Leaving Pearl Harbor on 16 October 1944, Scamp (Commander J.C. Hollingsworth) headed for Midway, topped off with fuel there, and departed that place for her eighth patrol on 21 October 1944. Scamp was to patrol in the vicinity of the Bonin Islands. On 8 November, her area was changed to the vicinity of 29°-00'N, 141°-00'E.
On 9 November, Scamp was told to stay clear of the Bonins area south of 28°N during B-29 raids and she acknowledged, saying she was in 28°-44'N, 141°-44'E, and had made no torpedo attacks.
This was the last communication received from Scamp. In order to provide rescue services for downed aviators during Saipan-based B-29 assaults on Tokyo, Scamp was ordered to lifeguard duty on 14 November. She was told to proceed to a point just east of the peninsula which forms the eastern boundary of Tokyo Bay, on Honshu. Between that date and 26 November 1944, numerous messages were sent toScamp which required no acknowledgment, thus rendering it impossible to tell whether she received any or all of them.
On 29 November 1944, information was received of an enemy minefield in the vicinity of Inubo Saki, a point on the previously mentioned peninsula, and all submarines in that area were warned. Since all transmissions to Scamp after 9 November 1944 remained unacknowledged, and she had not appeared by 21 December 1944, she was reported as presumed lost on war patrol in enemy waters.
Since the end of the war, the following facts have been learned from Japanese sources. On 11 November 1944, a J apanese patrol plane bombed what appeared to be oil trails left by a submarine, in 33°-38'N, 141°-00'E. A coast defense vessel was led to the scene by the plane and dropped some seventy depth charges in three runs on the target whereupon a large oil pool appeared. The position of the attack is one in which Scamp might be expected to be on 11 November, in proceeding toward her lifeguard station. On 13 November Greenling, herself on a lifeguard station, contacted a ship at 29° -41'N, 140°-10'E. Due to the nature of radar interference, Greenling thought that her contact was on Scamp, although she was unable to sight anything.
On 16 November two attacks were made by the Japanese, one in 32°-10'N, 139°-30'E, the other in 29°-21'N, 141°-30'E. Amplifying data on these attacks reveal that on the latter attack, "Great explosive sounds came as a result of this attack." It would seem then, that Scamp was attacked several times during her period of life-guard duty. Whether she was badly damaged and with-drawing from the Japanese coast at the time of the last two attacks, is impossible to say. No attack cited here ties in with any anti-submarine attacks reported by submarines returning from patrol. It is probable that damage to Scamp became progressively more serious as she absorbed each successive attack, and she may have been withdrawing from the Empire without transmission facilities when the end came.
Scamp, in the seven patrols completed before her loss, sank six ships, totaling 49,000 tons, and damaged eight, for 40,400 tons. Her first patrol was in the southern approaches of the Japanese Empire in March 1943. Plagued by poor torpedo performance, she could only damage a tanker and two freighters. In the Bismarcks-Solomons area on her second patrol, Scamp sank a large freighter. The same area was the scene of her third patrol, which netted Scamp a submarine and a large tanker, both damaged. Scamp's fourth patrol was in the same area as the previous two, this time she sank a freighter and a freighter-transport, and damaged a destroyer escort.
On her fifth patrol this ship covered the Truk-Kavieng traffic lanes. She sank a freighter-transport, and damaged a heavy cruiser and a transport. Her sixth patrol, in the same area from mid-December 1943 to February 1944 resulted in the sinking of a single large tanker. In her seventh patrol, conducted in the New Guinea-Palau-Mindanao area, Scamp sank a small trawler by gunfire. During this patrol, Scamp was severely damaged by a close enemy aircraft bomb, and was saved only by the heroic work of her Commanding Officer and crew.
the late evening and
early morning of
Nov. 12-13, 1942,
the United States
and Japan engaged in
one of the most
brutal naval battles
of World War II.
Minutes into the
fight, north of
into the port side
of the American
Juneau, taking out
its steering and
guns and killing 19
men in the forward
keel buckled and the
During the 10-15
minutes the crew was
engaged in battle,
sailors vomited and
wept; to hide from
the barrage, others
tried to claw their
way into the steel
belly of their
vessel. The ship
listed to port, with
its bow low in the
water, and the stink
of fuel made it
difficult to breathe
withdrew from the
fighting, later that
morning joining a
group of five
from the task force
as they crawled
of the Allied harbor
at Espiritu Santo,
in the New Hebrides.
continued to foul
the air in the
holds; many of the
complement of 697
sailors — which
Waterloo, Iowa —
blistered from the
11:01 a.m., a
tracking the vessels
torpedo into the
explosion ripped it
likely as its
boilers burst. The
forward half of
Juneau at once
the sea swallowed
blasts shot an array
of material into the
air and fragments of
the cruiser struck
its sister ships.
The turret from a
gun flew from the
vanishing vessel to
within 100 yards of
parts fell from the
The men below deck almost certainly drowned at once. The explosion’s aftereffect might have sucked most of those on deck to the bottom, while the blast blew others to bits.
Many of those pitched clear soon died of their injuries, or of poisoning from the black fuel oil, scalding water, or flying metal. They were burned from the fire of the blowup, covered with thick oil, belching salt water.
The dead, the quickly dying, and assorted human carnage floated in a huge oil slick.
Almost two months later, in early January 1943, the Navy gave fuller details of the eventual American victories at Guadalcanal, but also announced the great cost of the engagements.
Among the losses on Juneau were the five brothers from Iowa, the Sullivans: George, 27; Francis, or “Frank,” 26; Joseph, known as “Red,” 24; Madison, or “Matt,” 23; and Albert, or “Al,” 20.
It was — and remains — the single greatest wartime sacrifice of any American family.
The Navy immediately picked up a thread begun before the brothers’ deaths to weave a story about the Sullivan family — one continued by newspapers, filmmakers, and Midwestern and national leaders. It was American myth-making at its finest, serving to distract a grieving family from its loss, misdirect attention from a series of Navy bungles, and help accustom a nation to the idea of sacrifice for the greater good.
Varied authorities with mass media pull would convince Americans of the boys’ luster as the brothers and their family became cogs in a propaganda machine that would transform them all into heroes — individuals unrecognizable to their Waterloo, Iowa, hometown.
organizations are joining together to host what
they are calling the largest Veterans Day
program in Washington, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 1
p.m. at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion in Bremerton.
Twenty-five military booths will be on display,
including vintage uniforms and vehicles. Over
1,800 people are expected to attend the event,
according to a press release.
will be the 16th year,” Sandra Smith
said, Navy League Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula
Council and Veterans Day Event Committee Chair.
“The first two years it was somewhat smaller so
it was in the Presidents Hall. By the third
year, we had already advanced to the pavilion.
At 10:30 a.m.,
the actual program begins with pomp and
circumstance of a formal Parade of Colors.
Captain Alan Schrader, Chief of Staff of Navy
Region Northwest; and Guy Stitt, Bremerton Navy
League Ambassador, will welcome those in
attendance. County Commissioner Robert Gelder
will introduce all of the military and political
dignitaries, while the Bremerton High School
Band will provide the tunes.
“We usually fill up the pavilion, they put out
almost 2,000 chairs. In Kitsap, this [event] is
The Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council of Navy
League provides the coordination and funds for
the event, along with 42 other organizations.
year, the keynote speaker is Lt. Cmdr.
Richard Roberts USN (Ret.). He served as a
crew member on P2V’s during the Cuban Missile
Crisis and was subsequently commissioned as an
Aviation Maintenance Officer, serving aboard the
USS Forrestal, USS Enterprise, USS Midway, and
Smith noted that rain often deters some folks
away from the event, so she is hopeful the
weather stays clear on Veterans Day.
“The parking lot always fills up and then you
have to park out on the grass,” she said. “Grass
kind of turns to mud when it rains. I’m hoping
my anti-rain dance is effective this year.”
Crazy Eric’s Drive-In will be on hand providing
free refreshments following the program. A
container will also be available for retiring
American Flags to be properly retired.
“It takes a lot of people to put this together,”
Smith said. “Other people have really stepped
Subvets usually show at this event!
Tragically Unlucky – The Sad
Tale of the USS Sculpin
conventions for naming American submarines
depends on the time when they were commissioned
and the type they were. Today, submarines are
generally named after states or cities, or
sometimes great Americans.
During WWII, US submarines were named after fish
or sea mammals, and their numerical designation
was prefaced by the letters “SS”, for “steam
screw”. SS-191 was the USS Sculpin, the first of
three boats to carry the name.
The sculpin is an ugly deep-water fish with big
bulging eyes to help it see in the depths. It
also has specialized barbs in its fins and gills
that not only allow it to anchor itself to the
sea bottom, but also work to repel attackers.
SS-191 very deservedly took its name from this
tenacious deep-sea fish.
Commissioned in 1939, the Sculpin was an
“S-class” submarine, of which there were ten.
All of the subs in the class were named after
fish or mammals whose name began with the letter
“S”. The subs were powered by either
direct-drive or diesel-electric
engines/auxiliary battery and displaced 1450
tons surfaced and 2350 tons submerged.
They were 310 feet (about 94 meters) long and 26
feet (almost 8 meters) wide. They had a top
speed of 21 knots surfaced and 8.75 knots
submerged. The boats had an incredible 11,000
mile (17.7 kilometers) range and were able to
remain submerged for forty-eight hours at two
The subs were tested to 250 feet (76 meters),
but sometimes were forced closer to 300 feet
(91.4 meters). The crew consisted of 5 officers
and 54 enlisted men manning eight 21-inch
torpedo tubes and 24 torpedoes, one 3-inch deck
gun, and a combination of .50 or .30 machine
the Sculpin was the chief boat in Submarine
Division 43, a group of three submarines in the
Central Pacific. They were stationed to defend
the sea lanes approaching the Gilbert Islands,
which was to be the site of the famous invasion
of Tarawa in late November.
the 3-boat sub division was Captain John P.
Cromwell. The captain of the Sculpin itself
was Commander Fred Connaway. The two other boats
with Sculpin were the Sargo-class boat Searaven
and Balao-class sub Apagon.
Captain Cromwell, like many Navy men, was from a
land-locked state: Illinois. Born in 1901,
Cromwell graduated from Annapolis in 1924. He
served in a variety of duties before the war,
including on the battleship USS Maryland. In the
pre-WWII Navy, a battleship was a desirable
assignment, but Cromwell was drawn to the
Captain Cromwell was given command of his own
sub, USS S-20. By the time war broke out in
1941, Cromwell had served not only as captain,
but in a variety of staff positions in
Washington as well as Engineer Officer for the
submarines across the entire Pacific Fleet. He
had fostered connections and was well-respected.
Commander Connaway was ten years Cromwell’s
junior, but also from a land-locked state – New
Mexico. After graduating from the Naval Academy,
Cromwell served aboard the battleship Texas for
two years, and then transferred to submarine
By 1939 he
had commanded two subs, and at the start of the
war was commanding sub S-48. In 1931 on a
submarine voyage across the Atlantic, Connaway
wrote to his mother, relating the conditions
aboard the boat:
“For three weeks I am an engineer. Besides
having two lectures a day and having to sketch
the entire engineering plant and electrical
system, and having to write up the lectures, and
having to stand eight hours’ watch every day at
the most unearthly hours in the fire room,
temperature 130 degrees F, I don’t have very
much to do except try to find time and a place
By November 1943, the Sculpin had undertaken
eight war patrols. During those patrols, the men
of the Sculpin had taken the fight to the enemy,
consisting of eighteen Japanese ships, including
one cruiser. Not all of the men aboard Sculpin
had been on every mission, including Cromwell
and Connaway, but many of them had some combat
experience, and on the boats’ ninth war patrol.
This would be extremely important as both
Commander Connaway and Captain Cromwell had not
been on war patrol before. Both men had served
on subs and the submarine fleet in a variety of
ways, but neither had seen a war patrol in an
active combat zone.
On November 16th, 1943, Sculpin, Searaven and
Apagon took position near Truk, west of the
Marshall and Gilbert Islands, protecting the sea
lanes from any approaching Japanese ships.
Americans had a number of serious advantages in
the Pacific – and Commander Cromwell was in
possession of some of them. He was privy to the
knowledge that the Allies had broken both many
of the German naval codes and the primary
Japanese code (“JN-25” or “Purple”) as well.
He also knew the position of most of the subs in
the Pacific and had detailed knowledge of the
coming invasion of Tarawa. Additionally, the
Americans, including Cromwell’s Submarine
Division 43, knew where most of the Japanese
fleet was, or was heading. The deployment of the
three subs at Truk was intentional.
On the night of the 16th, Captain Connaway
sighted a convoy of Japanese ships steaming at
high speed in the direction of the Gilberts. In
the darkness, Connaway drove Sculpin on the
surface, parallel to the Japanese convoy,
getting ahead of it in the early morning hours,
then submerging in wait.
When dawn broke, Sculpin surfaced, but was
spotted by a Japanese destroyer, which soon made
right for it. Connaway ordered an emergency dive
and took the boat as far down as possible.
Inside the sub, Cromwell, Connaway and the crew
of the Sculpin listened as the Japanese convoy
Believing they were clear, Connaway rose to
periscope depth in the hope of catching the
enemy convoy before it moved out of range. This
time, another Japanese destroyer, the Yamagumo,
was heading straight at him. Once again the
Sculpin dove deep.
people have expressed the sentiment that war is
“mostly boredom, punctuated by moments of
terror”. Of all the moments experienced in war,
none is more terrifying than being in a
submarine while it is being depth-charged.
Unnaturally confined in a steel box in the first
place, then sent under the waves, men in a sub
are then subjected to oil-drum sized explosive
charges on them in the hope that the explosions
will crack open the hull of the submarine, and
all aboard her will be sent into the deep ocean.
There are so many terrifying aspects to this
that it is hard to single out just one, but many
submariners who have been through a depth charge
attack will tell you that among the worst things
about it is the inability to shoot back –
at the mercy of the enemy.
After hours of being attacked and searched for
(the dreaded “ping” of sonar), Sculpin surfaced
at noon. When the boat reached 125 feet, the
depth gauge stuck. When the boat surfaced, it
was rather abruptly, as no one aboard was quite
sure how deep Sculpin was. In the conning tower,
Connaway once again found himself staring at a
Japanese destroyer heading right at him.
Screaming for an emergency dive, Connaway
slammed the hatch behind him and the Sculpin
descended once again. This time, eighteen depth
charges fell near the boat in quick succession.
One of the charges effected the subs’ ability to
control its depth.
The boat rapidly dove past her maximum depth of
250 feet, heading to 300.
appeared throughout the boat as rivets and seams
began to give. Any deeper and Sculpin
would crush – the water pressure of the ocean
around her would simply cave in her hull like a
Connaway and his crew managed to stop their
descent, but only by powering through the water
at full-power. This in turn gave the Japanese
sonar-men above more noise with which to target
the Americans. Eventually, one of two things was
going to happen – neither of them good.
One, the sub could continue to try to make way
under full power, but eventually fuel would run
out, or the engines would be damaged beyond
repair. Then the boat would stop, sink, and
everyone in it would be crushed by the deep.
Second, the enemy could easily score a fatal
hit. The probability of either happening was
one possibility: surface and fight it out as
long as possible. That’s what Commander Cromwell
and Captain Connaway agreed to do.
When Sculpin blew her ballast tanks and
surfaced, Captain Connaway and the gun crew ran
out onto the deck to man the boats’ 3-inch gun.
The first Japanese shell hit the American sub,
killing Connaway in the conning tower and all of
the men of the gun crew.
The boats’ second in command took over, and he
ordered the boat scuttled – primed with
explosives and sunk. The crew would abandon ship
as best they could before their boat exploded.
As difficult as that order was to give, one man
had a worse decision to make.
Below deck, Commander Cromwell was faced with a
choice – be captured and likely give up the
secrets he held under torture, or…die in the
informed those around him of his decision and
ordered them to abandon ship.
The dive officer, Ensign W.M. Fielder, elected
to remain behind with Cromwell to help make sure
the boat did indeed sink. A number of severely
wounded men, knowing what treatment they would
receive at the hands of the Japanese, also
elected to stay behind.
other men abandoned ship. Immediately they
realized the stories about Japanese treatment of
prisoners they had heard were true – one wounded
man was thrown back into the sea to drown as the
rest were brought into captivity.
Read another story from us: The End of the
Rising Sun – The Japanese Surrender in Color
Eventually put aboard the Japanese carrier Chuyo
for transport to a POW camp, the men of the
Sculpin and others were torpedoed by the USS
Sailfish, whose captain and crew were unaware of
the POW’s aboard the enemy ship. Ironically,
four years before, the crew of the Sculpin had
rescued the crew of the Sailfish after an
accident off the New England coast.
twenty-one men from the Sculpin survived the
war. Cromwell was awarded the Medal of Honor,
Connaway the Silver Star.
officers snagged in Seattle area drug cases
By: Geoff Ziezulewicz 12
prosecuted or administratively punished six
submarine officers at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor
for narcotics offenses, officials confirmed this
Two of those officers — Lt. j.g. Riley W.
Hoffmann and Lt. Alexander J. Egber — served on
the Blue Crew of the ballistic missile submarine
Pennsylvania, one of the Navy’s “boomers” that
carry nuclear weapons.
submariner, Lt. James W. Hendren, was assigned
to the guided-missile submarine Michigan.
other officers overseen by Submarine Group 9
have been administratively disciplined for drug
offenses this year, according to Lt. Mack
Jamieson, a group spokesman.
Declining to elaborate on the nature of their
Jamieson cited federal privacy rules for not
providing the names and ranks of the officers
who received non judicial punishment.
Asked whether military leaders were concerned
that this rash of officer drug cases might
signal a broader problem plaguing the underwater
Jamieson told Navy Times they “take all
allegations of drug use seriously.”
Navy has a robust drug prevention program in
place to inform sailors not to use illegal drugs
and ensure sailors are aware of what can happen
if they violate this policy,” he said.
The Navy’s probe began after a junior officer
popped positive for an unnamed illegal drug
during a routine urinalysis, Jamieson told Navy
As the investigation widened, it netted
Hoffmann, Egber and Hendren, Jamieson added.
Hendren and Hoffmann have pleaded guilty in
recent weeks, while Egber is scheduled for
arraignment later this month.
Egber is charged with using cocaine, the
stimulant Adderall and the synthetic
mood-changing drug MDMA —better known by street
names “Ecstasy,” “Ex” or “Molly” — in San
Francisco and Berkeley, California, in October
and November of 2017, according to his charge
following month, he
used and distributed
cocaine in Seattle
and also solicited
person to distribute
Hoffmann with using
cocaine in Seattle
in late 2017, plus
part of a pretrial
deal, he pleaded
guilty on Oct. 9 at
martial hearing to
using and possessing
the drugs, Jamieson
sentenced him to
forfeit $6,000 in
pay over the span of
a year, a reprimand
and two months of
restriction on Naval
the terms of the
plea deal, however,
both the pay
wrote in an email to
guilty Oct. 23 to
an officer and a
Seattle, where he
lived, according to
Navy spokesman Joe
was sentenced to 150
days behind bars, a
letter of reprimand
and $20,000 in pay
forfeitures over the
span of five months,
severity of the
but the exposure and
tack taken by the
Berens told Navy
Times that a fellow
officer who had
missed his ferry
home arrived at
and asked if he had
any cocaine. Because
he shared the drug —
what the attorney
called a “buddy
distro” — Hendren
drew the charge.
stemmed from putting
a civilian in touch
with a drug dealer
on July 26, after
he’d already had
been hit with the
Berens told Navy
“Lt. Hendren was facing charges
and then he pleaded guilty to arranging an
additional drug deal,” Berens said. “He
basically put a civilian in contact with a drug
dealer when he was facing charges.”
Records provided by Berens allege that Egber
snitched on Hendren.
In an Aug. 23 affidavit attached to a search
warrant request targeting Hendren’s cellphone,
Naval Criminal Investigative Service Special
Agent Chris Garlinghouse wrote that Egber said
Hendren facilitated a July 26 coke buy.
Garlinghouse described Hendren and Egber meeting
two unnamed civilians at a Seattle bar that
night after work.
Over the next few hours, Hendren texted a dealer
and then took the civilians to an apartment
building to get drugs, according to the
Hendren said he "did not want Lt. Egber to
witness anything,” so he went upstairs but
arranged to meet later to go to dinner,
On the way to the restaurant, Egber asked
Hendren what happened but was told “it’s not his
business,” the affidavit stated.
Egber kept asking until Hendren “became
defensive and stated he does not know what he is
talking about,” the agent wrote.
Hendren walked into work on Aug. 23 and was met
by NCIS agents who seized his phone, according
to an affidavit penned by Hendren five days
Hendren was placed into handcuffs and leg
shackles and then paraded through Navy medical
spaces, and then driven to his off-base downtown
Seattle apartment and was forced to walk outside
on public streets while shackled in uniform,”
Hendren’s Navy attorney, Lt. Cmdr. Michael
Whitican, added in an Aug. 29 motion.
Hendren’s affidavit accused the Navy of
preventing him from calling for family or legal
counsel for three days after he was
“We’ve got parents thinking their son might be
dead, and mum’s the word,” Berens said. “Why
couldn’t the command reach out?”
Hendren spent two months behind bars before he
entered a plea. The initial 13 days were spent
in solitary confinement and he faced two more
days in the hole after his plea hearing,
according to his attorney.
“This is a relatively minor drug charge,” Berens
said. “We’ve got somebody in solitary for two
Navy spokesman Jamieson said authorities
"followed standard procedure as laid out in the
manual for court-martial throughout the
Hendren’s commitment to the Navy was slated to
expire in May, and he’d told superiors he was
leaving the service before the probe kicked off,
Berens told Navy Times.
To Berens, Hendren’s deepening substance abuse
problem and his decision to depart a promising
military career stemmed from the same cause —
unspecified “risks taken by superiors at sea.”
Hendren was on “several top-secret missions,”
where “the command had made decisions that put
everyone at risk,” Berens said.
In a clemency request forwarded Friday to the
commander of Navy Region Northwest, Rear Adm.
Christopher Gray, Hendren’s legal team argued
that the lieutenant drew a harsh sentence
compared to those meted out to peers with
They’ve asked Gray to lop 30 days off Hendren’s
confinement at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord
Northwest Regional Correctional Facility, about
an hour’s drive from his submarine’s base.
“Please also know there is some evidence that LT
Hendren’s command suspected that he may have an
alcohol dependency issue, stemming in part from
being involved in two perilous incidents at sea,
that was never properly addressed by (Substance
Abuse Rehabilitation Program) providers,” the
“Had LT Hendren received counseling and
treatment when the command identified the
possibility of an alcohol dependency issue, LT
Hendren may have separated as planned in
May/June 2019 under Honorable conditions.”
In a letter to Gray, Hendren added that his
mother had suffered a stroke and “it is probable
this will be her last holiday season.”
“I have not spent a holiday season at home for
the past 3 years due to forward deployments on
USS Michigan,” he wrote. “I am writing to ask
for 30 days removed from my sentence, so I may
spend the holidays with my mother as her only
teacher told me years ago that if a young person
worked to do a little better every day, that
individual would be the ultimate leader and role
model by the age of 30! The comment may be an
oversimplification of “self-direction,” but we
all can agree that continuous improvement
results in top-performing organizations and
To continuously improve, organizations and
individuals need a game plan. An individual who
just wakes up and thinks I will just see what
happens today will not get far. Organizations
that operate without a plan are almost always
doomed to mediocrity or failure.
As I think about self-direction and game plans,
I am reminded of examples that make
self-direction more easily understood. For years
I kept a sign in my office that simply stated,
“Keep the main thing, the main thing!” This
short statement highlighted the fact that if
everything is important, then nothing is
important! To clearly underline the “main
thing,” we stressed a minimum number of key
objectives. As the Pacific Submarine Force
commander, I was committed above all else to
safety, people, and operational excellence.
These are certainly broad areas, but they put a
spotlight on what truly needed to be “the main
things.” Perhaps more important, these focus
areas prioritized the organization’s efforts and
were reinforced daily by me and the chain of
command. If something else came up, it was
measured against the top three “main things” and
acted on accordingly.
“Keeping the main thing the main thing” supports
self-direction, as this simple phrase provides
the ability to set goals related to the main
things and supports communications clarity by
focusing the team on the critical aspects of our
responsibilities. It allows a leader to create
an atmosphere where continuous improvement is
part of the culture. Self-direction supports
intellectual growth for individuals as well as
One example that encompassed all three of my
personal main things was the initiative to
establish a fast attack nuclear-powered
submarine squadron in Guam, Marianas Islands.
Confronted with the difficult challenge of
meeting the high demand for submarines in the
Pacific theater, my staff enlisted and officer
members alike realized that a submarine squadron
in Guam would contribute to strengthening all of
our key objectives. Submarines homeported in
Guam would contribute to safe submarine
operations in the Pacific by relaxing the time
between deployments and the overall hectic pace
of operations. It would reduce the number of
deployments from the continental United States
necessary to support national defense
objectives. On top of the operational
advantages, the concept would boost the morale
of our submarine crews as time at home would be
increased. Finally, the added submarine presence
in the western Pacific would provide for
enhanced interoperability with our allies and
give the geographic combatant commanders a
better ability to meet their operational
This main thing or focused self-direction
allowed my team to overcome all the obstacles
that existed to successfully establish Submarine
Squadron 15 in Guam in early 2001. Members of
this team, some two decades later, recommended
to Navy uniformed and civilian leaders that the
squadron headquarters building be named Konetzni
Hall. Approval of this initiative came in
December 2018. As one can imagine, I was shocked
when I was informed by the Chief of Naval
Operations that the headquarters building had
been named for me. Deep feelings of humility,
honor, and happiness remain with me even today.
The truth, however, is that I had little to do
with the submarine squadron’s establishment in
Guam. Self-direction throughout the entire
organization was the pivotal factor to this
success. Twenty years after the establishment of
the squadron they remembered our mutual efforts,
the team’s success, and proposed naming the
building in my honor; and heck, I am still alive
to boot! They followed the mantra “Keep the main
thing the main thing” and made a dream,
Submarine Squadron 15, come true! With
self-direction most anything is possible for
individuals and organizations.
The third Growler (SS-215) was laid down on 10 February 1941 at Groton, Conn., by the Electric Boat Co.; launched on 22 November 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Robert L. Ghormley; and commissioned on 20 March 1942,Lt. Cmdr. Howard W. Gilmore in command.
Sailing out of Groton to conduct her first sea trials on 23 March 1942, Growler made a series of Condition II dives and operated her engineering plant at full speed. She returned to her builders’ yard to have the “night shift repair minor defects and leaks.” The next day, she reported for duty to Adm. Ernest King, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet (ComInch), and Vice Adm. Royal E. Ingersoll, C-in-C, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CinCLant). For the rest of the month of March, Growler continued to conduct intensive training for her crew at sea, and returned at night to Groton for minor repairs.
On 1 April 1942, Growler participated with the submarine rescue vessel Falcon (ASR-2) to conduct various drills and training, including torpedo and night approaches as a part of Task Force (TF) 25.6, New Construction Submarines, operating under Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Operating in the Submarine Sanctuary off New London, Conn., she continued her commissioning and training underway. The next day the No. 8 torpedo tube’s outer door and shutter malfunctioned due to an indeterminate cause while conducting torpedo approaches with Falcon. On 3 April, Growler docked in the Marine Railway, Electric Boat Co., for repairs to her No. 8 torpedo tube. During the course of repair, the workers discovered three of her starboard propeller blades were bent. Over the next few days, the shipyard workers repaired her starboard propeller, fixed the shutter and door on the No. 8 torpedo tube, and checked and cleaned her other torpedo tubes as well.
Proceeding to the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I., on 8 April 1942, Growler loaded fourteen Mk. XIV-1 torpedoes, spare parts, and accessories as approved by the Bureau of Ordnance. With her torpedo tubes now full, she prepared to get underway when Vice Adm. Ingersoll made an informal inspection of the submarine. On 9 April, she made way to New London and continued contract torpedo firing and afterwards, brought on board ten more torpedoes. Over the course of the next few days, Growler operated out of New London, conducting drills and installed radar shielding in accordance with instructions of the Bureau of Ships. Provisions and stores brought on board, she then operated with the coastal yacht Sapphire (PYc-2), conducting torpedo approaches on 14 April.
After firing several torpedoes and completing a successful deep dive with passengers from the Bureau of Ships and Submarine Base, New London, on board to conduct radar tests on 17 April 1942, Growler faltered after an unsuccessful attempt to conduct four hour full power runs. Things went from bad to worse when the boat developed minor engine problems which may have contributed to failing the power runs. Repairs were made at sea, and after calibrations to her DQ direction finder, she operated with Finback (SS-230), Grunion (SS-216), and O-10 (SS-71) before returning to New London’s State Pier on 19 April 1942. Two days later, all four boats operated with Army Air Force planes from Springfield, Mass., to practice day and nighttime operations. A successful four hour full power trial was conducted on 22 April, before Growler returned to Electric Boat’sMarine Railway for emergency repairs to her safety tank flood valves (after a gasket blew out) on 24 April. She spent the next few days in dry dock, before getting underway to conduct night approaches, with Sapphire acting as the target. By the last day of April, after running through more drills and night approaches, Growler conducted low visibility surprise attacks during the day, operating with Finback and Sapphire.
Growler returned to New London for upkeep prior to her departure for Hawaii on 1 May 1942. Three days later, after being degaussed and
assigned to Task Unit (TU) 25.6.6, she got underway for Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal. On 12 May, she arrived at her rendezvous station 52 miles from the Colon Breakwater, while being escorted by the motor torpedo boat tender Niagara (PG-52) to Coco Solo.
Clearing Balboa, Canal Zone, on 15 May 1942, Growler received her new assignment to TU 7.8.2, and arrived in Pearl Harbor on 31 May, escorted to the submarine base by Litchfield (DD-336). The following day, she commenced a period of training and special availability. The special training and availability period concluded on 19 June, and she departed Pearl Harbor for Midway the next day, conducting daily training dives and drills en route.
Growler’sfirst war patrol began on 29 June 1942, after Task Force 8 sent orders assigning her a patrol area in the Aleutians. After refueling and charging torpedoes at Midway, she arrived at her assigned area on 30 June, patrolling Kiska Harbor. Sighting what Lt. Cmdr. Gilmore believed at first were three cruisers leaving Kiska on 5 July, Growler closed for a submerged torpedo attack and then surfaced. The enemy ships proved to be destroyers, and she “approached DD’s at slow speed, silent running in case they were maintaining sound watch.” Firing a spread of torpedoes, one each struck the Asashio-class Kasumi, and the Kagero-class Shiranui, severing her bow and killing three men. Both enemy destroyers suffered severe damage that left them unable to fight back.
Growler next fired two torpedoes at the third destroyer, Arare. While the first torpedo missed, the second struck her amidships. By sonar and by ear, Growler’screw heard three heavy explosions and “53 lighter ones.” Lashing out at her attacker, Arare managed to fire off two torpedoes in desperation. As the Japanese torpedoes "swished down each side" of Growler, she dived deep, but no depth charges followed. Arare sank, taking 140 men down with her. The badly damaged Shiranui managed to rescue Cmdr. Ogata Tomoe, Arare’s commanding officer, and 42 survivors. After escaping a short depth charge attack the day after striking the Japanese, Growler put in at Dutch Harbor for an inspection and light repairs on 9 July. She departed Dutch Harbor on 11 July, and completed her successful patrol without finding any more targets. Escorted by Tracy (DM-19), Growler berthed at Pearl Harbor on 17 July. Read all about Growler's 11 war patrols^
One-of-a-Kind Coast Guard Icebreaker Visits
Juneau on Way Home
3 Nov 2019 | The
| By Michael S.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP)
Oct. 27 on its way
home to its homeport
Coast Guard's only
in the Arctic with
Institute and the
Layman, the Healy's
"We're a completely
unique United States
Coast Guard vessel,"
Healy is the only
one of its class, a
from the hull out to
missions in the
Coast Guard's other
Star, is a heavy
channels open in the
said. The Coast
Guard is looking to
enhance its ability
to operate in the
Arctic and Antarctic
sea ice with the
three medium and
Cutters in a
has no other
we lose the Polar
Star, we lose the
power to break ice
in the Antarctic,"
capability is pretty
tenuous right now,
so we'll see how
vessel can generate
more than 35,000
horsepower with four
two motors, said
Petty Officer 1st
Sutton, a machinery
of 24 Coast
Guardsmen who keep
the massive engines
Layman says the
hullform, called the
"ice knife," and
horsepower are key
to operating in the
sea ice of the
ships aren't built
smash the ice like
the Healy is, Layman
said, which limits
above the Arctic
Circle. The ship is
also equipped with a
unique bridge in the
aft of the ship, to
support backing up
and ramming thicker
ridges of ice,
Layman said. The
ship also has bow
and ice operations.
single biggest thing
is the shape of the
hull," Layman said.
The hull is designed
to ride up on pack
ice and use the
ship's weight and
forward motion to
Healy uses this to
accommodate the 50
scientists on board
as they carry out a
number of scientific
missions in the
said. The science is
focused on two main
research in open
monitoring the ice
"Our bread and
butter is monitoring
how the ice is
Layman said. "Healy
has a bunch of
science sensors that
have multiplied over
said, flying out of
Dutch Harbor with
their data while the
ship returns to
Seattle with the
equipment where it
can be more easily
is also capable of
search and rescue,
and even vessel
although without a
center, Layman said,
it's most effective
as a scientific
research vessel. The
Coast Guard would
use its MH-60
to resupply the
Healy roughly once a
week while underway,
Healy will return to
its homeport in
Seattle as this
the history of the
U.S. Navy only seven
men have earned all
of the “Big Three”
valor awards: Medal
of Honor, Navy Cross
and Silver Star
Medal. Six were
World War II
one aviator and four
The seventh was
1947, Williams, a
Fort Mill, South
in the Navy with a
first 19 years in
the Navy included
service aboard the
Douglas H. Fox
during the Korean
War and tours on a
variety of naval
vessels from 1953 to
May 1966 Boatswain’s
Mate 1st Class
assigned to River
Squadron 5 in South
Vietnam to command
Patrol Boat, River
boat usually carried
a four-man crew who
waterways to prevent
the Viet Cong from
using them to
transport troops and
July 1 Williams led
a patrol that came
under fire from a
Viet Cong sampan.
His deft maneuvers
and accurate fire
killed five VC and
resulted in capture
of the enemy boat,
earning Williams a
Bronze Star Medal
with a “V” for
days later the
capture of another
Williams a second
Bronze Star for
valor. Less than a
month later, he
received a Silver
Star and his first
Halloween, Oct. 31,
1966, Williams was
two-boat patrol on
the Mekong River
when he was fired on
by two sampans. He
and his crew killed
the occupants of one
and then went after
the other. That
pursuit put the Navy
boats into a VC
containing two junks
and eight sampans,
supported by machine
guns on the river
holding the enemy at
bay. During this
discovered an even
larger force. Not
waiting for the
from enemy boats and
the shore, his
fought a three-hour
destroyed or damaged
65 VC boats and
For his actions,
nominated for the
Medal of Honor.
Jan. 9, 1967, the
Navy dredge Jamaica
Bay was blown up by
mines in the Mekong
Delta, and PBR-105
arrived to pick up
seven of the
man was trapped in
the rapidly sinking
dove into the water
and, with a rope
attached to a nearby
tug, pulled clear an
swam through a hatch
to recover the
days later Williams
was wounded while
leading a three-boat
crossing attempt by
companies of 400
fighters. He and his
boats accounted for
16 VC killed, 20
wounded and the
destruction of nine
sampans and junks.
Williams was awarded
the Navy Cross.
home in spring 1967,
he had a list of
awards unmatched by
any enlisted man in
Navy history. He
retired after 20
years of service and
began a career in
the U.S. Marshals
On May 14, 1968,
President Lyndon B.
Williams with the
Medal of Honor. For
actions at the
sinking Jamaica Bay,
he was awarded the
Navy and Marine
Corps Medal, often
noncombat medal of
During his last
seven months in the
including the Legion
of Merit with “V,”
for valor and three
Williams died on
Oct. 13, 1999, and
in 2003 his widow,
Elaine, watched the
launching of the
Arleigh Burke class
James E. Williams.
Sterner, an Army
veteran who served
two tours in
Vietnam, is curator
of the world’s
largest database of
U.S. military valor
American commando raid to kill al-Baghdadi
was launched from al-Asad airbase, rehearsals
conducted in Erbil
Shawn Snow and Howard Altman | Military times |
October 28, 2019
American commando raid that bagged Islamic State
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was launched
from the sprawling al-Asad airbase in Anbar
province Iraq, according to a source on
the ground with direct knowledge of the
The source told Military Times on condition of
anonymity because he was not authorized to speak
on the record that
forces rehearsed the raid in Erbil, Iraq, using
concrete T-walls to practice breaching.
While on the ground during the raid to capture
or kill the ISIS leader, American forces blew a
hole in the side of the compound — avoiding the
President Donald Trump detailed Sunday morning.
American commandos also launched from a second
location in Syria, the source said. But its
unknown if the target of that raid force was
al-Baghdadi. Military Times is withholding the
location of where U.S. forces launched from
within Syria due to operational security
is home to a Joint Special Operations Command
base hosting Delta Force and Army Rangers.
Just hours after the ISIS leader’s demise became
public, Syrian Democratic Forces —
U.S.-backed anti-ISIS force in northern Syria —
announced that a close associate to al-Baghdadi,
Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, was killed.
Mazloum Abdî, the commander of the SDF, tweeted
Sunday that al-Muhajir was killed due to SDF intelligence
shared with the U.S. military.
Pentagon would not confirm the launch points for
the operation when asked by Military Times,
citing operational security. Officials with
Operation Inherent Resolve — the U.S.-led
mission to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria — did
not immediately respond to
a request for comment.
Saturday, nearly 100 American commandos
launched a brazen nighttime heliborne raid in
al-Qaida-infested Idlib province, Syria, to
kill the elusive ISIS leader al-Baghdadi.
Cornered in a dead-end tunnel with American
military working dogs bearing down on him,
al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest killing
himself and three children he had dragged into
the tunnel with him.
A working dog was injured in the blast. But Army
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, told reporters Monday at the Pentagon
that the dog has since returned to duty with his
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told the Sunday
morning ABC news show “This Week” that American
troops rehearsed actions on the objective about
a week before the raid.
Milley said Monday that two adult males were
pulled off the target site where al-Baghdadi was
killed and are being held in at a secure
facility. Milley provided no other details about
the location of the detainees.
Al-Baghdadi’s remains were moved to a secure
location where they were identified and later
disposed of in accordance with the law of armed
conflict, according to Milley.
American troops were amid a withdrawal from
Syria prior to Saturday’s raid that killed the
founder and leader of ISIS. Trump has since
slightly backtracked on the decision to vacate
northern Syria entirely — opting to keep a small
residual force to protect oil wells and counter
a potential ISIS resurgence.
Esper reiterated Monday during a Pentagon press
briefing that U.S. forces moving back into Syria
will included some “mechanized” forces. But the
Pentagon has not provided any details on what
kind of mechanized forces will move into eastern
Syria near the oil fields.
Esper told reporters Monday that he still
expects U.S. force numbers to be below the
roughly 1,000 troops that had been based in the
country before Trump’s order to withdraw. But
experts argue the use of American armor to
protect oil fields in Syria could require
additional forces and put a strain on military
fields in eastern Syria are a contentious issue.
This area has been the scene of unusual
confrontations with U.S. forces, such as a
one-sided battle in February 2018 in which a
pro-Syrian government force reported to be
mainly private Russian mercenaries unleashed an
artillery barrage near a small U.S. military
outpost. As then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
recounted the episode in congressional testimony
two months later, he ordered the attacking force
to be “annihilated — and it was” after Russian
authorities insisted the attackers were not
The Pentagon has consistently stated that the
U.S. mission to protect the Syrian oil fields is
to aimed at keeping the oil out of the hands of
a potential ISIS resurgence.
However, Esper acknowledged Monday, that
American forces in the region would also block
access to the lucrative oil fields from Syrian
and Russian forces. Esper said that the SDF rely
on funds from the oil fields to help fund their
forces and maintain ISIS prisons.
Esper also said American forces protecting the
oil fields where prepared to use “overwhelming
military force” in self defense of their forces.
said Monday that he has seen no sign of Syrian
or Russian forces challenging U.S. control of
the oil fields.
The Associated Press, citing a U.S. official,
reported that the U.S. has detected what appears
to be a massing of Russian and Syrian forces on
the western side of the Euphrates River near
Russian officials were contacted by phone, and
the U.S. was given assurances that the staged
forces would not move east, the official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a
Jim Jeffrey, the Trump administration’s special
envoy for Syria, seemed to refer to this episode
when he said last Friday, “We are currently very
concerned about certain developments in the
south, in the Deir el-Zour area. I’ve talked to
my Russian colleague about that and we’re having
other contacts with the Russians concerning that
situation. We think it is under control now.”
After expelling Islamic State militants from
southeastern Syria in 2018, the Kurds seized
control of the more profitable oil fields to the
south in Deir el-Zour province.
The U.S. will also keep a small number of U.S.
troops at the Tanf garrison near the Syria-Iraq
border. American commandos housed at Tanf are
tasked with training an anti-ISIS force separate
from the SDF mission.
This story contains information from the