USS COBIA & Manitowoc Submarines

Dive into a new depth of experience

Experience Life in a Sub!

There are three great ways to see USS Cobia up close. For our main experience, visit us during the day for our guided submarine tours. For those interested in the technical side, check out our technical Nook and Cranny tours in winter, and for the full experience, joins us for the interactive overnight!

USS Cobia

During World War II, the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company built 28 submarines for the United States Navy. More than 7,000 men and women worked around the clock, 365 days a year to build some of the best submarines in the Navy. USS Cobia was not built in Manitowoc, but for nearly 50 years, she’s been a fitting memorial to the men and women who built Manitowoc’s Freshwater Submarines and the brave men who served on those boats.

Manitowoc’s 28 Freshwater Submarines

The Manitowoc-built submarines have become known as Freshwater Submarines since we were the only freshwater port to build subs. Of the 28 submarines built here, 25 were built in time to see action during the war. Together they sank 132 Japanese ships. Four Manitowoc submarines were lost at sea, USS Robalo, USS Golet, USS Kete, and USS Lagarto. The four boats and their brave crews are now on Eternal Patrol.

USS Lagarto: Wisconsin’s Lost Boat

USS Lagarto was the 21st out of 28 submarines built in Manitowoc. On her second war patrol, Lagarto and her crew of 86 men attacked an enemy ship on May 3, 1945. They were never heard from again. Nearly 60 years to the day, the wreck was discovered in the Gulf of Thailand in May 2005. The Museum worked with professional divers to learn more about what happened to Lagarto and her crew and spent nearly 12 years searching for their families. Want to learn more? Purchase a copy of our Emmy-Award winning documentary Lost and Found: The Search for USS Lagarto.

USS Robalo Found!

The wreck of the Manitowoc-built submarine, USS Robalo was discovered in May 2019. Learn more about the discovery and upcoming events.

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Research & CollectionsUSS Cobia & Manitowoc Subs