Go Easy, Brothers

USSGrunion, SS-216

Divers havefound and positively identified the USSGrunion, lost with all hands 66 years ago.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the US Submarine Fleet sank 55% of all shipping tonnage lost by the Japanese in World War II. Submariners made up about 2% of the US Navy at the time. They paid a huge price for that awful success, too–52 boats with 3,505 men never came back from patrol. 

Rest easy, bros.

5 thoughts on “Go Easy, Brothers

  1. Did you ever read Operation Drumbeat, a narrative history of the German U-boat campaign in the Atlantic off the coast of the US? It’s a fantastic history book, kind of a non-fiction Das Boot. I’m not sure but I think the USS Grunion is mentioned in passing at the end either in a footnote or something. US sub captains in the Pacific Theater were called to testify in the Nuremberg trials and their testimony on common sub tactics basically exonerated the German U-boat captains of any war crimes charges.

  2. …as one with sort of a amateur historian’s fascination with my father’s war, I’ve long thought that the history of the Submarine Service in WW II was something of an undertold story. The conditions under which they served were amazing (incredibly cramped conditions on 45 to 60-day missions) and their losses, while numerically small, represented a 1-in-5 chance of not making it home, which was substantially worse than just about any other branch of the service…

  3. Yeah, the submarine service had one of the highest casualty rates of any combat task in the US military.
    Of course, their losses were not even close to the 75% toll the U-boat guys paid.
    It’s a hell of a dangerous thing, hanging out beneath the waves.

  4. I was particularly touched by the fact that the expedition that found the Grunion was launched by the sons of the commander of the Grunion. That’s a long time to be looking for your father’s remains.
    I have the highest respect for the Silent Service. Thanks for the post, Jude.

  5. You can read a list of the names of the crewmen lost with the Grunionhere.
    Rest in peace, gentlemen. My father fought that war with you in the Navy.
    Peace, V.

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