Thanks for viewing our website and your interest in our project.

If you have any information that might help us with our search,

If you want to share memories of a USS Grunion crewmember,

If you would like to wish us good luck,

If you could share stories about the Aleutian Islands and the Bearing Sea,

If you know something about submarines or WWII submarine history,

If you are a family member of a USS Grunion crewmember,

then, please add a comment here. (The most recent comments and submission form are at bottom of this page)

Information about Crew Member families will be added to our Crew member Relations list. We are publishing a list of crewmembers who’s families have not yet been found. If you know of someone on this list, Please contact us.

Alternatively, You can email information to Bruce Abele directly at mbabele@999info.net

274 Comments for 'Comments and Guestbook'

  1.  
    Carole Boo-Harrington
    May 8, 2009 | 1:19 am
     

    I just finished watching the Grunion Memorial DVD for the third time; as well as family members who were not able to attend the memorial got to see it. I learn something new each time I watch it. I am so impressed with the love and time that went into it. It brought back all the emotion of our trip to Cleveland. Thank you so much to my Grunion family. God bless all of you.
    Carole Boo-Harrington

  2.  
    September 10, 2009 | 1:44 pm
     

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  3.  
    Susan Tullier Auclair
    November 13, 2009 | 1:19 am
     

    Seeking information regarding probable crew member of USS Grunion—Bernard Tullier. Is there a listing of missing crewmen? thank you and great job!

  4.  
    Richard Stafford
    December 14, 2009 | 3:40 am
     

    I rode two diesel boats from 1966 to 1968 in the south china sea. Both of these boats were of the same vintage as the Grunion. As long as I live my respect and admiration for the crew of the Grunion and any other deisel/nuclear boat sailors alive or dead will never, ever fade.

  5.  
    Carole Boo-Harrington
    March 22, 2010 | 1:15 pm
     

    I don’t know who wrote this, but thought it was appropriate for our herores.
    Heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the consequences.

  6.  
    Tina Youngman
    July 2, 2010 | 11:01 pm
     

    I was able to visit the USS Cod in Cleveland Ohio recently. Being a sister ship to the USS Grunion, I toured the sub & wondered what the guys did on a daily basis & how they moved around the small spaces & slept. I am glad i was able to see it.

  7.  
    Deborah Stone
    November 11, 2010 | 1:37 pm
     

    Good Morning,

    Tonight on HBO at 2100 there is a documentary entitled War Torn 1861-2010 that chronicles the aftermath of war and in particular, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Anyone interested in knowing more about this disorder, should watch this show. It is said to be very well done.

    As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked the veterans over the last three years, I can attest to this aftermath. Veterans return to their families broken, sometimes just a little, sometimes a lot. They won’t tell their families about their wounds, but their families see it nevertheless. They return changed. And although some get better, they never fully recover.

    Those who don’t go into combat, undergo the same basic training, which ingrains in the soldier things that most civilians never should have to know. It changes how one thinks about another. In this, all veterans return feeling alienated to some degree. We can help them by reminding them that as our family and friends, they are a part of us. And we’re not letting go :)

    And for the families, like ours, who have suffered losses resulting from combat, a day like today can be bitter- filled with what if’s. I myself feel so much sorrow in how life could have been if my grandfather had returned to his family.

    So today in particular, I’m thinking about grandpa Welch. I pray that you rest in peace and want you to know that you will always have a home in my heart.

    Love,
    Deborah Beth Stone RNP
    ENRM VA Hospital, Bedford, Mass

  8.  
    March 18, 2011 | 5:42 pm
     

    Mary Bentz told me about the finding of the Grunion and the research being done. It’s interesting and thoughtful for the families, and once again reminds us of the sacrifices made by our service men and women. We are thankful to them and to the the people working on the Grunion project. Keep up the good work!

    Thanks,
    Grayson O’Kane

  9.  
    Dave G.
    October 6, 2011 | 5:09 pm
     

    My Dad, my uncles, and their friends all fought in the war. From the jungles of New Guinea to Japanese POW’s to plane crashes, they died or came home scarred for life. But, they carried on as the Greatest Generation.

    The Grunion crew never came home, sacrificing themselves in a fight to the death. But, they won’t be forgotten. May God always be with them.

  10.  
    Ed McDowell
    March 19, 2012 | 4:53 pm
     

    OOPS! I commented before I saw the photos – obviously this boat had its prop guards intact. Its quite plainly seen in some of the photos. god rest those men.

  11.  
    Jason Belcourt
    May 5, 2012 | 7:40 am
     

    Here is a slightly better translation of the account of the battle. I have worked with a number of Asian students as a writing tutor and can read their English and pick up what they are trying to say. The editing I did is just for clarity’s sake and includes adding the proper naval terms where they are known to me.

    Also based off of the battle account assuming the Japanese are not lying only confused where discrepancies exist.

    1. The attacks all seemed to come in from under the minimum arming range of the mk. 14 torpedo. A quick Google search indicated 450yrds was needed to arm the torpedo.

    2. The fog was thick and visibility was limited and may have obscured the masts.

    3. Normally only warships would have a float plane on deck.

    4. The Grunion had a history of engaging warships and had reported heavy ASW work before she sank.

    5. She had already engaged other Japanese ships but we do not know how many torpedoes were fired. I also do not know if she was depth charged, in these previous fights and if those depth charges could have damaged/fogged her scope adding to the list of complexities that may have led the captain to mis-read the range.

    The captain may have thought he was engaging a warship that was both larger and thus farther away in his periscope than what actually existed. This is not an uncommon occurrence at all when normal frames of references are removed and the brain has to look for other clues. Its also incredibly hard to un-see false tells once the brain has accepted them. Magicians and those who draw illusions rely on this trait with slight of hand.

    Having expended his ‘ready” torpedoes in unsuccessful attacks there may have been either an accident during the reloading or battle damage that doomed the ship and he was surfacing to abandon ship (open hatch) with what reserve bouncy he had left since the forward escape hatch is still closed. Barely breaking the surface and only long enough to open the hatch he either: lost his reserve bouncy and sank, tried to submerge once again to avoid the gunfire but lacked the bouncy to surface again, took a [or another] hit and was disabled.

    The 80mm gun seems to have been either a type 3 80mm anti-aircraft gun, a type 99 8cm gun (really a 76mm gun) or a captured Dutch 80mm gun. AA guns are high velocity to reach high altitudes which is why so many were converted to tank/ anti-tank use. The result is a gun that can easily penetrate the Gato class’ 9/16-5/8 thick steel skin. In fact the 12.7-13.2mm heavy machine gun family could do the same if loaded with even normal bullets and a range of 400m or less.

    Below is the edited translation and it reads like a true account and strongly implies the Grunion was firing torpedo after torpedo too close for them to arm. A well trained captain who has already proved himself in combat would not willingly do so- hence some factor or factors was misleading him.

    Aiura: (Aiura was the military commander on the Kana Maru) Yutaka translating:
    The escorting sub-chaser came in and out the fog, until at last we lost contact as night came. KOANO MARU sailed alone again through the foggy Bering sea toward Kiska. On July 30, at 08:00 we reached the northern end of Kiska Is. some 20 nautical miles further on. However, the dense fog prevented us from approaching closer. We were forced to drift, waiting for the fog to lift . The fog kept thinning out for a moment and then it would thicken backup. We could do nothing but wait. The day, the whole day the fog was dense and we were getting impatient. At 15:30 A friendly navy seaplane [Pete] set down near us and we picked them up. The plane and a crew were both safe. The crew were so young, the pilot had just graduated flight school, he was similar in age to my[S.AIURA] son. I was impressed with his dedication do his duty in the Northern sky. It was a accident that our ship found them and saved them, but I was so glad that we could help. That the evening the fog was still dense, when we were alerted to an enemy submarine. At 17:15 we turned towards the open ocean, our speed was under 15 knots ad we were maneuvering on a zigzag course. We decided to enter the Kiska harbor next morning.
    July 31, In the early morning we again reached the area off of Kiska’s harbor, but the fog was still dense. We again decided to drift and wait. At 04:40 the fog thinned out a little and we could get our position by astronomical observation. We confirmed the longitude and latitude and fixed the course toward the Kiska.
    Enemy Torpedo Struck Home
    At 05:15 We were avoiding “Mac Arthur’s reef” on a heading of 158 degree and 12 nautical miles from Segula Is. changed course toward a heading of 255 degree.
    At 05:47 First Sargent Wakisaka shouted, “Torpedo! starboard fore!”. I saw two torpedoes and their course and wakes overlapped, the starboard now headed to the fore, at a 45 degree angle from us, but rapidly rapidly approaching. I at once ordered, “full turn starboard”. The Kano Maru reacted quickly as the rudder was turned hard over. the ship began to rapidly change course to the starboard. I got tense for the next few seconds- the most frightening moment of my life as I prayed to God. One torpedo wake passed aft of the stern we managed to avoid it, but other one hit the machinery room on the starboard side behind and below me, and large explosion and sound occurred rumbling like an earthquake and sounding like a demon from Hell.
    Just after the explosion, the engine made a strange sound not its usual rhythmical sounds, and after that turned over two or three more times from inertia and stopped. I was dazed by the force of the blow from below and don’t remember seizing the handrail and the base of compass. Within moments the machinery room was completely flooded, the main engine was quiet: we were dead in the water. Also out were the generator, radio and communications equipment and other auxiliary machines- the ship was absolutely stopped. It was my heartbreaking, but there was nothing I could do.
    The gun crews and soldiers looked like they did not feel fear at all and were vigorously preparing for anti submarine combat and to launch the seaplane.

    Lucky Dud Torpedo
    The submarine attacked again and this time we spotted a periscope- starboard fore. Immediately the [type 3] 80mm gun and 13mm machine gun started firing. We figured the 80mm gun had less of a possibility of hitting the submarine, but we thought the sound of the gun was the only way to alert Kiska to the Kano Maru’s crisis. Also we also figured the 13mm machine gun fire was useless against the a submerged sub, but that the the splashes would aid the aiming by the of 80mm gun’s crew. Further more the 80mm gun on the aft poop deck had been damaged by the torpedo explosion and was malfunctioning.
    The periscope that had been starboard fore, gradually moved to starboard aft. At 05:57 From 157 degree s of the starboard side and a distance of 300m, we saw the submarines second salvo. One torpedo wake line passed aft, and the the other passed below us, midships about where the the bridge was and failed to explode. How lucky we were! To alert the base at Kiska of our crisis, we planned as the last resort to launch the seaplane that we had picked up yesterday. The plane was still hooked to the cargo crane. The ships sailors set the plane on the sea surface using only man power. The pilot, pilot second class N. Mrasawa , tried repeatedly but the engine never started. We felt there was nothing to do but accept our fate. The periscope occasionally appeared and moved from the stern to the port side.
    At 06:07 From the port and an angle of 135 degree and very close in the sub fire a third salvo. Three torpedoes wakes came toward us. I thought, perhaps the sub shot the rest of the torpedoes in his tubes intending to finish us. I wholly gave up, I thought I was dead, the torpedoes must finish off the Kano Maru. I could barely breath for about 10 seconds. Two torpedoes hit, but nothing happened! One torpedo struck forward of the the bridge, at about the No.2 cargo hold. But unexpectedly it didn’t explode, instead it broke apart losing its head while the rest of the torpedo body floated on the water tail down with about and 0.5m of the body standing up out of the water. Anther torpedo struck amidships, but was also a dud. The last one torpedo missed passing aft of the stern. How lucky we are! I thanked God for the protection.
    At 06:10 we again found the find periscope on he port side, 135 degrees at about 400m distance. Our forecastle 80mm gun and 13mm machine gun started firing again. The sub kept the periscope up and was moving calmly ignoring the damaged Kano Maru. We clenched our fists bt that seems to be all we could do. [*3] Then the sub seemed to begin to surface. The conning tower made ripples on the surface and waves began washing the conning tower. I think the sub was unable to sink Kano Maru by the torpedo ( reload the stocked torpedo to the tube needs much minutes ) so finish Kano Maru with its gun or thought the Kano Maru couldn’t hurt it from there. Just then a 8cm gun shot hit near the conning tower around the wave wash and, making a water column and dull explosion sound. Also we began to see heavy oil in the swells. All of the crew shouted ‘BANZAI!’
    Aiura: second source:
    Today’s day’s antisubmarine combat action saw us only aiming at the periscope and so continued intermittently for about 20 minutes. At the end of the combat we again found the periscope off the port side at 135 degrees and about 400m distance. The guns crews immediately started firing again. The fourth shot, that was the 84th counting from the first shot, was directly on target.
    About this time the submarine sank, later the mine layer ISHIZAKI and some other ships observed a lot of oil on the surface, a piece of lifeguard buoy, chips of wood that seemed to be the material of the submarine’s decks, and other things floating in the sea. They confirmed the sinking and radioed this to the Fifth fleet and combined fleet chief of general staff through the fifth guard command. [*4]
    More importantly was info is about the torpedo. They, [IJN Kiska base soldiers], took the rest of the torpedo which had lost the warhead and was left floating near the Kano Maru. They towed the torpedo body by boat to the Base, and examined it. Aiura reported, they apparently thought the head and body connection was irregular work. Because it it looked like there were more than 30 bolts hole around the warhead-body connection poi t, but only three bolts seem to have been used and the rest was partial welded using 100mm length silver-solder work not normal welding.
    Aiura said it is apparently not regular navy-yard work.
    Aiura also reported, he thought the maneuver of the sub was strange. The sub seemed to have wanted to approach from the aft of the Kano Maru to be shadowed from the forecastle deck gun, but it left the shadowed area and was no longer safe from the gun fire. Forecastle deck gun could bracket the submarine from bow to stern. He also said it was strange that 5 in 6 torpedoes were duds, 2 of them hit but failed to explode and the rest missed. He thinks the torpedo men must have forgoten [the normal procedure] to unlock the safety pins.

  12.  
    Joe Frawley
    November 12, 2012 | 1:19 pm
     

    I hope and pray that the sacrifice the crew of the USS Grunion made for their country are never forgotten. I just want to thank you for finding the sub and doing your best to recreate their heroic last moments of battle. For bringing closure to the families of the crew. I have just read Fatal Dive and have added it to my long list of World War Two submarine books that I have read. These submariners’ are a tribute to the gallant men who served in the silent service from all parts of the country during the war. To the sons of Capitan Abele I must commend you for your efforts to locate your father and his crew after the long years of waiting for answers. You gentleman are a credit to your country. If I had the power to grant one wish I would give you an “E” for excellence! Well done…

  13.  
    Cheryl Parks-Weidley
    January 18, 2013 | 9:31 pm
     

    God bless the endeavors of those who seek about truth of this lost vessel. God bless the souls of the long dead warriors who battled not only other men but the elements. God give their families peace. They earned it for their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, other family and friends and fellow countrymen by giving their lives.

  14.  
    Dick Henley
    February 11, 2013 | 5:50 am
     

    Just finished Stevens’ book. A fascination story. My congratulations on your determination and good fortune on finding the Grunion.
    Dick Henley
    Baltimore, Ohio

  15.  
    Ray Sarracino
    February 15, 2013 | 5:13 pm
     

    God bless you and your brothers for your fantastic success! I know you credit many, but your perserverance as a family is a wonderful story. And may God bless your father, his crew, and their families for their sacrifice so that we may continue to leave in peace and prosperity. Thank you for your hard work and for sharing your story. The world is a better place thanks to the Abele brothers.

  16.  
    March 30, 2013 | 9:23 am
     

    Thanks for bringing many interesting facts about US Navy history. I was searching for information about submarines and came here, to read fascinating story about USS Grunion.

  17.  
    Pete Hittle
    April 9, 2013 | 4:46 am
     

    On July 18th, 2009, I had the honor of playing TAPS at a memorial service for Electricians Mate 1st Class Ryder Mathison at Memorial Park Cemetery in EM1 Mathisons home town of Sioux City, Iowa. At the time, I had no knowledge of the interesting, poignant story of the USS Grunion. Since that time I have had the good fortune to have read FATAL DIVE, and having done so, am so proud to have been part of that ceremony in 2009. God grant the crew and families of the USS Grunion eternal peace.

  18.  
    Mary Bentz
    January 30, 2014 | 11:57 pm
     

    1/30/14
    Following a phone conversation today with Richard Earle, it is with great sadness that I write to tell you that yesterday morning January 29, the Grunion Family has lost one of our most dedicated family members. Lynne Blinco Earle passed away peacefully in her home in Gilbert, Arizona with her devoted husband Richard by her side.
    She was the niece of USS Grunion’s Electrician’s Mate 1st Class, Ryder Mathison and was dedicated to his memory and willing to help with our Grunion tributes in every way possible.
    May perpetual light shine upon her and may she rest in peace.
    To honor Lynne there is a comment section at http://www.azlegacyfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Lynne-Earle/#!/Obituary
    Sincerely,
    Mary Bentz

  19.  
    Karen Caseman
    May 31, 2014 | 4:37 am
     

    Dear Mary Bentz, I just finished the book – The Final Dive – I found it to be so interesting. My Mom was Emma Parziale Daughter of Carmen and Elizabeth . My family is passing the book from one to another. Your Uncle Carmen would of been my Grandfather’s nephew. Thank you for your hard work.

    Karen

  20.  
    Janet L. Mehall
    July 17, 2014 | 10:08 pm
     

    How fitting and appropriate to honor the 72nd anniversary of the loss of the USS Grunion. I look forward to reading the book “We Remember Them” by Mary and Richard Bentz.
    I acknowledge and thank Mary and Richard for their dedication and work to give respect and dignity to the families of these heroic men.

    May God bless the entire Grunion Family.

    Janet L. Mehall

  21.  
    Janet L. Mehall
    August 11, 2014 | 12:30 pm
     

    With much anticipation, I await the arrival of We Remember Them!
    Again, thank you Mary and Dick for the depth of your commitment to the Grunion family!
    May you be blessed abundantly for your dedication to this project.

    With Love and Respect,

    Janet L. Mehall,
    Cousin of Mary Bentz

  22.  
    Pete & Barbara Stephens
    March 23, 2015 | 4:51 am
     

    Barbara & I were so saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Bentz. We had many interesting phone conversations & e-mails since I was found by Vickie Rogers (Sub Lady) in 2006. It seems like yesterday Mary read the names of the Grunion Crew from the deck of the USS Cod during Memorial Services @ Cleveland. I am so glad “We Remember Them” got published prior to her passing. Dick, you have been very supportive & committed to Mary’s many endeavors & the Grunion Family.

    Our deepest sympathies on you loss. Please notify us concerning the Memorial Services for your wife.

    Pete & Barbara Stephens

  23.  
    Sandra Merrill
    June 8, 2015 | 5:56 am
     

    Hi,
    In doing research on my family history I was given a packet of info on my grandfather Donald McCutcheon. In it was a hand written note from my mom that said “Richard- WW2 planes sunk sub?” She was referring to her uncle Richard George McCutcheon. I have found out that indeed he was on the USS Grunion.

    I wonder if his mother Margaret knew any of this before she passed in 1978 or if she just thought he was missing at sea all that time. It’s so sad because not only did she loose that son but her other son my grandfather Donald was one of the people taken at Bataan & the Battle of Corregidor in WW2. He walked the infamous Bataan Death March and was a prisoner of war in Japan for over 40 months! The poor women lost both her sons very close together and it must have just killed her!

    Thank you for searching for the USS Grunion & giving the family of the those lost closer!

    Sandy Merrill
    Great niece of Richard George McCutcheon
    Torpedoman’s Mate 3rd Class

  24.  
    bob juettner
    September 9, 2016 | 5:23 pm
     

    My father’s best man, Sylvester “Doc” Kennedy, was an engine man on the USS Grunion when it sank, Dad saved everything from his youth but never shared it with his sons. I was going through another box of photos recently and came across three photos of Doc. One in his whites holding a Springfield at port arms, another as young man probably a graduation picture from high school and a very salty photo with his engineer’s hat.

    Is there any interest in having copies of these photos?

    Bob Juettner

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