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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

Name Service Branchsort ascending
TM 2c Thomas Warren USN
Sea 1c John Astarita USN
RT 2c Norman Coon USN
BM 1c Gilbert Likert USN
EM 1c Kenneth Flynn USN
EM 1c George Needham USN
EM 2c Edward Zuel USN
EM 1c Lloyd Balch USN
Y 1c Chester Copas USN
Sea 1c Merton Leeman USN
MOMM 2c Peter Franco USN
EM 1c Clinton Nivison USN
EM 3c Robert Young USN
GM 2c Francis Ballard USN
SC 3c Wayne Cotton USN
Sea 1c Jack Kenney USN
Lt Paul Doane USN
Sea 1c Joseph Morris USN
Bkr 3c Jack Bannister USN
Lt Robert Cox USN