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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Tuesday, October 3, 1944
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.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 83

Namesort descending Service Branch
Lt Robert Cox USN
MOMM 1c James Cunnally USN
MOMM 2c Robert Devitt USN
Lt Paul Doane USN
QM 3c John Ewing USN
Sea 1c Robert Fixler USN
EM 1c Kenneth Flynn USN
MOMM 2c Peter Franco USN
EM 3c Lloyd George USN
QM 2c James Grimes USN
PhM 1c William Hadley USN
F 1c John Harris USN
TM 2c Alfred Howard USN
MOMM 2c Roy Huff USN
RM 2c James Johnson USN
SC 1c Michael Jurinic USN
Sea 1c Jack Kenney USN
MOMM 1c Charles Krempa USN
QM 1c Alfred Kuehn USN
TM 2c Chester Lawson USN