uss cod submarine memorial

USS COD Submarine Memorial | Cleveland, Ohio

USS COD Submarine Memorial is one of the attractions in Downtown Cleveland and a good weekend getaway option for family and kids.

USS COD Submarine Memorial numbered SS-224, is a Gato-class submarine that was used in World War II and is currently docked in the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio. It has been converted into a memorial and is also a National Historic Landmark.

uss cod submarine memorial


COD named after the fish was launched on March 21, 1943 and commissioned on June 21, 1943.

COD and other sister ships of USA are considered to have terrified the Japanese fleet and have sank at least 1178 merchant ships and 214 warships in 1944 during WWII.

It is also considered to be the only submarine that did an international submarine-to-submarine rescue in history, that of a Dutch sub (O-19) back in 1945. 55 Dutch submariners were rescued.

COD’s battleflag and body bears a martini glass to commemorate the rescue and thank-you party thrown by the crew of O-19 to their rescuers.

The sub was recommissioned in 1951 to train NATO anti-submarine forces during the Cold War period.

In 1959, it got towed to Cleveland to be used as a training vessel and was considered for scrapping by 1971 which resulted in a city campaign to save her as a memorial. This got accepted by 1976 by the US Navy.

Finally in 1986, COD SS-224 was designated as a National Historic Landmark and converted into a memorial, and it continues to fascinate everyone till date.

Slideshow of USS COD Submarine Memorial

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USS COD Submarine Memorial is a great weekend getaway option for 1-2 hours as a family including kids.

Its a great place to take young kids and teach them new things and kindle patriotism in them in an early age (applies internationally, one doesn’t need to be a US citizen for it!)

We spent an hour aboard the submarine, listening to audio tours and exploring submarine sections and life of a submariner.

Honestly, life on a submarine is so difficult is what comes across at the first instant. Crampy, stuffy and crowded decks to put it across simply.

US submariners were some of the best paid in the Navy and highly regarded due to their tough lives.

Since, these submarines were designated to go underwater only to avoid detection by enemies, they are designed like normal ships and not like the submarines we see today.

Aside this, we learned a lot about the submarine’s engines, warfare, control room, food and living through the audio tours on speakers in each section of the submarine.

One also needs to keep in mind that the submarine has been restored as such as a memorial without any modifications to its wartime configuration. Visitors need to use the same hatchways and ladders that were used by soldiers when in commission for entry-exit and navigation inside the sub. Need some caution here with kids or senior people.

Also, the US government did/does not provide any funding towards the maintenance and restoration of the USS COD Submarine memorial or its workers. The ticket prices are the sole income for the Cleveland Coordinating Committee (COO) that preserves this historic piece of machinery.

Donation drop box available opposite the ticketing counter. One can purchase COD and World War II souvenirs too from the ticket counter.

Apart from the submarine, there are couple of more exhibits at the shore.


A steam-driven, anti-ship standard weapon of WWII days. Can travel upto 9000 yards and carry up to 600 pounds of explosives.

uss cod submarine memorial

uss cod submarine memorial

But this beauty had its own problems with hitting targets and leaving a stream of steam behind (identifiable by enemies).


This 2080 pound, five blade submarine propeller stands looking at the submarine and the lake near the entrance, serving as a backdrop to the plaque for all US soldiers who lost their lives aboard submarines.

uss cod submarine memorial

There is also a periscope removed from another vintage submarine that gives a close-up view to Erie shore behind USS COD.


USS COD Submarine Memorial is located in the North Coast Harbor, in the shores of Lake Erie between Burke Lakefront Airport and E 9th Street.

Its in walkable distance from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame venue on the east.


Open all days starting May 1 through September 30 between 10 am – 5 pm EST. (Last entry – 4.30 pm)

Free parking available.

Tickets – Adults ($12), Seniors/Veterans ($10), Children aged 5-16 ($7). Kids aged under 5 are free. Active soldiers in military uniform admitted free too.

School groups are welcome and discounts available too. One can use this Groupon link to avail 48% off discounts on tickets too – USS COD Groupon Discount

uss cod submarine memorial

It was an enriching and patriotic experience at the end of the tour! Heartfelt salute to all the soldiers across the world who fight and go through hardships to save their homeland and peace for their people.

From the COD deck, there is a good view to Lake Erie and surrounding Cleveland Downtown too.

Walking through a real, historic piece of war machinery is something to cherish and remember for life. Much respect to COO for the upkeep of the submarine as a memorial without any government funding, out of sheer pride and patriotism!

According to me, this is a must visit place in Cleveland – something that will help you value freedom and your lives much more than before!

You may be interested in reading this article – Why I will never go to any Swaminarayan Temple again!

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