standing because the final unmodified World Conflict II fleet submarine in existence.

Whereas researching Cod’s historical past on the Nationwide Archives in 1992, her civilian caretakers found long-forgotten shade films of Cod’s final struggle patrol, that includes the rescue of the O-19 crew. The movies got their first displaying on the subsequent Cod crew reunion just a few weeks later. Seeing themselves on the display as younger males performing a historic rescue once more introduced tears to the eyes of almost everybody current. Later reunions would come with a number of O-19 crewmen.

At the moment, Cod additionally serves as a rallying level for members of the Northeast Ohio Dutch-American Heritage Society, who assist Cod’s memorial crew mark the anniversary of the rescue annually with a reenactment of the O-19’s flag switch adopted by a picnic on the Cod’s dock. Members within the reenactment, like many guests, like to have their image taken beneath Cod’s World Struggle II scoreboard. There, along with the various Japanese kill flags, is a martini glass painted above the identify O-19 that commemorates a singular rescue and an everlasting friendship between two sub crews.

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