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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Thursday, October 7, 1943
Engagement in the Aleutians
At 2030 on the night of 7 October, S-44 made radar contact on what was mistakenly determined to be a small merchant. She closed the range on the surface and engaged with her deck gun. The contact, which was a destroyer, immediately returned fire, scoring hits below the waterline in the control room, the conning tower and the forward battery compartment.. The CO on the bridge ordered the control room to submerge and sounded the diving alarm. The boat did not submerge, for reasons which are not clear in the statements of the two survivors. The CO then ordered S-44 to be abandoned, and had a white pillow case waved from the forward hatch. The destroyer ignored the white flag and scored several more hits. The gun crew and the bridge watch, about eight men in all, made it into the water before the ship sank. All but two died in the heavy seas and freezing water. The two survivors were picked up by the destroyer and spent the remainder of the war at forced labor in the copper mines in Ashio, Japan.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 56

Name Service Branchsort ascending
TM 1c Joe Velebny USN
RM 3c Harry Rosenberg USN
Sea 2c Frederick Gillen USN
QM 3c Frank Turner USN
MOMM 2c John Rubits USN
MM 1c Frederick Giles USN
Sea 1c Robert Warburton USN
MM 3c James Sloan USN
Ck 2c Curtis Glenn USN
CTM Harold Stromsoe USN
TM 3c Arthur Smith USN
MOMM 2c Edward Godfrey USN
Lt James Stephenson USN
CSM George Smith USN
CEM Anthony Harasimowicz USN
MOMM 2c Holly Howard USN
RM 1c John Stephens USN
EM 1c Charles Smith USN
MOMM 2c Clidie Johnston USN
Sea 2c Lloyd Rodin USN


Prepared by: J.P. O'Hara, CDR, USN (Ret.)