Carenna visits the Cobia submarine, SS245

Carenna visits the Cobia submarine, SS245

Updated 20 May 2002    URL is

Carenna visits a submarine

(a story in the life of a little person)

Once upon a time, Carenna, a small girl, two and a half years old, visited a real diesel submarine.  It was not a toy submarine like this blue one.  No, it was a great big submarine named the USS Cobia, SS245, a boat from World War II. Submarines are always called boats in the Navy. 

Carenna went with her father and grandfather to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to visit the boat.  They drove a long time, but Carenna was so happy that she didn’t even sleep in the car.

First they had to cross a bridge to reach the boat.  Next they had to climb down a ladder to get into the boat. Carenna did not think she wanted to climb down a big dark hole, so her Daddy carried her down.

The after torpedo room has four torpedo tubes. That gold circle in the background is one of them.  Some of the crew members had to sleep in this room, alongside the topedos.

Carenna in the wardroom where the officers ate meals and did paperwork, played card games and shot the breeze.

On the submarine, Carenna made friends right away. Here she sits with Tom McNulty, K0EFV,  who is involved with  the sub vets’ amateur radio association that meets at 1100 EDT on 14.243 Mhz on weekdays and on Saturday nights at 2000 EDT  on 7.279 Mhz.

Here another sub vet makes contacts in the radio contest.  Submarines all over the world co-operated for this ham radio event.

Carenna sat in the crews mess where the amateur radio operators were having a contest.  Soon she’ll be logging the contacts.  Carenna’s father and grandfather have ham radios.  Carenna can talk to her grandfather over the radio.

This bowplane handwheel in the control room was hard to turn.  Maybe she should stick to toys for a few more years.

Put the pedal to the metal. Starting a 1600 horsepower GM-278 sixteen cylinder diesel engine is child’s play.

Carenna loves to help in the kitchen, but this small galley has no room for her stepstool.  What a hoot! Can you believe that this galley supplied three fabulous meals a day plus snacks for eighty men?   Submariners have the best food in the military. (Note the fake steaks on the grill.)

Here is Carenna at the desk in the tiny 4-man officers’ stateroom.  Carenna’s grandfather served his country  on the Diodon, SS349, during the Viet Nam war.  He had a bunk like this one on the Diodon..

Doctor Strangelove, I presume?  This MK27 electric torpedo was used in the 1950s and ’60s.  A diesel sub could carry about 24 of these weapons.  

  Back home that night, Carenna remembers her visit to the boat. She plays it out with her dollhouse people. She builds the bridge and the boat (actually a doll bed) and moves the people on and off, telling them about the submarine. 

Here she is in her jammies, still smiling at bedtime.  Sweet dreams, little Carenna.  We thank the submariners for helping save the USA so you can grow up free.

Here is a link to the website for the Cobia submarine, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum:

Here’s a link to the US Submarine Veterans organization:

The SVARA, Submarine Veterans Amateur Radio Association, is best located through Google or another search engine.  Search for SVARA.  It is complicated to find it otherwise.  Anyone interested in submarines is welcome.

Here is a link back to Our Tentative Times:

If you have proofreaking help or other corrections, or if you might want to add a link or possibly add information, please email the beautiful red-headed General Class  grandmother at