Boat History

History of the USS Cobbler (SS 344)

Launching and Commissioning. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, the USS Balao Class Submarine, was launched in the yards of her builders, the Electric Boat Company, at Groton, Connecticut. The Cobbler was the fourth ship launched from the Electric Boat Company's yards in 1945, with only a little more than three months of the year gone.


Mrs. James B. Rutter

Wife of Captain James B. Rutter, USN, christened the ship at the launching ceremonies. Cobbler was named for a killer fish of the Pompano family. In his talk at the ceremonies, Lieutenant Commander John J. Shilling, USNR, Senior Chaplain, praised the work of submarines in the war and expressed the hope that the war would be over before the Cobbler had the chance to get into combat. Cobbler was commissioned a week later on August 8, 1945, at which time Commander James B. Grady, USN, assumed the duties as her first commanding officer. World War II was within days of its end and Chaplain Shilling's hopes for the end of the war were to be realized.

Commissioning Ceremony

0945 The ship got underway from the Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut and moored starboard side to pier 9, U.S. Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut. 1400 The Commissioning Party came aboard. The Commanding Officer, U.S. Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, read the instructions authorizing acceptance of the USS COBBLER SS-344. Mr. W. W. Foster, the Electric Boat Company representative, presented the ship for acceptance. The Commanding Officer, U.S. 


Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut accepted the USS COBBLER SS-344 for the United States Navy. The colors, jack and commissioning pennant were hoisted. The Submarine Base Band played the National Anthem. The Commanding Officer, U.S. Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut declared the United States Submarine COBBLER a unit of the United States Navy and directed Commander James B. Grady, USN, to take command. Commander Grady read his orders and assumed command. The Commanding Officer read a letter from the Secretary of the Navy. The watch was set The Commissioning Party left the ship.


Cobbler Reports for Duty

Cobbler was assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet for duty and spent two months of intensive shakedown training; after which she cruised to Havana, Cuba, for a week.  In route to Staten Island, New York, from Havana, she transited via Key West, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia.  She spent Navy Day of 1945 in the latter port of call. January 1946 found the Cobbler’s operating base changed to Key West, Florida, where she remained until December 1948, making numerous trips to Guantanamo Bay and Havana, Cuba.  During her operations out of Key West, she weathered four hurricanes.


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