US Submarine Grunion probably found on August 22nd 2007 after her mysterious disappearance 65 years ago
Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 22 December 1941, sponsored by Mrs. Stanford C. Hooper, wife of Rear Admiral Hooper, and commissioned on 11 April 1942 with Lieutenant Commander Mannert L. Abele in command.
Departing Hawaii on 30 June after ten days of intensive training, Grunion touched Midway Island; then headed toward the Aleutian Islands for her first war patrol. Her first report, made as she patrolled north of Kiska Island, stated she had been attacked by a Japanese destroyer and had fired at her with inconclusive results. She operated off Kiska throughout July and sank two enemy patrol boats while in search for enemy shipping. On 30 July the submarine reported intensive antisubmarine activity, and she was ordered back to Dutch Harbor.
Grunion was never heard from nor seen again. Air searches off Kiska were fruitless; and on 5 October Grunion was reported overdue from patrol and assumed lost with all hands.
Captured Japanese records show no antisubmarine attacks in the Kiska area, and the fate of Grunion remained a mystery. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 2 November 1942.
USS Grunion's Commanding Officer left behind his wife and three boys.
New focus for the Brothers Abele.
Two Japanese Sub Chasers SC-25, and SC-27, sunk by Grunion were found as was Arara, a Japanese Destroyer that was sunk in the same area.
Lieutenant Commander Abele was awarded a postumous Navy Cross for exploits prior to his loss, and his widow Catherine believing all his crew had deserved recognition took on the task of writing to all the other 69 bereaving families. Some of the heartrending responses she received in response to her initiative make interesting reading.
Search for the wreck of USS Grunion.
The search boat equipped with sonar gear able to feature high quality images began its task of scanning hundreds of square miles of the ocean floor off Alaska recently. It traversed a grid looking, looking, looking, nothing returned but ocean bottom images.
Then, at last on August 22nd. 2007, the scan reported a smooth oblong image, with what looks like a tower and periscope mast. It may well be that the wreck of USS Grunion and her 70 crew members has been found, 1,000 feet below the surface, sitting on the ocean floor.
Search for 69 families of Grunion's crew.
Brad Abele's story about his Father and his Submarine.
All the families involved may at long last bid farewell to their relatives who died back in 1942 whilst at sea serving their country in WW2.