Lost Boats for the Month of October
Tolling of the Boats for October
USS Seawolf (SS-197)
Lost on Oct 3,1944 with the loss of 83 officers and men and 17 US Army troops when she was sunk just north of Moritai by USS Rowell, a Destroyer Escort (DE). In this tragic error, Rowell mistook Seawolf for a Japanese submarine that had just sunk another Destroyer. Seawolf ranks 7th for enemy ships sunk.
USS S-44 (SS-155)
Lost on Oct 7, 1943 with the loss of 56 men when it was sunk off Paramushiru, Kuriles. S-44 was on her 5th war patrol after attacking a target thought to be a merchant on the surface, S-44 found herself in a losing gun battle with a heavily armed Japanese destroyer. Two men were taken prisoner and survived the war.
USS Wahoo (SS-238)
Lost on Oct 11, 1943 with the loss of 80 men near La Perouse Strait. Under command of one of the great sub skippers of World War II, LCDR “Mush” Morton, Wahoo was on her 7th war patrol. Wahoo had won a Presidential Unit Citation and ranks 5th in the number of enemy ships sunk. She was lost to depth charges dropped by a Japanese patrol aircraft.
USS Dorado (SS-248)
Lost on Oct 12, 1943 with the loss of 77 men when she was sunk in the western Atlantic near Cuba. Newly commissioned, she had departed New London and was enroute to Panama. She may have been sunk by a U.S. patrol plane that received faulty instructions regarding bombing restriction areas or a German U-boat that was in the vicinity.
USS Escolar (SS-294)
Lost on Oct 17, 1944 with the loss of 82 men. She was on her 1st war patrol and was most likely lost to a mine somewhere in the Yellow Sea.
USS Shark II (SS-314)
Lost on Oct 24,1944 with the loss of 87 men when she was sunk near Hainan. The second boat to carry this name during World War II, she was on her 3rd war patrol. Shark was sunk by escorts after attacking and sinking a lone freighter. Compounding the tragedy, it turned out that the freighter had 1,800 U.S. POW’s on board.
USS Darter (SS-227)
Lost on Oct 24, 1944 when she became grounded on Bombay Shoal off Palawan and was then destroyed to prevent her falling into enemy hands intact. The entire crew was rescued by USS Dace. Winner of one Navy Unit Commendation, Darter had sunk a heavy cruiser and damaged another and went aground while attempting an “end around” on an enemy formation in hopes of getting in an attack on a battleship.
USS Tang (SS-306)
Lost on Oct 25,1944 with the lost of 78 men in the Formosa Strait. Tang was on her 5th war patrol. Tang ranks 2nd in the number of ships sunk and 4th in tonnage, and had won two Presidential Unit Citations. During a daring night surface attack, Tang was lost to a circular run by one of her own torpedoes. Nine of the crew were taken prisoner, including CDR. O’Kane and five who had gained the surface from her final resting place 180 feet below. All survived the war, and CDR O’Kane was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
USS O-5 (SS-66)
Lost on October 29, 1923 with the loss of 3 men when rammed and sunk by SS Ababgarez off the Panama Canal.