USS Cochino (SS-345)
USS "Cochino" (SS-345), a "Balao"-class submarine, was the only ship of the
United States Navyto be named for the cochino, a triggerfishfound in the Atlantic. Her keel was laid down by Electric BoatCompany of Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 20 April 1945sponsored by Mrs. M.E. Serat, and commissioned on 25 August 1945with CommanderW.A. Stevenson in command.
"Cochino" joined the Atlantic Fleet, cruising East Coast and
Caribbean Seawaters from her home port of Key West, Florida. On 18 July 1949, she put to sea for a cruise to Britain, and arcticoperations. Her group ran through a violent polar galeoff Norway, and the joltings received by "Cochino" played their part on 25 Augustin causing an electrical fire and battery explosion, followed by the generation of both hydrogenand chlorinegases.
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 26made "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.
* [http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-cochino-345.htm On Eternal Patrol: USS "Cochino"]
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