Long-hidden Bag found in USS Cobia

USS Cobia at Manitowoc Maritime Museum

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.

USS Cobia Forward Torpedo Room

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.

Full story from the Chicago Tribune.