USS Cochino (SS-345)

USS "Cochino" (SS-345), a "Balao"-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the cochino, a triggerfish found in the Atlantic. Her keel was laid down by Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 20 April 1945 sponsored by Mrs. M.E. Serat, and commissioned on 25 August 1945 with Commander W.A. Stevenson in command.

"Cochino" joined the Atlantic Fleet, cruising East Coast and Caribbean Sea waters from her home port of Key West, Florida. On 18 July 1949, she put to sea for a cruise to Britain, and arctic operations. Her group ran through a violent polar gale off Norway, and the joltings received by "Cochino" played their part on 25 August in causing an electrical fire and battery explosion, followed by the generation of both hydrogen and chlorine gases.

Defying the most unfavorable possible weather conditions, Rear Admiral (then Captain) Rafael Celestino Benitez (1917-1999), commander of the "Cochino", and his men fought for 14 hours to save the submarine , displaying seamanship and courage. But a second battery explosion on August 26 made "Abandon Ship" the only possible order, and "Cochino" sank. The USS|Tusk|SS-426|6's valiant crew rescued all of "Cochino"'s men except for Robert Wellington Philo, a civilian engineer. Six sailors from "Tusk" were lost during the rescue.

References

*DANFS|http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/c10/cochino.htm|http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/submar/ss345.htm

External links

*navsource|08/08345|Cochino
* [http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-cochino-345.htm On Eternal Patrol: USS "Cochino"]


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