USS Grunion Search Team

May 2006 from left to rt - Art Wright, John Abele, and Kale Garcia


Summary: This page contains information about the group organized to search for the missing WWII submarine USS Grunion, which disappeared 64 years ago in the waters near japanese occupied Kiska, Alaska. In May of 2006, John Abele, the sub commander's son; Art Wright of Williamson & Associates marine engineering; and Kale Garcia of the fishing vessel, Aquila, met in Seattle to discuss plans for a side scanning sonar search in August. John is assisted by his two brothers, Bruce and Brad. Art will lead a team of 7 technicians and the Aquila will have 2 deckhands. Pete Lowney will handle videography aboard the Aquila and Newman Lanier is the internet specialist. The search will commence from Dutch Harbor in the first week of August and continue for two to three weeks in the hopes of finding sonar evidence of the Grunion or the other ships believed to have sunk in the area.

The Search would not be possible with out the help of Japanese translator and naval historian, Yutaka Iwasaki. His translation of the KANO MARO ship logs helped start the search and gave hope that the Grunion could be found.


The Abele Family - Bruce, John, Brad, Mom, and Jim

The Abele Brothers today - John, Brad, and Bruce

The Abele Brothers - John, Bruce and Brad



YUTAKA IWASAKI - Japanese naval advisor, historian, and translator

Graduated at Osaka University master's course in 1981. Then worked at KURE shipyard for 8 years where once the battle ship YAMATO was born.
Contributed to YAMATO wreck search in 1999 providing map and paper model derived from prior exploration. Predicted probable hull condition, the YAMATO would be completely broken in two possibly three. Now the hypothesis is proved and the perspective was materialized by TAMIYA Inc. . You can see this diorama at Kure YAMATO Museum.

Mr. Iwasaki is a weekend translator/historian/Wikipedia Editor, mainly researching US submarine operation in WWII onto Japanese merchant marine. He is a Japanese Navy buff, especially CV Shinano.


Art Wright - Marine Engineering Operations

Operations Manager at Williamson & Associates, Mr. Wright is responsible for logistics, management of field operations and supervision of the operation of the company's sonars and seabed assessment systems. He has been associated with Williamson since 1987. He has presented papers at several "Oceans" and MTS conferences on the application of wide swath sidescan sonars for deep water searches and engineering investigations. He has been party chief on numerous pipeline and cable route surveys and deepwater searches for commercial and government clients. He holds a Coast Guard Masters License for all ships, all seas. He sailed as Chief Mate in the SL7, M/V Capella, during the Gulf War in 1991. Previous to Williamson, he was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy; retiring as a Captain; in the Navy he served as Commander of the Pacific Fleet Mine Force, commanded three ships, served on a variety of staffs and did several tours in Vietnam. He has a Masters Degree in Acoustical Physics from the US Navy Postgraduate School and is an ACSM-certified Hydrographer - from Williamson & Associates


Kale Garcia- Captain of the fishing vessel, Aquila


Pete Lowney - Videographer and Blogger

Pete Lowney is an adventurer and an explorer. He is an avid climber, snowboarder, and outdoorsman.

He lives in a yurt 19 miles outside of Valdez, Alaska and works as a crab fisherman in the infamous waters of Bristol Bay.

He is currently using a Sony V1U High Definition Video Camera and a MacBookPro to document the expedition to find the USS GRUNION.

For more information and photos of Pete :


Newman Lanier - Internet Specialist and webmaster

Newman Lanier has Military Science and History degrees, as well as, years of experience building websites. He currently manages, a travel guide to South Central Alaska and Valdez, Alaska.

His interests are Alaskan History and building organizations using common internet applications. USSGRUNION.COM was built with Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and WordPress.

The SubLadies


Rhonda Raye - Family Researcher and original 'Sub Lady'




Vickie Rodgers - Family Researcher and 'Sub Lady'

... and her little assistant, grandson Keagan


Dick and Mary Bentz

Mary is one of the 'Sub Ladies' and published articles for a large number of the crew. She continues to work with newspapers all over the country to honor each of the crew.

Dick is the poet who wrote the now famous Christmas poem (at ).


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