USS Cobia docked at the Manitowoc Maritime Museum sometime in the 1980s
Paul Rutherford, maintenance supervisor at the Manitowoc Maritime Museum, was doing a little tidying in the upper bunks over the forward torpedo room on the USS Cobia. To his surprise, he discovered long-hidden leather toiletry bag crammed into a tiny gap.
Cramped confines of the USS Cobia Forward Torpedo Room (photo by Ward Johnson)
Rutherford pulled out the bag to discover a sailor’s secret treasure stash from over 66 years ago…a small empty red corduroy pouch, a rubber stamp with a seaman’s name, a “100 Cocktails” booklet, and two poems, “Give Us a Drink” and “Navy Wife.”
Submarine Curator, Karen Duvalle, scoured crew records and identified the objects as belonging toSeaman First Class Hersey J. Williams, who served aboard the USS Cobia on her fourth war patrol, which departed from Perth, Australia, on Dec. 12, 1945.
More than 400 years after his burial in full armor and a lead casket, the remains of Sir Francis Drake may have been discovered, along with two ships from his last fleet, the Elizabeth and the Delight.
Drake was 55 when he died on a miserable January night in 1596 of dysentery after a failed attack on San Juan, Puerto Rico. This was an ignominious end to a grand life, full of circumnavigations, a daring battle against the Spanish Armada, and acts of incredible daring against his life-long enemy, Spain. On the darker side, Drake was also complicit in the beginnings of the North American slave trade and a massacre in Ireland.
The chief archaeologist on the project, James Sinclair (also known for his work on the Titanic project) has found remains of craft from the right era, a total of over 80 feet of well-preserved hull sections. Sorting through the results and properly excavating the site will take years, but the initial results are very promising that this is, indeed, the final resting spot for Sir Francis Drake’s final fleet.
Read more about the discovery, lead by former owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, Pat Croce, in the Telegraph. And here’s a brief video about this even from Discovery News (via YouTube):