We remember and honor those submariners who have gone before us and remain on . . .
Verse from the Navy Hymn, "Eternal Father"
Lord God, our power evermore,
Whose arm doth reach the ocean floor,
Dive with our men beneath the sea;
Traverse the depths protectively.
O hear us when we pray, and keep
Them safe from peril in the deep
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Mar. 25, 1915
USS F-4 (Skate)
21 men lost
She foundered 1.5 miles off of Honolulu when acid corrosion of the lead lining of the battery tank let seawater into the battery compartment, causing loss of control. She was raised in August 1915. The remains of F-4 were buried as fill in a trench off the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor,HI.
Dec. 17, 1917
19 men lost
Sunk after collision with the USS F-3 (Pickerell) (SS-22) off San Clemente, CA. While maneuvering in exercises at sea, F-1 and F-3 collided, the former sinking in 10 seconds, her port side torn forward of the engine room. 19 of her men were lost, while 3 others were rescued by the submarines with whom she was operating.
Mar. 12, 1920
4 men lost
Lost on March 12, 1920 with the loss of 4 men as they tried to swim to shore after grounding on a tricky shoal off Santa Margarita Island, off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Vestal (AR-4), pulled H-1 off the rocks in the morning of 24 March, only to have her sink 45 minutes later in some 50 feet of water. She was originally named the USS Seawolf before becoming H-1.
Sep. 1, 1920
no loss of life
Sunk by flooding during a full-power test dive. She sank bow-first, with her stern showing above the water. The crew, using hand tools, laboriously cut a 4 inch hole in the pressure hull above the water. The skipper waved a shirt on a pole through the hole to attract a passing ship. In a dramatic adventure, her exhausted crew was rescued during the next few days. Salvage attempts were unsuccessful, S-5 settled to the bottom and was abandoned. Open main induction flooding was determined to be the cause.
May 23, 1939
26 men lost
During test dives off Portsmouth, NH, the main engine air induction failed with resultant flooding. After the much-reported rescue and recovery of the ship, she was re-commissioned as the USS Sailfish.
This photo was signed by all the survivors of the sinking of the USS Squalus on May 23, 1939. Allen Carl Bryson was the last surviving crew member to pass away at 91 years of age on December 1, 2008.
June 20, 1941
33 men lost
While conducting test dives off Portsmouth, NH with sister ships O-6 and O-10, O-9 failed to surface. Flooding, which led to exceeding test depth caused the hull to crush. The actual hull location was located - but remains a secret - in 1997.
The number of men lost had previously been thought to be 34, but Davis, Burton Alfred, RM3, transferred off O-9 on 29 May 1941, went on to serve on various other vessels, and survived World War II. He was serving on USS Higbee (DD-806) as a Radio Technician, First Class, on 1 October 1945.
July 30, 1942
70 men lost
Lost on her first war patrol off Kiska Harbor, AK - presumed by enemy action - but officially "overdue and presumed lost." She radioed that she sank two sub-chasers and damaged a third, but was never heard from again. Grunion’s mangled remains were found in the Bering Sea in 2006 off the Aleutian Island of Kiska. The final location was found and verified in 2008 but actual cause of her loss is still unknown.
June 12, 1943
42 men lost
While underway to conduct a torpedo practice approach, the forward battery compartment began to flood. Orders were given to blow main ballast, but the sea was faster. In about 15 seconds R-12 was lost. Only two officers and 3 enlisted men survived.
On May 24 2011, an exploration team led by Tim Taylor aboard the expedition vessel "RV Tiburon" located and documented the wreck of the USS R-12.
Sept. 9, 1943
76 men lost
No recorded Japanese attacks could have sunk Grayling. Grayling was on her 8th war patrol and sank two ships before being lost. Her loss may have been operational or by an unrecorded attack. The only certainty, therefore, is that Grayling was lost between 9 September and 12 September 1943 either in Lingayen Gulf or along the approaches to Manila. ComTaskFor71 requested a transmission from Grayling on 12 September, but did not receive one.
Sept. 25, 1943
77 men lost
Pompano was sunk (between Sept 17 and Oct 5) with the loss of 77 men while on her 7th war patrol. Possibly lost on Sept 17, 1943. Japanese records show that a submarine was sunk in her patrol area on 17 September by air & depth charge attack off the Aomori Prefecture near Shiriya Zaki. Before being lost, she sank two enemy cargo ships. The exact cause of her loss remains unknown, but she probably was sunk by the air/sea attack above or fell victim to a mine on or after 9/25/1943. This boat's last recorded ship (Taiko Maru) sunk happened on Sept 25th, so she probably hit a mine on or after that date but before Oct 5th, when she was scheduled back at Midway.
Sept. 28, 1943
76 men lost
Japanese records tell of sighting a submarine leaking oil on 8 September in an area where Cisco is known to have been the only submarine then operating. Japanese records state this submarine was sunk by bombs and depth charges. Cisco is thus presumed to have been lost in action 28 September 1943. Japanese records indicate the submarine was attacked by Type 97 "Kate" attack bombers of the 954 Naval Air Squadron and the riverboat Karatsu (originally a U.S. gunboat, USS Luzon [PR-7], captured by Japanese forces and put to work against its former owners).
Oct. 7, 1943
56 men lost
Lost when it was sunk off Paramushiru, Kuriles. S-44 was on her 5th war patrol after attacking a target thought to be a merchant on the surface, S-44 found herself in a losing gun battle with a heavily armed Japanese destroyer. Two men were taken prisoner and survived the war.
Oct. 11, 1943
80 men lost
Postwar reckoning by Japanese records reported, that on 11 October, the date Wahoo was due to exit through La Perouse Strait, an antisubmarine aircraft sighted a wake and an apparent oil slick from a submerged submarine. The Japanese initiated a combined air and sea attack with numerous depth charges throughout the day. Another submarine had been depth-charged by a patrol boat while transiting the strait two days before, and the enemy's antisubmarine forces were on the alert; their attacks apparently fatally holed Wahoo, and she sank with all hands.
Nov. 16, 1943
82 men lost
Corvina put out from Pearl Harbor on her maiden war patrol 4 November, topped off her fuel tanks at Johnston Island two days later, and was never heard from again. Japanese records report that Japanese submarine I-176 launched three torpedoes at an enemy submarine south of Truk (her patrol area) 16 November, claiming two hits which resulted in the explosion of the target. If this was Corvina, she was the only American submarine to be sunk by a Japanese submarine in the entire war. Her loss with her crew of 82 was announced 14 March 1944.
Nov. 19, 1943
Total 63 men lost
12 killed in action prior to sinking
30 killed in the sinking
1 killed in captivity
20 POWs later died
21 POWs survived
The account of Sculpin's final patrol was given by the surviving members of her crew, who were liberated from Japanese prisoner of war camps after V-J Day. Severely damaged by depth charges after attacking an enemy convoy, Sculpin continued to fight on the surface. When the captain was killed, the crew abandoned ship and scuttled Sculpin. Among those not abandoning ship was CAPT Cromwell, aboard as a potential wolfpack commander, he rode the Sculpin down, fearing that vital information in his possession might be compromised under torture. For this, CAPT Cromwell was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In all, 42 men were taken prisoner by the Japanese destroyer, but one was thrown over the side almost immediately because he was severely wounded. The group of 38 enlisted men and 3 officers were taken to Truk where they were questioned for ten days. Then they were loaded on two carriers (21 on one, 20 on the other) and started for Japan. Enroute to its destination, the carrier Chuyo, carrying 21 Sculpin survivors, was torpedoed and sunk by Sailfish on 31 December 1943, and only one American escaped.
Dec. 2, 1943
76 men lost
Japanese records studied after the war listed an attack on a supposed United States submarine on 23 November, off Kaoe Bay, Halmahera. Evidence of an actual contact was slight, and the Japanese state that this attack was broken off. Enemy minefields are now known to have been placed in various positions along the north coast of Sulawesi (Celebes) in Capelin's area, and she may have been lost because of a mine explosion. Gone without a trace, with all her crew, Capelin remains in the list of ships lost without a known cause.
Greenleaf, D. T., CMoMM, Rhimann, R. C., LT(jg), and Smith, D. T., MoMM2 are often listed on "Lost Submariners" memorials, and/or included in the figures that are given for the lost boats. It is highly doubtful that these three men were on the boat's final patrol. "Greenleaf, D. T." and "Smith, D. T." never appear in Capelin's muster rolls (two other Smiths do, and are accounted for in our listings), and Rhimann has not been found in any record. The original source of these three names is U.S. Submarine Losses - World War II. Greenleaf, Rhimann, and D.T. Smith appear in the 1946 edition, were removed in the 1949 edition, and Rhimann and D. T. Smith were re-entered in the 1963 edition. None of these men are listed as lost in NARA, Navy Casualty, DPMO, ABMC, or the SubVets of WWII documentation. It is believed that Greenleaf, Rhimann and D. T. Smith were not aboard the vessel when she was lost, if ever.
Jan. 5, 1944
77 men lost
After a rendezvous with USS Herring (SS-233) the afternoon of January 5, Scorpion was never seen or heard from again. No information has been received from the Japanese which would indicate her fate. However mines had been laid in her area and she was lost soon after or at a time when they presumably offered the greatest threat. Since there were no survivors, striking a mine is the most plausible explanation for her loss.
Feb. 26, 1944
80 men lost
Grayback’s tenth patrol, her most successful in terms of tonnage sunk, was also to be her last. From captured Japanese records the submarine's last few days can be pieced together. Heading home through the East China Sea, on 27 February Grayback used her last two torpedoes to sink the freighter Ceylon Maru. That same day, a Japanese carrier-based plane spotted a submarine on the surface in the East China Sea and attacked. According to Japanese reports the submarine "exploded and sank immediately," but antisubmarine craft were called in to depth-charge the area, clearly marked by a trail of air bubbles, until at last a heavy oil slick swelled to the surface. Grayback had ended her last patrol, one which cost the enemy some 21,594 tons of shipping.
Feb. 29, 1944
81 men lost
Lost on her 11th war patrol. She was sunk by escorts in the middle of the Philippines Basin after sinking a passenger-cargoman and damaging another in a convoy. She carried out several notable special missions, including carrying over two tons of gold bullion out of Corregidor in February 1942.
April 18, 1944
79 men lost
USS Gudgeon was sunk 18 April 1944 by a Japanese aircraft south-east of Iwo Jima. Although there has been some confusion in past translations of the Japanese accounts casting doubt on the report, the pilot of the attacking aircraft, reported he was patrolling to the south-east of "sulphur island" when they sighted the sub. "Sulphur" in Japanese is "Iwo" so there is little doubt at this point that Gudgeon met her fate south-east of Iwo Jima on April 18th.
Some records showed 80 men lost, but Hall, Verl Edward, MoMM1, was on emergency leave when USS Gudgeon left on her twelfth war patrol on 4 April 1944. Sources: Navy Casualty and muster rolls of USS Gudgeon. Origin of discrepancy (80) found in Sub Losses (1949).
June 1, 1944
83 men lost
On her eighth war patrol, Herring headed for the Kurile Islands patrol area. She later rendezvoused with Barb (SS-220) and then was never heard from or seen again. Japanese records prove that she sank two merchant ships at anchor in Matsuwa Island on the morning of 1 June 1944. In a counter-attack, enemy shore batteries scored two direct hits on the submarine's conning tower and "bubbles covered an area about 5 meters wide, and heavy oil covered an area of approximately 15 miles."
June 14, 1944
82 men lost
Japanese antisubmarine records available after the war revealed that Golet was the probable victim of a Japanese antisubmarine attack made 14 June 1944. These records mention that the attack brought up corks, rafts, and other debris and a heavy pool of oil, all evidence of the sinking of a submarine.
July 4, 1944
49 men lost
Following a Hawaii overhaul S-28, on 3 July 1944, began training operations off Oahu. The antisubmarine warfare exercises continued into the evening of 4 July. As evening began contact between her and surface ships became sporadic and, at 18:20, the last, brief contact with S-28 was made and lost. All attempts to establish communications failed and a thorough search of the area failed to locate the submarine. A Court of Inquiry was unable to determine the cause of the loss of S-28.
July 26, 1944
81 men lost
Lost on July 26, 1944 with the loss of 81 crew members while on her 3rd war patrol. She struck a mine about 2 miles off the coast of Palawan. Four men survived and swam ashore, then were imprisoned by the Japanese. Unfortunately, they were put on a Japanese destroyer and lost when that destroyer was sunk.
Aug. 13, 1944
78 men lost
Lost on August 13, 1944 with the loss of 78 crew members while on her 2nd war patrol. On 12 August, as she transited Balabac Strait on the surface, she struck a naval mine. Traveling at 18 knots (33 km/h), she disintegrated and sank in less than a minute, but several of her crew managed to escape. After a tortuous and painful journey, the few crew members reached Perth.
Aug. 24, 1944
79 men lost
Harder and Hake were patrolling together near Luzon on 24 Aug. in an engagement with two Japanese escorts. To escape a charging escort, Hake started deep and rigged for silent running. At 07:28 she heard 15 rapid depth charges explode in the distance astern. She continued evasive action that morning, then returned to the general area of the attack shortly after noon. She swept the area at periscope depth but found only a ring of marker buoys covering a radius of one-half mile. The Japanese report of the attack concluded that "much oil, wood chips, and cork floated in the vicinity."
Oct. 3, 1944
100 men lost
In October 1944, The US Seventh Fleet task group was attacked. The four friendly submarines in the vicinity were twice ordered to give their positions, but Seawolf did not respond. A US carrier plane then sighted a submarine diving; it dropped two bombs, although in a safety zone for American submarines. An escort sped to the area to initiate sound contact, but received only unrecognizable dot and dash signals. The escort attacked with hedgehogs, setting off underwater explosions, which caused floating debris to surface. The USS Seawolf was never seen or heard from again. After the war, examination of Japanese data showed no record of an attack at that time and in that location. It is therefore presumed that Seawolf was sunk, but no identification was ever found.
Oct. 17, 1944
82 men lost
Information supplied by the Japanese on anti-submarine attacks gives no clue as to the cause of the USS Escolar's loss, but the Yellow Sea area (where she was patrolling) was thought to have been mined. Her course as transmitted to another Us submarine did not cross any known Japanese mine fields, but positions of mines laid before April 1945 are ' not precisely known. However, the most likely explanation for her end remains that she detonated a mine.
Oct. 24, 1944
87 men lost
SHARK was lost during her third war patrol, probably in the vicinity of Luzon Strait. On 24 October, SEADRAGON received a message from SHARK stating that she had made radar contact with a single freighter, and that she was going to attack. This was the last message received from the submarine, and all subsequent attempts to contact SHARK failed. She was reported as presumed lost on 27 November. According to Japanese records examined after the war, on 24 October 1944, in Luzon Strait, a destroyer made contact with a submerged submarine and dropped depth charges. After losing and regaining the contact, the destroyer dropped another 17 depth charges which resulted in “bubbles, heavy oil, clothes and cork” coming to the surface.
Oct. 24, 1944
no loss of life
Darter grounded on Bombay Shoal Oct. 24. With the tide receding, all of Darter's efforts to get off failed. All confidential papers and equipment were destroyed, and the entire crew taken off to Dace (standing by.) When the demolition charges planted in Darter failed to destroy her, Dace fired torpedoes which exploded on the reef due to the shallow water. All further efforts to sink her failed but she was declared useless to the enemy and Dace left.
After reaching Freemantle, in order to retain their high esprit d'corps, the entire Darter crew was ordered to take over Menhaden, then building at Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Oct. 25, 1944
78 men lost
9 POWs survived
On her last patrol, a last torpedo was fired, broached and curved to the left in a circular run. Tang fishtailed under emergency power to clear the turning circle of the torpedo, but it struck her abreast the aft torpedo room approximately 20 seconds after it was fired. Tang sank by the stern. Nine survivors, including the commanding officer, were picked up the next morning by a Japanese destroyer escort. They spent the remainder of the war in prisoner of war camps
Tang crewmember Rubin MacNeil Raiford, CS2(SS), of Georgetown SC is purported to be the youngest US serviceman to pay the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. Rubin enlisted on October 13, 1942 at the age of thirteen and was subsequently assigned to the submarine USS TANG (SS 306). Rubin was age 15 years, 5 months and 11 days when he went down with the Tang. (Note Dolphins on left sleeve in photo.)
Nov. 7, 1944
85 men lost
Albacore left Pearl Harbor on 24 October 1944, topped off her fuel tanks at Midway Island on 28 October, and was never heard from again. According to Japanese records captured after the war, a submarine (presumed to be Albacore) struck a naval mine very close to the shore off northeastern Hokkaidö on 7 November 1944. A Japanese patrol boat witnessed the explosion of a submerged submarine and saw a great deal of heavy oil, cork, bedding, and food supplies rise to the surface. On 21 December, Albacore was presumed lost. Her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 March 1945.
Nov. 8, 1944
86 men lost
Growler’s 11th and final war patrol began out of Fremantle on 20 October 1944 in a wolf pack with Hake (SS-256) and Hardhead (SS-365). On 8 November the wolf pack, again headed by Growler, closed a convoy for attack, with Growler on the opposite side of the enemy from Hake and Hardhead. The order to commence attacking was the last communication ever received from Growler. After the attack was underway, Hake and Hardhead heard what sounded like a torpedo explosion and then a series of depth charges on Growler’s side of the convoy, and then nothing. Although officially unknown, she possibly was sunk by one of her own torpedoes, but it is probable that the convoy's escorts sank her.
Nov. 16, 1944
83 men lost
On 14 November, Scamp was ordered to take up the life guard station off Tokyo Bay in support of B-29 Superfortress bomber strikes, but failed to acknowledge the message. Scamp was never heard from again. From records available after the war, it appears that Scamp was sighted by Japanese planes and reported depth charged by a destroyer to the south of Tokyo Bay on 11 November 1944.
Feb. 4, 1945
81 men lost
Late in January Barbel was ordered to form a wolf pack with Perch and Gabilan and patrol the western approaches to Balabac Strait and the southern entrance to Palawan Passage. On 3 February, Barbel sent a message reporting that she had been attacked three times by enemy aircraft dropping depth charges and would transmit further information on the following night. Barbel was never heard from again. Japanese aviators reported an attack on a submarine off southwest Palawan on 4 February. Two bombs were dropped and one landed on the submarine near the bridge. The sub plunged, under a cloud of fire and spray. This was very likely the last engagement of Barbel. She was officially reported lost on 16 February 1945.
Mar. 26, 1945
89 men lost
On 26 March, Trigger was ordered to join a wolf pack and to acknowledge receipt of the message. A weather report came from the submarine that day but no confirmation of her having received the message. The weather report was Trigger's last transmission. On 4 April, she was ordered to proceed to Midway, but she had not arrived by 1 May and was reported as presumed lost. Postwar records indicate she torpedoed and sank a Japanese repair ship, but the next day, Japanese planes and ships joined in a two-hour attack on a submarine heard by other boats in the wolf pack. Japanese records showed a Japanese aircraft detected and bombed a submarine on 28 March 1945. Destroyers were then guided to the spot and delivered an intensive depth charging. After two hours, a large oil slick appeared.
April 8, 1945
84 men lost
Snook was lost while conducting her ninth war patrol, in the South China Sea and Luzon Strait. It is believed that she was sunk by kaibokans Okinawa, CD-8, CD-32 and CD-52.It has also been suggested that Snook may have been lost due to one of five Japanese submarines were which also lost in April–May 1945. One candidate is Japanese submarine I-56.
May 3, 1945
86 men lost
Lagarto, along with the submarine Baya were engaged in heavy contact with enemy ships near the outer waters of the Gulf of Siam. At 15:00 on 3 May 1945, Baya sent the first “of numerous contact reports to Lagarto.” By 23:47, “having sent Lagarto contact reports almost half hourly with no receipt,” Baya decided to go it alone. Again, however, the Japanese escorts drove off Baya when she attacked during the mid watch on 4 May, again saving their charges from destruction. Post-war examination of Japanese records revealed the most likely reason for Lagarto’s silence. One of the two escorts made an attack on 3 May against a submerged submarine in 30 fathoms of water at Lagarto's probable position.
June 18, 1945
85 men lost
While operating in a wolf pack, Bonefish requested and received permission to conduct a daylight submerged patrol of Toyama Wan, a bay farther up the Honshū coast. The boats were equipped with new mine detecting equipment. The attack group was to depart the Sea of Japan via La Perouse Strait on the night of 24 June. Bonefish did not make the scheduled pre-transit rendezvous. Japanese records reveal that a 5,488 ton cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in Toyama Wan on 19 June and that an ensuing severe counterattack by Japanese escorts brought debris and a major oil slick to the water's surface. There can be little doubt that Bonefish was sunk in this action.
Aug. 6, 1945
84 men lost
Bullhead was the very last US Navy ship sunk by enemy action during World War II, probably on the same day that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. It is difficult to determine precisely which of the many Japanese anti-submarine attacks was the one that sank Bullhead. However, one occurred on 6 August 1945, when a Japanese Army plane attacked with depth charges. It claimed two direct hits, and for ten minutes thereafter, there was a great amount of gushing oil and air bubbles rising in the water. Since the position given is very near the Bali coast, it is presumed that the proximity of mountain peaks shortened Bullhead's radar range and prevented her receiving a warning of the plane's approach.
Aug. 26, 1949
* 7 men lost
On 18 July 1949, Cochino put to sea for a cruise to Britain, and arctic operations. Her group ran through a violent polar gale off Norway, and the joltings received by Cochino played their part on 25 August in causing an electrical fire and battery explosion, followed by the generation of both hydrogen and chlorine gases. Defying the most unfavorable possible weather conditions, the commander of the Cochino, and his men fought for 14 hours to save the submarine, but a second battery explosion on 26 August made "Abandon Ship" the only possible order, and Cochino sank. *The USS Tusk's rescued all of Cochino's men except for Robert Wellington Philo, a civilian engineer. Six sailors from Tusk were lost during the rescue.
May 29, 1958
no loss of life
On 28 May 1958, Stickleback was participating in an antisubmarine warfare exercise with a destroyer escort and torpedo retriever boat in the Hawaiian area. The exercises continued into the afternoon of the next day when the submarine completed a simulated torpedo run on the DE. As Stickleback was going to a safe depth, she lost power and broached approximately 200 yards ahead of the destroyer escort. Silverstein backed full and put her rudder hard left in an effort to avoid a collision but holed the submarine on her port side. Stickleback's crew was removed by the retriever boat and combined efforts were made by the destroyer escort, Silverstein, soon-arriving ships Sabalo (SS-302), Sturtevant (DE-239), and Greenlet (ASR-10), to save the stricken submarine. The rescue ships put lines around her, but compartment after compartment flooded and, at 18:57 on 29 May 1958, Stickleback sank in 1,800 fathoms of water.
April 10, 1963
129 men lost
It is believed a brazed pipe-joint ruptures in the engine room. The crew would have attempted to stop the leak; at the same time, the engine room would be filling with a cloud of mist. Water leaking from the broken pipe most likely causes short circuits leading to an automatic shutdown of the ship's reactor, causing a loss of propulsion. Procedures at the time would have shutdown steam propulsion. Loss of sufficient motive power and added weight (flooding) caused the ship to sink past crush depth.
May 22, 1968
99 men lost
At the time of her sinking, there were 99 crewmen aboard Scorpion. The best available evidence indicates that Scorpion sank in the Atlantic Ocean on 22 May 1968 at approximately 1844Z after an explosion of some type, while in transit across the Atlantic Ocean from Gibraltar to her home port at Norfolk, Virginia.
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