Please take a few moments and pray for the 111 souls lost during the month of May of the forgotten men of our silent service during WW II. These gallant men are now lying entombed inside sunken submarines across the Pacific Ocean and are On The Eternal Patrol.
May 3, 1945 USS Lagarto (ss-371) Lagarto proceeded to the South China Sea for her 2nd patrol and received orders to head for outer waters of the Gulf of Siam. On May 2nd, she exchanged messages with the USS Baya (ss-138). The next day both subs attacked a Japanese convoy passing through the Southern Gulf of Siam. The convoy included one large ship and 1 medium sized ship, fiercely guarded by 2 Japanese escorts, one of which was the minelayer Hatsutaka. USS Baya was driven off by heavy gunfire and radio contact with the Lagarto was lost and she was never heard nor seen again. 85 souls lost. Post-war Japanese records revealed the Hatsutaka located a submerged submarine at 30 fathoms dropping depth charges on her, noting later with longitude and latitude readings. From that moment on, the exact location of the USS Lagarto has not been known, – until May 0f 2005. A group of private British deep sea divers from the MV Trident, discovered the USS Lagarto, in 230 feet of water, sitting upright and largely intact, but for a large hole in the port bow area, suggesting she suffered a direct hit from an explosive device. Also observed during the dive, was an open outside torpedo door, with an empty torpedo tube sealed behind it, suggesting the possibility that Lagarto fired off a torpedo shortly before her demise. The site is now designated a War Memorial-hands off! Lagarto had received 1 battle star for her WW2 service.
May 23, 1939, USS Squalus (ss-192), Newly built and launched on March 1,1939, she commenced numerous test dives off Portsmouth New Hampshire. After successfully completing 18 dives, she suffered a catastrophic valve failure on the next dive, May 23rd, off the Isle of Shoals. Flooding the aft torpedo room, both engine rooms and the crews quarters , drowning 26 men immediately, including Ensign Joseph H Patterson, star of the 1936 Olympics, US Track team. The sub settled on the bottom at 243 feet with 33 men still alive in the forward sections of the boat. Over the next 13hrs, the US Navy rescued the men on 4 trips, using the new McCann rescue chamber invented by Commander Charles B Momsen. 4 navy divers received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroics. On Sept 13th, the Squalus was raised and towed into the Portsmouth Navy Yard and decommissioned Nov 15th. On February 9, 1940 she was renamed the USS Sailfish (ss-192) and went on to perform honorably during 12 war patrols, with 9 battle stars and The Presidential Unit Citation for her WW2 service.www.oneternalpatrol.com
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