Monday, October 20, 2008

Pelham Service Report and Doug Morton Interview

Received word from Ken Kraetzer of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 50 in Pelham, NY. By all accounts their memorial service for Wahoo was a great success. They are working on getting images from the event on their website.

One of the interesting things Ken's group is doing is a local radio show on Mondays at 2:30 PM discussing veterans and active military issues. In relation to the Wahoo service, Ken's program interviewed Doug Morton for 15 minutes. You can listen to the interview here:

WVOX Doug Morton Interview on USS Wahoo Ceremony 10 16 08
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still on Patrol

Sixty-five years ago today, the following men made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their coutnry while serving in USS Wahoo (SS-238):

Anders, F. MM3
Andrews, J. S. EM1
Bailey, R. E. SC3
Bair, A. I. TM3
Berg, J. C. MM3
Browning, C. E. MOMM2
Brown, D. R. LTJG
Bruce, C. L. MOMM1
Buckley, J. P. RM1
Burgan, W. W. LT
Campbell, J. S. ENS
Carr, W. J. CGMA
Carter, J. E. RM2
Davison, W. E. MOMM1
Deaton, L. N. TM1
Erdey, J. S. EM3
Fielder, E. F. LTJG
Finkelstein, O. TM3
Galli, W. O. TM3
Garmon, C. E. MOMM2
Garrett, G. C., Jr. MOMM2
Gerlacher, W. L. S2
Goss, R. P. MOMM1
Greene, H. M. LT
Hand, W. R. EM2
Hartman, L. M. MM3
Hayes, D. M. EM2
Henderson, R. N. LT
Holmes, W. H. EM1
House, V. A. S1
Howe, H. J. EM2
Jacobs, O. MOMM1
Jasa, R. L. MM3
Jayson, J. O. CK3
Johnson, K. B. TM1
Keeter, D. C. CMOMMA
Kemp, W. W. GM1
Kessock, P. F1
Krebs, P. H. S1
Kirk, E. T. S1
Lape, A. D. F1
Lindemann, C. A. S1
Logue, R. B. FC1
Lynch, W. L. F1
MacAlman, S. E. PHM1
MacGowen, T. J. MOMM1
Magyar, A. J. MM3
Manalisay, J. C. ST3
Mandjiak, P. A. MM3
Massa, E. E. S1
Maulding, E. C. SM3
Maulding, G. E. TM3
McGill, T. J. CMOMMA
McGilton, H. E. TM3
McSpadden, D. J. TM1
Mills, M. L. RT1
Misch, G. A. LTJG
Morton, D. W. CDR
Neel, P. TM2
O'Brien, F. L. EM1
O'Neal, R. L. EM3
Ostrander, E. E. MM3
Phillips, P. D. SC1
Rennels, J. L. SC2
Renno, H. S1
Seal, E. H. Jr. TM2
Simonetti, A. R. SM2
Skjonsby, V. L. LCDR
Smith, D. O. BM1
Stevens, G. V. MOMM2
Terrell, W. C. QM3
Thomas, W. S1
Tyler, R. O. TM3
Vidick, J. EM2
Wach, L. J. COX
Waldron, W. E. RM3
Ware, N. C. CEM
White, W. T. Y2
Whipp, K. L. MM2
Witting, R. L. MM3
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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wahoo, Nebraska Memorial Update

SubVet Service to Honor Sailors, New Memorial

By Lisa Brichacek of

WAHOO, NB - Submarine veterans from across the state will once again be gathering in Wahoo this Sunday.

The annual memorial service sponsored by the Wahoo Chapter of World War II Submarine Veterans and the Nebraska Base of United States Submarine Veterans Inc. will be held at 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Saunders County Courthouse in Wahoo. Activities will once again take place near the Torpedo Monument of the USS Wahoo. The public is invited to attend the ceremony.

This year's ceremony will include a special dedication of the new monument near the torpedo. This past spring, the torpedo and plaque were removed for refurbishing. They were put back into place in late summer looking polished and nearly new.

Last month, a memorial marker was placed near the monument. The engraved piece of granite honors all U.S. Navy submarine sailors. It also proclaims that it is "in memory of all submarines and crews on eternal patrol."

The approximately $10,000 bill for the new memorial as well as the monument refurbishing is being picked up primarily by the World War II Submarine Veterans. The Nebraska Base of United States Submarine Veterans has also lent some assistance to the project.

In addition to the dedication portion of Sunday's activities, ceremony will also include an address from Electronics Technician Senior Chief Monty C. Clawson. Clawson is the submarine communications subject mater expert at the United States Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base.

He is responsible for directing the efforts of Strategic Submarine communications and continuing evaluation program management. He has served on many submarines prior to coming to the air base near Omaha and has been awarded the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various other unit and service awards.

This is the 46th year for the submarine memorial service. The World War II Submarine Veterans started holding the ceremony in 1962 to recognize the ships and crew who served this country. The ceremony is always held as close as possible to Oct. 11, the date that the USS Wahoo went to her watery grave.

U.S.S. Wahoo is arguably the most famous of the Navy's World War II vessels. During her seven patrols, she is reported to have sunk a total of 20 ships totaling 60,038 tons. Wahoo was commissioned on May 15, 1942 and sunk in the La Perouse (Soya) Strait on Oct. 11. 1943.

On board that fateful day was a young man from Wahoo. Robert Lee Jasa was a Machinist's Mate, Third Class aboard the Wahoo. He and the 79 others serving on board went down with the Wahoo and remain on eternal patrol.

For many years, the exact resting place of the Wahoo was unknown. A group of Russian divers found the remains of a submarine in the waters between the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the Russian island of Sakhalin. In October of 2006, the U.S. Navy confirmed that it was in fact the wreckage of the Wahoo.

Following Sunday's ceremony, a lunch is planned at the Fifth Street Bar and Grill in downtown Wahoo.
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Mare Island Memorial on October 11

Ceremony Pays Tribute to Seven World War II Submarines Built at the Former Naval Base

By SARAH ROHRS/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 10/08/2008 08:33:23 AM PDT

Lost at sea, the crews on eternal patrol - this was the fate of seven Mare Island-built submarines and their crewmen who never made it home during World War II. On Saturday a tribute will be held for these "lost boats of Mare Island."

A flag raising takes place at 1 p.m. at Morton Field, and a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Berth 6, where submarines were repaired during World War II.

Oakville resident Larry Maggini, a former shipyard worker who worked on modern submarines, will present a slide show and talk about the seven submarines, followed by a reception, from 2 to 4 p.m. at St. Peter's Chapel.
"The men on eternal patrol deserve our recognition and acknowledgment of the ultimate sacrifice that they made," said event organizer Myrna Hayes. Their 3,500 crewmen are on what surviving shipmates reverently call "eternal patrol," their final resting places, in some cases known only to God, Hayes said.

The submarines to be honored include: USS Pompano (SS-181), USS Swordfish (SS-193), USS Gudgeon (SS-211), USS Trigger (SS-237), USS Tullibee (SS-284), USS Tang (SS-306), and USS Wahoo (SS-238).

Maggini, who has devoted nearly 10 months researching the seven submarines, found the famous ones left a long trail of information, but others registered little publicity.

While the Wahoo was a "flamboyant character" that caught the public eye, some of the others did their duty and then faded into obscurity, he said.

Maggini said the event, and others like it, help preserve Mare Island's military legacy. "It's going to be forgotten eventually if someone doesn't do something to keep it alive," he said.

This year's submarine tribute follows last year's to the USS Wahoo, launched on Feb. 14, 1942. In 2006 a wreck found in the Soya Strait was confirmed as the Wahoo. Hayes said she agreed to stage a second tribute after former Navy chaplain John W. Berger of Vallejo secured a promise from her to organize another one.

Maggini compiled stories and photos about the submarines into the book "On Eternal Patrol - The Lost Boats of Mare Island." It will be available for sale in print and DVD version Saturday.

For more event details go to
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Update: Pelham, NY Wahoo Memorial Ceremony

Recevied the following update from Ken regarding the Pelham ceremony this weekend:

We appreciate everyone who has indicated they are planning to attend our ceremony on Saturday in Pelham honoring the USS Wahoo and its crew.

We are pleased to mention the US Navy Band based in Newport, RI will appear and provide an outdoor concert starting at 10 AM. The concert will be outdoors at the Gazebo park adjacent to the Daronco Town House, just north of the Pelham Train Station.

We are pleased that two US Navy submarine commanders will appear and offer remarks. A native of adjacent Mt. Vernon who attended St. Catharine's School in Pelham, Capt. Raymond Woolrich CO of the USS Trepang during the mid-1980s will offer perspective. The current CO of the USS Texas, CDR James Gray will provide comments.

We are pleased that Tom Conlon from the US Submarines Veterans will lead the "Tolling of the Boats" ceremony. Several local elected officials will be attending including Congresswoman Nita Lowey.

A former Pelham native and 27 year US Navy officer from WWII will be hosting Navy veterans at the lunch at the Villa Nova Restaurant following the ceremony. The location is walking distance from the Daronco Town House. An RSVP on lunch is appreciated so we can develop a count.

A good place will be on Harmon Avenue which borders the Gazebo park and is the second right turn after passing under the Train Station. You may see the Fire Dept setting up a large Flag between their trucks. Pelham's new 9-11 memorial is also on Harmon Avenue again near the Train Station which you might want to visit before the ceremony.

Please let me know any questions, we look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
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Monday, October 06, 2008

Pelham, NY Wahoo Memorial Ceremony Update

The following is a press release with the latest info on the Wahoo memorial service scheduled this Saturday, October 11 in Pelham, NY. This will mark the 65th anniversary of Wahoo's loss while exiting La Perouse Strait during her seventh war patrol.

Oct. 11th Pelham NY Event Will Remember WWII Submarine USS Wahoo and legendary CO “Mush” Morton
Local Native who became US Submarine Commander will be featured speaker, US Navy Band to perform
Pelham, N.Y.

On Saturday October 11th at 11 AM Pelham Post 50 of the American Legion and Sons of the American Legion Squadron 50 plan a ceremony to honor the memory of the most famous submarine of WWII, the USS Wahoo (SS 238) and its crew, on the 65th anniversary of its loss in battle off of the coast of Japan. The ceremony is planned for 11 AM at the Daronco Town House at 20 Fifth Avenue in Pelham New York just north of New York City. A concert preceding the ceremony scheduled for 10 AM will feature the US Navy Band based in Newport, RI.

Retired Pelham Memorial High School science instructor Jerry Mele, a WWII veteran of the USS Blackfin, related to Post 50 SAL 50 members the story of the Pelham connection to the famed WWII submarine USS Wahoo and its legendary commander Dudley “Mush” Morton. The Wahoo was famed in early 1943 for feats such as sinking an entire convoy of enemy ships in the Pacific War and returning to Pearl Harbor with a broom attached to its mast. This well publicized incident, portrayed on a mural at the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC, provided a lift to the nation during the dark early years of WWII. Sadly the Wahoo was lost off the west coast of Japan on Oct. 11th 1943. After the war, CDR Morton’s widow remarried and the family moved to Pelham where his two children attended Pelham schools.

The US Naval Academy Alumni Association has supported the event which honors the memory of its 1930 graduate LCDR Dudley Morton, by nominating the speaker for the day, CAPT Raymond D. Woolrich, USN (RET.) a 1966 graduate of Annapolis who in 1983 was named Commanding Officer of the nuclear submarine USS Trepang SSN 674).

Capt. Woolrich is a native of Mt. Vernon NY who attended St. Catharine’s School in Pelham, Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, and Cornell University before entering Annapolis. Captain Woolrich currently works for Sonalysts Inc. as a Principal Analyst and as the Naval Advisor to the Commanding Officer of the Submarine Medical Research Laboratory in Groton. He is also the President of the Nautilus Chapter of the Naval Submarine League and the Vice President of the Submarine Force Library and Museum Association.

Doug Morton, the son of CRD Dudley Morton and a 1957 graduate of PMHS, is traveling from Denver to participate. Members of the US Submarine Veterans Association are planning to participate. The ceremony will include a reading of the names of the 80 crewmembers of the Wahoo and contain a remembrance of the more than 50 American submarines lost in service.

A lunch will follow at the Villa Nova Restaurant in Pelham, for reservations please call John Chuhran at 914-380-4877

The 65th anniversary ceremony will be held at Pelham’s Daronco Town House adjacent to the Town Hall and Veteran’s Memorial Park. Pelham is located just north of New York City in Westchester County and is easily reached by I95, the Hutchinson River Parkway, or Metro North Train.
All interested veterans are invited to attend. Reservations are appreciated. Please email Ken Kraetzer at or call 914-630-3457.

Updates about the event will be available on

An excellent description of the Wahoo and the 2007 ceremony held in honor of its crew at Pearl Harbor, HA can be found on
The American Legion, with 2.7 million members, is the world's largest veteran's association. The Department of New York is one of The American Legion’s largest state organizations with 1,003 local “Posts” and membership of more than 170,000 Legionnaires. Post 50 Pelham, N.Y., commanded in 2008-2009 by Frank Barbieri organizes Pelham's Memorial Day parade and has served as a New York City Fleet Week host the past six years.

Throughout the year, Post 50 conducts a variety of other projects to support veterans and the local community. In 2005, Post 50 initiated ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Italian Campaign of World War II at the American Battle Monument Commission maintained military cemeteries at Florence and Nettuno, Italy. In 2009 the Post and its SAL Squadron are planning a trip to Normandy France for the 65th Anniversary of D-Day. More information is available at
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Thursday, October 02, 2008

October 12th Memorial Service in Wahoo, Nebraska

On Sunday, October 12th, the Wahoo base of U.S. SubVets WWII will re-dedicate the USS Wahoo (SS-238) Memorial in Wahoo, Nebraska. The Ceremony will be at the Saunders County Courthouse and will begin at 1300 (1:00 PM). Wahoo is about 35 west of Omaha. Howard Mace, World War II Submarine Commander for the Wahoo Chapter, reports it will be the 46th year the Memorial has been in Wahoo.

The memorial display recently underwent refurbishment including removal of the torpedo for repair and painting. The display will be in place in time for the ceremony. Below are some images from the restoration:

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About Me

The first 'grown up' book Paul Crozier ever read was "War Fish" by George Grider. Since then he has spent most of his life researching the U.S. Submarine Force in WWII and USS Wahoo (SS-238) in particular.


This blog is dedicated to all who have served in the U.S. Submarine Force. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Admiral Chester Nimitz

"We shall never forget it was our submarines that held the line against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds."

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