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.



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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