USS Grunion (SS-216)
USS Grunion (SS-216) was a United States Navy submarine in service during World War II Grunion was launched by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Conn., 22 December 1941; sponsored by Mrs. Stanford C. Hooper, wife of Rear Admiral Hooper; and commissioned 11 April 1942, Lt. Comdr. M. L. Abele in command.
After shakedown out of New London, Grunion sailed for the Pacific 24 May. A week later, as she transited the Caribbean for Panama, she rescued 16 survivors of USAT Jack, torpedoed by a German U-boat, and conducted a fruitless search for 13 other survivors presumed in the vicinity. Arriving at Coco Solo 3 June, Grunion deposited her shipload of survivors and continued to Pearl Harbor, arriving 20 June.
Departing Hawaii 30 June after 10 days of intensive training, Grunion touched Midway; then headed toward the Aleutians 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 him 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 reluctantly reported overdue from patrol and assumed lost with all hands. After the war, captured Japanese records showed no antisubmarine attacks in the Kiska area, and the fate of Grunion remained a mystery until 2002, when the Abele brothers, sons of the Grunion's commanding officer, were placed in touch with a Japanese naval buff, who provided them with information that the sub was engaged in battle with an armed freighter. This enabled the brothers to put together a team of international searchers resulting in the discovery of the sub off Kiska in 2006, and her positive identification by the Navy two years later.
Grunion received one battle star for World War II service.
Article incorporates some text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, a work in the public domain.
- Information from Navsource.Org, including recent photos of her wreck
- FoxNews story on the finding of her wreckage
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