Base Events 2023

April 2023

Greetings DBFers,

It seems like forever since we have gotten a break from the pandemic and winter’s weather, but I think we can finally return to tending to Cobia’s needs.  Covid 19 doesn’t seem to be as threatening as it was a couple years back and spring is on the way at last!

After only 80 years of being exposed to the elements, Cobia’s deck is beginning to fail.  While it was made from teak during World War II, in the 1960’s BuShips authorized Douglas Fir as an acceptable alternative.  Today, teak is almost impossible to get in the lengths needed and the cost is astronomical; therefore, replacement decking will be Douglas Fir per BuShips specifications.  This project will be a major undertaking, but with careful planning, I believe we can succeed.  It’s just a helluva lot of woodworking, much more than building a birdhouse.

Our initial attack will be a test run to find the bottlenecks in making decking.  We have five ten-foot lengths of 1-1/2″ x 2″ Douglas Fir to process into deck battens.  To make battens, the stock will need to be chamfered on two edges, counterbored mounting holes located and drilled, scarf joints cut on the ends, painted and installed.  Most of this work can be done in the Cobia Restoration Shop, keeping us out of the weather and not interfering with public access to Cobia.  It sounds simple, but it all takes time.  I’m sure we will discover bottlenecks, but what they are, we will soon find out.

After this, a subsequent working party will face the task of ripping ten 18′ Douglas Fir 2″ x 12″ to 1-1/2″ x 2″ deck battens.  This will be a major task and while we have access to a table saw as well as infeed and outfeed roller stands, it’s going to take a crew to handle the stock on both the infeed and outfeed sides.  By way of information, an 18′ 2″ x 12″ weighs in at about 110 lbs.  We need a crew for this task.  There will be a lot more to go after cutting the stock, but this is the major grunt task.

The test run schedule is to arrive Sunday, April 16, prior to 1600 so we can get an early start.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 17, 18, and 19, will be work days securing Wednesday afternoon.  The accommodations will be available either on the boat or in the museum. Bring your sleeping bag.   A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  The more people who participate, the more operations we can carry out at once.  Since it is woodworking, you should also bring eye and hearing protection.  Gloves are helpful to avoid splinters.

Our second endeavor will be ripping the deck battens.  For this, we need a big crew.  The schedule is to arrive Friday evening to get an early start Saturday morning.  Unlike most of our working parties, this one is scheduled for the weekend to get the greatest possible number of participants.  Arrival date is Friday, May 5.  Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, will be spent making sawdust.  We plan to purchase 10 pieces of 18′ 2″ x 12″ which will yield 50 pieces of deck batten. That’s a lot of long rips.  Hopefully, we can get all the sawing done in 2 days.  For this working party, berthing accommodations will be in the lower level of the museum due to overnights and Sub B&B.  More details will follow, but please mark your calendar.  This is no such thing as too many volunteers.

Any questions or suggestions, please feel free to give me a shout.  Also let me know if you are planning to attend.  Thanks for your patience and hope to see you in Manitowoc.


Greg Miller

Home:  630-543-7855

Cell:  331-307-9497


June 2022

Greetings Sub Fans,

After a long hiatus, we are finally able to get back to maintaining our favorite submarine.  Weather permitting, we still have more work topside on both the main and cigarette decks.  Hoping to defeat some of the rot problems by sealing the counterbores at fastening points.  Below decks, we still have much work to do in the pump room, motor room, and a bit in the goat locker.  Bring your painting gear, old clothes, a putty knife, and a coffee can.

If possible, try to arrive Sunday, June 19, before 1600.  This may interfere with some Father’s Day activities so if you can’t do it, just arrive when you can.  Monday-Tuesday, June 20,-21, will be work days and Wednesday, June 22, will be our final wrap up.  This will also be our last chance to do some serious housekeeping before Subfest.

Berthing accommodations are available on Cobia or in the museum – your choice.  (Bring your sleeping bag.)  Continental breakfast and lunch will be supplied by the museum.  Evening meal will be at a watering hole to be determined later.  Its been a long time in hibernation but we are finally moving back to a somewhat normal way of life.

Please advise if you will be attending so we can schedule tasks and meals accordingly.  Hope to see you there.


Greg Miller

Home:  630-543-7855

Cell:     331-307-9497



Now Hear This!

‘Cobia Drydocking Fundraiser

On April 23, members of Crash Dive Base, USS Chicago Base and USS Illinois Base, joined forces in a fundraising effort for USS Cobia’s Drydock Fund.  The hospitality of Zurko Promotions at their Civil War Show made it all possible.  Participants were Steve Benicke, Glenn Barts and Greg Miller.  Nearly $500 was raised and a good time was had by all.  Many thanks to participants and the patrons of the show for bringing Cobia that much closer to drydocking.

Additional events are scheduled for the future.  Please consider volunteering as raising funds requires boots on the ground.  Volunteers are needed for the following:

June 4 & 5,  Kane County Flea Market, St. Charles, IL,

June 18,  Belvedere Flea Market, Belvedere, IL,

July 2-4, Subfest, Manitowoc, WI,

August 20, Wheaton All-Night Flea Market, Wheaton, IL.

There’s a potential for raising a lot of money but it won’t happen without your help.  If you are in any way interested, please contact me at 630-543-7855 (home) or 331-307-9497 (cell) or greg.mary.miller


 Greg Miller


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Now Hear This!

In accordance with attempting to help provide funding for the upcoming USS Cobia Drydocking, Crash Dive Base assisting USS Illinois Base, will be attending this event.  Stop by and say “HI” to Greg Miller, the lead, and Glenn Barts, U.S. Submarine Veterans, and please consider making a small donation to a very worthy cause.  While there, get information on when and how to visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum to go aboard and tour the WWII submarine, USS Cobia.

2022-CivilWar-Fall-NODOLLAR B




Cobia Working Party

Hello DBFers,

We have been hunkered down for a long time but Covid seems to be easing up and I think we can safely go back to work on Cobia.  I have spoken with Cobette and she has no shortage of projects.  The list includes, but is not limited to, a clean up of the forward torpedo room pit,  priming and painting of the forward battery officers’ country, trim installation in crew’s mess, overhaul of the crew’s head, and an inventory of spare parts.  If that isn’t enough, she has more available.

The plan schedule is to arrive Sunday, March 27, prior to museum closing so we can turn and burn on Monday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 29.  We will wrap it up Wednesday, March 30, and head for home.  It is anticipated that a continental breakfast and lunch will be supplied by the museum as well as accommodations either in the museum or on the boat.  All are invited to participate including significant others, family and friends.  It’s still kind of nippy so warm clothes are recommended.

I think it will be good to get back to work again and see folks that I have been missing for quite awhile.  Please advise if you are coming so we know how many to plan for.  Thanks and hope to see you there.


Greg Miller

Home:  630-543-7855



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