Sinking near Manus
There were several incidences in World War II of possible submarine losses due to ASW action by own forces. However, the evidence is not compelling in most of these cases, with other causes being equally probable. In Seawolf's case, there seems to be no doubt. On 3 October 1944, while on her fifteenth patrol in the vicinity of Manus, she exchanged recognition signals using SJ radar with Narwhal, (SS-167). Later that day, IJN submarine RO-41 attacked and sank USS Shelton, (DE-407) in the same area. RO-41 successfully evaded the resulting counterattack and returned to Japan. Meanwhile two aircraft from Midway, (CVE-63) spotted a submerging submarine in the vicinity of Shelton's loss and attacked with bombs, later marking the spot with green dye. Richard M. Rowell, (DE-403), proceeded to the marked area, made sonar contact and attacked with hedge hogs. The second attack resulted in an underwater explosion, debris and air bubbles. Since there were four US submarines known to be in the area, they were directed to give their positions on 3 October. All but Seawolf responded. A second request on the following day was unsuccessful. Since Japanese records do not mention any ASW action in this area on that date, it is almost certain that ROWELL's attack resulted in Seawolf's loss.