Thursday, October 09, 2008

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



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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