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Wisconsin museum installs WWII torpedoes

USS Cobia undergoing restoration work at museum
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Wisconsin Maritime Museum photo

Two Manitowoc, Wis., couples and maritime enthusiasts donated nearly $10,000 for the installation of three World War II torpedoes on the USS Cobia docked at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.

Moored along the Manitowoc River, adjacent to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, is the World War II fleet submarine USS Cobia (SS-245). Cobia has local and national significance as an icon of Wisconsin's shipbuilding heritage. The museum had housed the vintage MK-14 torpedoes for five years but didn't have the money for installation until museum co-workers Luke and Johanna Harris donated $5,000.

In addition, the museum reported that longtime volunteers, Bob and Grace Peppard, added $4,500 to the contribution. The museum raised about $500. The project is part of the ongoing restoration of the Cobia.

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Wisconsin Maritime Museum photo

The 2,000-pound, 21-foot torpedoes took McMullen and Pitz Construction crew and museum personnel about four hours to install, bringing the submarine's torpedo count to seven. It can carry as many as 24.

The crew also removed a deck gun for restoration, including sand blasting, repair work and a paint job.

The museum also is raising money for a 2011 dry-docking of the USS Cobia. Repairs would include replacing the weather deck, cutting out and replacing steel in the outer hull, welding seams on the conning tower and cleaning and painting the hull with a 30-year treatment.

For more information on the USS Cobia and the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, visit their website at www.wisconsinmaritime.org

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