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The U.S.S. Cod, A Submarine in Cleveland Ohio

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The U.S.S Cod was a World War II submarine, One of the few large submarines that the US Navy had that was not damaged in Pearl Harbor. It was launched on March 21, 1943.  The Cod made 7 successful war patrols before the end of the war. It was based out of Perth, Australia.

The U.S.S. Cod is 312 ft long, and weighs 1,525 tons.

While the Cod was a very successful submarine, it also holds a place in history as the only submarine to preform an international sub-to-sub rescue ever.

In July of 1945 a Dutch submarine, the O-19 was grounded on a coral outcropping. The Cod spent 2 days trying to pull the O-19 off the reef, breaking several chains in the process.  While the Cod tried to pull the O-19, the O-19 was busy trying to help itself, by putting its engines completely in reverse, blowing the ballast tanks, and firing the torpedoes, hoping that all together, this would pull the submarine loose. It didn’t work. So, the Cod took on the 56 man crew, in addition to the full crew already on the U.S.S. Cod, and then they put demolition charges on the stuck O-19, finishing with shooting 2 torpedoes at it as well, to destroy it so enemy ships couldn’t get to it.

In 2003, the Dutch Navy honored the U.S.S. Cod.

The Cod was removed from service in 1946, only to be recommissioned in 1951 as a part of NATO anti-sub training missions. She was decommissioned again in 1954, but in 1959 was used as a naval reserve training vessel, based in Cleveland, Ohio. The U.S.S Cod quickly became a stop for school children to learn about a bit of history.

Today, the U.S.S. Cod is a war memorial, and a historic landmark. It is the only submarine that allows visitors that had not had ramps built, and holes made in it to allow visitors easier access. If you want to visit, you need to be prepared to enter the hatches and climb down the ladders.

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This is the site that greets you when you enter the U.S.S. Cod. You will be in the forward torpedo room. There are 6 torpedo tubes that will hold 16 torpedoes total. There were 2 types of torpedoes used. The MK-14 and the MK-18. The 14 was faster, but also left a wake, pinpointing the sub’s location. In addition to the torpedo tubes, this room also holds 15 bunks for the sailors.

The next section is the Forward Battery. It holds 126 lead-acid, electric storage batteries. But, it is also where the officer’s areas are. IMG_7446

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The next section is the Control Room. When you enter this section, you will notice it is lit with red lighting. This red light is used at night, so if anyone has to go topside, their eyes will already be adjusted to the darkness.

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This room is where the controls are that power and steer the submarine, as well as control its depth.

The Conning Tower is right above you while you stand in the control room. IMG_7457

The picture is terrible, because you aren’t allowed to climb into the conning tower. You are allowed to climb halfway up the ladder, for a view. But, I’m short. So, my view was just the rungs of the ladder in front of me that they had put plexiglass over.

The conning tower is the attack center. This is where the periscopes are used, it holds the main steering station, as well as the 2 red firing buttons for the torpedoes.

Next is the After Battery Compartment. It holds another set of batteries. But, it also holds the galley and the mess hall for the elicited men. Only 24 men can sit and eat at a time, so each meal requires 3 shifts.

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It was hard to get a decent picture of the space, because it was so small. Now, picture it with a full crew. Up to 97 men filled this submarine, for months at a time.

I found the refrigerator interesting. It is under the floor, so you look down at it. You cannot enter it.IMG_7472

The refrigerator not only held the tons of meat the crew needed, but other perishables. Under the floor is also the ammunitions locker, that doubled as a jail cell for any Japanese prisoners of war they may have.

When you venture out of the mess hall, there is a berthing area.

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On the left, the bunks are stacked, three high and three deep, with no space between side to side. There is a total of 36 bunks in that small space.

Next we have the Forward Engine Room.

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This room holds four 1,600HP diesel engines. The engines were actually made in Cleveland, Ohio. This room also holds 2 freshwater stills.

That’s all the pictures I have of the inside. But, next is the After Engine Room that holds additional generators, for use when necessary.

Then is the Maneuvering Room, the men in this room would control the speed of the Cod using a combination of large levers on one side of the room.

Finally, there was the After Torpedo Room. It holds 4 more torpedo tubes, 15 bunks, a signal flare ejector, and a tiny engineering office. On April 27, 1945 this room caught fire and almost destroyed the submarine. Crewman Andrew G. Johnson was helping to fight the fire when he was washed overboard and drowned.

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Outside the submarine sits a M-14, on the last known, working, WWII Navy torpedo crane truck. It was used to carry torpedoes to the pier, to be loaded by a larger crane.

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More Info:

U.S.S. Cod Home Page

U.S.S. Cod (SS-224)

Historic Navel Ships

Dutch Submarines: The Submarine O 19

Cod Rescues O-19- This is actual video footage of the rescue.

 

Squire’s Castle, History and a Ghost Story

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In northern Ohio, in the North Chagrin Reservation, part of Cleveland’s Metro Parks District, is a castle. Or what looks like a castle. In reality, it is the shell of what was to be the caretaker’s house for a mansion that was never built.

Feargus B. Squire was one of the founders of the Standard Oil company, so he was very wealthy. (At one point, after the castle was built, Squire served a term as mayor of a nearby town.) He owned a home in Cleveland in the late 1800s, but wanted to live in the country. (Which is funny when you think about how it, how much of a city was Cleveland in 1890, especially compared to now?)  Squire bought himself 525 acres of land in a forest, and planned to build a giant estate, intending to live at this estate with his wife and daughter. The home was built from stone, quarried from the property itself.

Before construction on the mansion began, the caretaker’s home was built. It was 2 stories, though there is some speculation there was a basement as well, though you can’t find it now. Squire was going to live there, while the mansion was being built.

The home was supposedly quite beautiful designed after castle is Europe, with Tiffany glass in the windows, carved moldings, and European finishings.

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Mrs Squire, however, hated the country. She had been raised in the city and that was where she wanted to stay.

Legend says that Rebecca Squire would be unable to sleep at night, and would wander the home, holding her lantern. One night, she was startled by one of her husband’s hunting trophies hanging on the wall, she tripped and fell down the stairs to the basement, breaking her neck in the fall that killed her.

Mr Squire was so distraught, he abandoned the property and moved away. But, you can sometimes see a woman in the upstairs window, or a red glow, as is coming from a lantern, moving through the house at night.

The real story is not as interesting, or as tragic.  Mrs. Squire did hate the country, and Mr Squire abandoned the dream of a country estate.  Squire sold the property in 1922, and Cleveland Parks got the property in 1925.

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This is the fireplace that stands in what was once the library.

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When you stand in the library and look out, this is the view of the rest of the castle. There are 2 large rooms you can’t see from the photo, and once there was a second floor, but, the castle had been left to the elements and the 2nd floor deteriorated to the point the parks department removed everything except the shell; there is no roof either. If you believe the legend, Squire had the basement filled in after his wife died. But, others say there never was a basement.

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Can you see it? This castle as it once stood? Perhaps the window was stained glass, blocking the beautiful view. Or perhaps this window by the fireplace was one you could sit by on a winter day, watching the snow pile up around the home. Maybe the floor had furs as coverings, since Squire loved to hunt and show off his skill.

The park is actually open until 11pm, and as the sun goes down, I’m sure you can also see why this abandoned castle has also lent itself to a ghost story.

More Information

Squire’s Castle, Cleveland Metroparks

Squire’s Castle, Travel Cleveland

Squire’s Castle, Wikipedia

Ghosts of the Prairie

Exploring the Cleveland Area, Part 2

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Trying to fit a lot into 2 days, made a busy day 2.

I went to see the submarine the U.S.S. Cod. It is a World War II era submarine. It was actually hard to find. I know you are thinking “How can this giant thing be hard to find”. Well, water doesn’t have much of an address. So, if you want to visit, make your way over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and if you come in off 9th, the Hall of Fame will be in front of you, turn right. You’ll head towards the Burke Lakefront Airport. It will be on your left, there is a small, gravel parking lot. Parking is free. You will pay your $10 admission at a small booth that looks like the kind you’d find in a carnival to buy tickets to the tilt-a-whirl. Across that sidewalk is the “gift shop” which is a bulletin board with examples of things you can buy. I don’t know where they keep those things though.

You walk up a ramp, and then you are on the submarine. To get into the sub, you go down a hole, with a ladder on the side. So,needless to say, it is not handicap accessible.
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The sub is interesting, there are a lot of signs to tell you about the areas in the sub. There are 4 or 5 audio “tours”. You push the button, and hear about the area you are in. You can sit at a table or lay in a bunk.
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Or, you can pretend to enjoy a cup of coffee.

I really found the kitchen the most interesting part. Just to think about having to cook for that many people in such a tiny space.
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I began to write you out a history of the sub, but it’s really interesting and deserves its own post. So, upcoming is a U.S.S. Cod history post.

After the sub, I decided to go to the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art.

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So, I will admit it, but it’s embarrassing. I walked past this museum several times, trying to find it. The GPS was clear, the building LOOKED like a contemporary art museum. But, the only sign is the one on the door. That says “Mocha a la Carte” the hours talk about lunch time. And, there is a small script on the door that says something like “healthy, nourishing” So, I saw this and thought “what a strange restaurant.” and kept walking. Like, 10 minutes later I decided to go in and ask, and wound up in the gift shop.

It was a bit disappointing in my opinion. There were only 2 exhibits. One was by a nun. The Art of Corita Kent. That will be on display until August 31, 2014. Her art is very pop art inspired.

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The next exhibit was Staging Silence by Hans Op De Beeck. There were only 3 photos, but there was a room where a video was shown, and he slowly moved pieces to create beautiful landscapes. This is also on display until the end of August, 2014.

The admission is $8.

Finally, I ended up at Euclid Creek Reservation. I had read there was once an amusement park there, and some parts remained, such as the entrance, and the beach walkway. I drove through the whole park and found several playgrounds and picnic shelters. Also, there were many places to pull of and view the creek. IMG_7525This pretty flowered area is a monarch stop station, designed to draw the butterflies in on their migration.

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There are a lot of beautiful views of the creek, and the park is just as nice as the one previously mentioned.

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There are signs warning you to stay out of the creek. The creek is only a few inches deep, but many people have drown in it because it is really bad about flash flooding because it is surrounded by all the rock, and the creek bed is rock, so when there is a heavy rain, the water has no place to go, except to flood the creek.

I never found the old amusement park markers, and left very disappointed. Once I got home and could do some more research, and not just look on my phone, I found that this particular park has 2 sections. That are oddly far away from each other. I was in the wrong section. Now I know for next time.

Information

U.S.S. Cod- General information about the submarine

Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art 

Euclid Creek Reservation

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I just thought this was cute, it is the bike rack outside Starbucks.