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Go here for the complete list of the 50 states and their assigned
lost submarines from the list of 52 LOST BOATS of World War Two 
as designated by the SubVets of WWII

USS COBIA Image from Wisc. Maritime Museum website
Wisconsin Maritime Museum
75 Maritime Drive
Manitowoc, WI 54220
(414) 684-0218
USS COBIA website

RASHER scope installation
Wisconsin Maritime Museum
75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, WI 54220 

From: Maritime Museum Construction Updates
"Installation of periscope from USS RASHER,
which will supplement the Museum's
periscope from USS TAUTOG"


Submarine Memorial Dedication Ceremony
at the
May 15, 2000


Inscription reads:

Dedicated to those who constructed
or served on Manitowoc built Submarines
on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the
United States Navy Submarine Service

Presented on behalf of the Crash Dive Base, Great Lakes, Illinois by Base Commander Harry Alvey (third from left) to Captain Craig Hanson.
Text & image contributed by Art Randall

A few related links:
Wisconsin Maritime Museum
Slient Valor - The Great Lakes Submarines of WWII
More Manitowoc Boat info on the ILLINOIS page

See SubVetsWWII list of LOST BOATS at top of page

Located at the
Wisconsin Maritime Museum
75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54220
PHONE: (920) 684-0218 
Text and images in this section contributed

by Art Randall - US SubVets and US SubVets of WWII

The WWII Lost Boat Memorial to the USS LAGARTO is shared with 27 other submarine memorials to the boats that were built during WWII at the Manitowoc Shipyard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It is fitting that the LAGARTO be honored with its siblings as it is so often identified as a Manitowoc Boat of which 28 were constructed - arguably in a class of their own as, The best submarines ever built.

USS COBIA (not a Manitowoc boat) shown with memorial
plaques to the 28 Manitowoc Shipyard boats in the foreground.
Note: COBIA is a GATO-class fleet submarine similar to the twenty-eight
GATO-class subs built in Manitowoc's shipyards during World War II.

It is proper that the LAGARTO memorial is shared with a submarine museum. Although the Maritime Museum's USS COBIA is not a Manitowoc boat, it attracts thousands of visitors each year that will read the short histories of each of these boats. As a result, the story of LAGARTO as written on one of the 28 Manitowoc boat plaques, will be given a much larger exposure and wider recognition than would be the case, were it to be a standalone WWII submarine memorial.

One of the twenty-eight plaques
That LAGARTO's memorial is shared with a submarine museum is not unusual. Oklahoma's adopted WWII USS SHARK I memorial, is shared with the USS BATFISH museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma (See USSVI Oklahoma State Memorial page) and Texas' WWII Lost Boat the USS SEAWOLF memorial that is shared with the USS CAVALLA museum in Galveston, Texas (

Such an association gives the visitor a much broader, real-life and meaningful view of our WWII submarine force, including the perils they faced, the loss of life that took place and the bravery of the men that sailed them, than could ever be felt without such sharing.


The Balao Class LAGARTO's keel was laid down by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, Manitowoc, and Wisconsin 12 January 1944. It was launched 28 May 1944 and Commissioned 14 October 1944.

Under the command of Commander F. D. Latta, LAGARTO departed Subic Bay, P.I. on 12 April 1945 for her second WWII patrol in the South China Sea. On 27 April, she was directed to the outer part of Siam Gulf.

LAGARTO contacted USS BAYA (SS-318), already patrolling in Siam Gulf on 2 May 1945 exchanging calls with her by SJ radar. Later that day BAYA sent LAGARTO a contact report on a convoy she had contacted consisting of one tanker, one auxiliary and two destroyers. LAGARTO reported being in contact with the convoy and began coming in for an attack with BAYA. However, the enemy detected BAYA and drove her off with gunfire, whereupon the two submarines waited to plan a subsequent attack.

Early on the morning of 3 May 1945, LAGARTO and BAYA rendezvoused to discuss plans. LAGARTO was to dive on the convoy's tack to make a contact at 1400, while BAYA was to be ten to fifteen miles further along the tack. At 0010 on 4 May after a prolonged but unsuccessful attack, the alerted escorts drove off BAYA, and no further contact of any kind was ever made with LAGARTO.

Japanese information available now records an attack on a U.S. submarine made by the minelayer Hatsutaka, believed to be one of the two radar-equipped escorts of the convoy. The attack was made in about 30 fathoms of water and in view of the information presented above, the attack here described must be presumed to be the one that sank LAGARTO.

Commander Latta had previously made seven patrols as Commanding Officer of USS NARWHAL II (SS-167). Every patrol made by this officer was designated successful for the award of combat insignia, a record surpassed by no commanding officer in the Submarine Force.

History: Fleet Submarine:
Museum Pictures: Dr. William H. Thiesen, Curator/Assistant Director Wisconsin Maritime Museum
LAGARTO Picture:
Other Assistance: John W. Anderson, 2003 National Secretary US SubVets WWII
James Fields, VP Southeast Chapter US SubVets of WWII, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Fred Scholz, 2003 Commander, Wisconsin Base, US SubVets Inc