Wednesday, July 3, 2013

World War II Items Found on USS Cobia

From the January 1, 2012, Fox 11 (Wis) News by Beth Jones.

Worlers at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowac discovered possessions of a World War II sailor on the submarine USS Cobia which is a museum at the site.  The items have been untouched for nearly 70 years.

Building supervisor Paul Rutherford has worked on the Cobia for more than 30 years.  While performing routine maintenance in the torpedo room next to some bunks, he made the discovery.  There was an old leather bag tucked away.

It held two Navy poems, a cocktail recipe book, a small red velvet pouch, and a stamp with the name Hersey William.

It turns out that Hersey William, now 85, is still alive and living in North Carolina.  Over a phone. William said he was 18 and slept in that bunk during his first war patrol after he boarded it February 1945.  He was also on the Cobia's for his 4th war patrol.

He had visited the Cobia 18 years ago (but must not have remembered or thought his possessions would still be there).  He figures he is probably one of the last survivors of the sub because he was one of the youngest on board.

Some other items have been found on the Cobia over the years, from bullets to tools, old candy wrappers and receipts.

William doesn't remember putting it there.

Wonder if he was reunited with his possessions or came to visit them?

One of Those Interesting Little Stories From the War.  --GreGen

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