Rescue of Crew of WWII Dutch Submarine to be Celebrated at USS COD Memorial

CLEVELAND, June 27 /PRNewswire/ — On Saturday, July 9, 2005, USS COD and the Netherlands American Society of Ohio (NASO) will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the dramatic rescue of the crew of the Dutch submarine O-19 by USS COD with a picnic and ceremonies highlighted by a reenactment of the transfer of the Dutch flag from O-19 to COD. Ceremonies begin at 1PM, followed by a picnic on the lawn adjacent to the submarine. Admission is free to all members of the Dutch community.

A wartime adventure on the high seas

Early in the morning of July 8, 1945, the Dutch Submarine O-19 ran aground on Ladd Reef in the South China Sea. Unable to free herself and deep in enemy waters, O-19 was at the mercy of any Japanese warships and planes in the area. Their situation was desperate, but responding to a coded message about O-19′s situation, the US Navy submarine USS COD made full speed for the imperiled Dutch submarine and arrived at the scene later that same day.

Two days of attempts to pull O-19 free yielded no results and the captains of both vessels agreed that there was no hope of freeing the Dutch sub from the grip of the reef. After removing the 56 Dutch sailors to safety, COD destroyed the O-19 to keep any of its equipment from falling into Japanese hands. The rescue was the only international submarine-to-submarine rescue in history.

The Netherlands American Society of Ohio promotes and preserves Dutch culture and language through sponsorship cultural programs, festivals, lectures, trips, educational exhibitions and social programs for its members and friends.

USS COD, now a National Historic Landmark permanently berthed in Cleveland, made seven war patrols and is still considered a member of the Dutch submarine fleet, the Onderzeedienst, by the Royal Netherlands Navy. USS COD is located Between E. Ninth and Burke Lakefront Airport, approximately 1000 feet east of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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