Lost Boats for the Month of April

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Tolling of the Boats for April

USS Pickerel (SS-177)

Lost on April 3,1943 with the loss of 74 officers and men, while on her 7th war patrol. She was lost off Honshu. The exact cause of her loss has never been determined, but her OP area contained numerous minefields.

USS Snook (SS-279)

Lost on April 8,1945 with the loss of 84 officers and men. Snook ranks 10th in total Japanese tonnage sunk and is tied for 9th in the number of ships sunk. She was lost near Hainan Island, possibly sunk by a Japanese submarine.

USS Thresher (SSN-593)

Lost on April 10, 1963 with the loss of 112 crew members and 17 civilian technicians during deep-diving exercises. 15 minutes after reaching test depth, she communicated with USS Skylark that she was having problems. Skylark heard noises “like air rushing into an air tank” – then, silence. Rescue ship Recovery (ASR-43) subsequently recovered bits of debris, including gloves and bits of internal insulation. Photographs taken by Trieste proved that the submarine had broken up, taking all hands on board to their deaths in 1,400 fathoms of water, some 220 miles east of Boston.

USS Gudgeon (SS-211)

USS Gudgeon (SS-211) was lost on April 18, 1944 with the loss of 79 men off Saipan. Winner of 5 Presidential Unit Citations, Gudgeon was on her 12th war patrol and most likely due to a combined air and surface antisubmarine attack.

Gudgeon was the first US submarine to go on patrol from Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack. On her first patrol, she became the first US submarine to sink an enemy warship, picking off the submarine I-173.

USS Grenadier (SS-210)

Lost on April 22,1943 near Penang, with no immediate loss of life. She was on her 6th war patrol. While stalking a convoy, she was spotted by a plane and dove. While passing 130 feet, the plane dropped a bomb causing severe damage. She was lodged on the bottom 270 feet and the crew spent hours fighting fires and flooding. When she surfaced, she had no propulsion and was attacked by another plane. While she shot down the plane. When enemy ships arrived, the CO abandoned ship and scuttled the boat. Of the 76 crew members taken prisoner, 72 survived the war.