Status Report August 26th #2

Posted on Sunday 26 August 2007


Greetings from Kiska Harbor. Yesterday (8/25), we spent the day in-harbor, hemmed in by both the weather and the fact that the lift and pan gears on the Max Rover’s HiDef camera needed to be repaired, as they’d been rattled loose in the past few days of heavy Max-Rover use.

To make use of the day, we took the Aquila’s skiff across the harbor and explored Kiska. We looked around the Japanese fortress and hillside encampments (crawling in a few fortified tunnels of the underground buildings), took the skiff across to the mini-sub and float-plane ramps (visiting the destroyed mini-sub, which sat hauled up on a concrete raceway a good 80 feet back of the surf), examined the rusty and still-existing bow section of the wrecked Nazima Maru in the harbor (which had huge copper degaussing coils still bolted to the exterior of its bow), as well as the large airfield near Salmon Lagoon, and the anti-aircraft and artillery battery emplacements arranged around the harbor’s North Head.

Some artifacts were discovered during the day: uniform buttons, heavy window glass, .50 cal cartridges, that sort of thing, and we enjoyed a beach fire and some coffee provided by the Aquila’s wonderfully accommodating Garcia family and crew, which kept us fortified and moving through the day’s successive waves of wind and rain. Eventually, everyone returned to the ship last night: cold, wet, and wind-burned for bowls of home-made chicken chili. All in all, it was a great use of a day when our critical technology needed a little refitting.

Today, thanks to a weather report that predicts lighter winds and seas, we’re headed off again in search of the Destroyer Arare–aiming for a slightly different target site than two days ago–followed by a return to the U.S.S. Grunion site for a full-vessel fly-over and a search of the slide trail for artifacts and perhaps an answer to the question: What happened to the Grunion’s forward bow section and torpedo room?

6 Comments for 'Status Report August 26th #2'

    William T. Hunt
    August 27, 2007 | 1:17 am

    John Wesley Nobles was the brother of my step mother Mary Nobles Hunt who died without knowing the satisfaction of closure with the loss of her baby brother who was a crew member on the Grunion. Before they set sail for this mission, John Wesley told his sister that he had a omen that they would not return from this mission. My step mother mourned his loss until her death in 1994. Would like to hear any news about other crew members and especially from other relatives of John Welsey Nobles. We are so grateful for this final closure and are hoping to learn more as your serach continues. God Bless!

    Richard Crutchfield
    August 27, 2007 | 1:36 am

    This Email is for Brad. I just noticed a small article about finding USSGRUNION on page 23 of the LOS ANGELES TIMES of 24 AUG 07. Congratulations on your persistence and devotion. I lost my father, LT Jack Crutchfield, Engineering Officer, on the USS TRITON which you mentioned on several occasions in your summary of your Dad. I read all 29 pages. Recently, surviving family members of the TRITON crew have heard reports from retired Australian Royal Navy Aviators that a sub was sunk just out of Brisbane, Australia the night before the Triton was scheduled to return. Further, the fisherman that operate out of Brisbane contend that a large “snag” exists outside the harbor that fouls their nets. Tragically a fishing boat was lost there about 9 months ago, a result of a hookup on the bottom.

    Officially, we received word that the Triton was presumed lost due to enemy action off the Solomon Islands on 23 MAR 1943 — I was 3 and 1/2 at the time. I would like to investigate this recent report of friendly fire, especially after reading your account of possible friendly fire incidents.

    I would like to contact you directly if possible, Brad. My Email address is “” My phone number is 805/686-4580 (Home) and 805/688-6862 (Office). I live in the Santa Ynez Valley on the Central Coast of California (pst).

    Reading your account of your Dad was like looking in a mirror! I believe my Dad was class of 1936, and had just received orders to report aboard another sub as Executive Officer when he was lost — he never received the orders. Like you, my Dad deployed four or five months before the sub was lost. My mother and I also followed Dad to Pearl Harbor for a time in the early 1940’s. As you know, Cmdr Mac Kenzie also had a reputation for taking it down the gullet.

    I noticed that the ship you are employing for your search of the Grunion had just returned from the Solomon Islands! How ironic — that is an area We would love to explore. I believe there are many things we have shared in our lives without knowing each other. I hope that someone will relay this message to you so that you can respond.

    I hope to hear from you one day soon. Meanwhile, Iam thrilled foryou on your discovery of the USS GRUNION. I hope that you take solace in finding her, learn more about her fate, and experience the kind of loving closure that only someone like your self and I can truly understand.

    Sincerely, Richard R. Crutchfield, LT, USNR (Ret.)

    john w. nobles, jr.
    August 27, 2007 | 5:26 pm

    Mr. William Hunt my name is John Wesley Nobles, Jr. read your comment. Please get in touch with me. Thank you.

    john w. nobles, jr.
    August 27, 2007 | 5:27 pm

    Mr. William Hunt my name is John Wesley Nobles, Jr. read your comment. Please get in touch with me. Thank you. Address is

    Andrew J. Nobles
    August 28, 2007 | 2:29 am

    Mr. Hunt, my name is Andy Nobles. John Wesley was my Great Uncle. My younger brother is named after him and his son is also. My email is

    Lynnell M. Small
    August 29, 2007 | 12:38 am

    Marshall Van Woggeleums Father, Herbert and my Grandmother Grace were brother and sister. We have a copy of the sad letter that Marshalls Mother, Ella wrote to the Abeles Mother.

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