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



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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