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On Eternal Patrol - Discrepancies in Numbers of Lost Submariners Found on the DPAA Website

This page attempts to help bring those varying statistics into line, and serve as a guide for submarine veterans' organizations with accurate and consistent information to use in their memorial events.

 

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DPAA Seal The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

DPAA's mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.


In order to assist them in this effort, we at On Eternal Patrol have offered them the results of our extensive research into U.S. submarine losses.



The DPAA Website
When sites for men lost in U.S. submarines list figures that differ from ours, we make every effort to contact the responsible parties, provide them with the product of our research, and suggest changes.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) (part of which was the former Defense Prisoner of War - Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)), maintains a listing of 73,515 Americans who were buried with honor as unknowns, officially buried at sea, lost at sea, and missing in action, entitled "Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII" (http://www.dpaa.mil/Our-Missing/World-War-II/Service-Personnel-Not-Recovered-Following-WWII/). Approximately 3,500 of those were men of the U.S. Submarine Force. A recently completed man-by-man comparison of our World War II lost submariner listings with those shown on the DPAA website reveals a small number of discrepancies between our sets of data, which we are presently attempting to rectify.

On March 23, 2017, and again on April 10, 2017, we sent DPAA a short list of suggested changes to their listings, including an omission of a man lost with USS Wahoo, a corrected Service Number, and a case of mistaken identity. A separate case of mistaken identity was found (on USS Wahoo) on September 26, 2017. On September 21, 2018 we sent a message to the DPAA WWII Historian here in Hawaii with a link to this page. As of no later than 27 November 2019, most (but not all) of the suggested corrections have been made, as noted below.

Interestingly, DPAA lists only four men as lost with USS Lagarto (one addtitonal man was a case of mistaken identity, removed before 27 November 2018). Actually, 86 men were lost with the vessel when she was sunk in May of 1945. See a complete listing of these men on our Lagarto page (http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-lagarto-371.htm). (Note that two other Lagarto men died in separate, non-sinking events.)

In summary, as of 27 November 2018, the only remaining issues are:

The inconsistant "Location" for the loss of USS Dorado.

The omission of Wilbert Fletcher Kelley of USS Growler.

The omission of 82 men (of the 86) lost with USS Lagarto.

The omission of Joe Vidick of USS Wahoo.


All suggested changes below refer to these two separate online databases on the DPAA website:

"Search Our Missing" page (https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaOurMissing), (abbreviated below as SOM).

"Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII for the United States Navy" (http://www.dpaa.mil/Portals/85/Documents/WWIIAccounting/united_states_navy.html), (abbreviated below as SPNR).

In the table below, the "Lost" column lists only the number of men who died as a result of the sinking of each submarine, and includes Military personnel carried as passengers. The DPAA "Search Our Missing" database does not include civilians, foreign nationals, and men who later died as POWs. The "Lost" column figures do not include men lost in events that occurred prior to the loss of the vessels. This is the same criteria that the DPAA site uses, with the exception of the figures for Amberjack and Growler. However, those men lost in prior instances are included with their shipmates on the pages of On Eternal Patrol (this site) for the individual submarines linked to below.

The column labeled "DPAA" lists the number of men found on the corresponding "Search Our Missing" (SOM) page of the website. Discrepancies are in bold. The "Notes for DPAA" column offers explanations for the discrepancies, and includes links to personal memorial pages on this site for the individual men who were lost, whenever appropriate. Most of the discrepancies shown here are minor - men who can be found on one DPAA listing but not another.

Further details on the individual men for each of the suggested changes below may be found in the notes on the more general Discrepancies in Numbers of Lost Submariners page on this site.


No. Submarine Lost DPAA Notes for DPAA
1
ALBACORE (SS-218)
85 85  
2
AMBERJACK (SS-219)
72* 73 DPAA Includes Arthur C. Beeman,* who was killed in an earlier gun action. See note below.
3
ARGONAUT (SS-166)
102 102  
4
BARBEL (SS-316)
81 81  
5
BONEFISH (SS-223)
85 83

Russel Mackay Johnston and Logan Champeon Smith, Jr.  not listed by unit (Bonefish), but they are listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.

6
BULLHEAD (SS-332)
84 81 Earl Drissel Hackman, Jr., Keith Rufus Phillips, and Raymond William Strassle not listed by unit (Bullhead), but they are listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
7
CAPELIN (SS-289)
76 76
 
8
CISCO (SS-290)
76 75 John Duckett Miller not listed by unit (Cisco), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
9
CORVINA (SS-226)
82 81 Walter Krancher Schulz not listed by unit (Corvina), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
10
DARTER (SS-227)
0 0  
11
DORADO (SS-248)
77 77

Note; "Location" uses four different places, including one (for Robert Sidney Talley) that says "CANADA." Not Corrected

John Coelho not listed by unit (Dorado), but he is listed on SPNR. Not Corrected (new to this list, added 31 Dec 2018)

Also, "Date of Loss" for LT John Boyd is inconsistent with all others lost with Dorado. Corrected before 27 November 2018.

12
ESCOLAR (SS-294)
82 82  
13
FLIER (SS-250)
78 78  
14
GOLET (SS-361)
82 80 Walter Maurice Kane, Jr. and Alexander Scammel Wadsworth, III not listed by unit (Golet), but they are listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
15
GRAMPUS (SS-207)
71 69 Robert Pollock Guiler, III, and Edward Roger O'Connor not listed by unit (Grampus), but they are listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
16
GRAYBACK (SS-208)
80 79 Carthel Hill Smith, Jr. not listed by unit (Grayback), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
17
GRAYLING (SS-209)
76 76  
18
GRENADIER (SS-210)
4 0 POW losses - not in DPAA databases
19
GROWLER (SS-215)
86 88 OMMISSION - DPAA includes Howard Walter Gilmore** and William Wadsworth Williams**, but not Wilbert Fletcher Kelley,** F3, 6225467, all three of whom were killed in the same engagement, 21 months prior to the loss of the vessel. Not Corrected
20
GRUNION (SS-216 )
70 70  
21
GUDGEON (SS-211)
79 77 David Bennett McCorquodale not listed by unit (Gudgeon), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
22
HARDER (SS-257)
79 79  
23
HERRING (SS-233)
83 83  
24
KETE (SS-369)
87 87  
25
LAGARTO (SS-371)
86 5

Only 4 listed by boat (Lagarto); same four on SPNR;

Wrong man - Brittain, Waldo C., SEA1, 2931692 should be Britain, Wardour L. CRM 3685557 - Incorrect man removed before 27 November 2018; correct man not yet added.

A total of 82 Lagarto men are not listed.

26
PERCH (SS-176)
6 0 POW losses - not in DPAA databases
27
PICKEREL (SS-177)
74 74  
28
POMPANO (SS-181)
77 77

Vernon LeRoy Swanson not listed by unit (Pompano), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.

(Herbert Andrew Calcaterra - additional loss not listed)

29
R-12 (SS-89)
42 40 Does not include two Brazilian Naval Officers
30
ROBALO (SS-273)
81 81  
31
RUNNER (SS-275)
78 78  
32
S-26 (SS-131)
46 45 Raymond Charles Mattes not listed by unit (S-26), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
33
S-27 (SS-132)
0 0  
34
S-28 (SS-133)
49 49  
35
S-36 (SS-141)
0 0  
36
S-39 (SS-144)
0 0  
37
S-44 (SS-155)
56 55

Daniel Benjamin Erico not listed by unit (S-44), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.

38
SCAMP (SS-277)
83 83  
39
SCORPION (SS-278)
77 77  
40
SCULPIN (SS-191)
63 63  
41
SEALION (SS-195)
5 0 4 bodies recovered; 1 POW loss - not in DPAA databases
42
SEAWOLF (SS-197)
100 100  
43
SHARK (SS-174)
59 59  
44
SHARK (SS-314)
87 84 Jesse Andrew Davis, Jr., Henry Shefchek, Jr., and William Harlan Turner not listed by unit (Shark II), but they are listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
45
SNOOK (SS-279)
84 84 William Stanley Farrel not listed by unit (Snook), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
46 SWORDFISH (SS-193) 89 89  
47
TANG (SS-306)
78 77 Richard Jerome Kroth not listed by unit (Tang), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
48
TRIGGER (SS-237)
89 89  
49
TRITON (SS-201)
74 73 Vernon Frederick Sorensen not listed by unit (Triton), but he is listed on SPNR. Corrected before 27 November 2018.
50
TROUT (SS-202)
81 80

Odell Hall listed only by unit (Trout) on SOM (not on main list or by state), and with incorrect Service Number (26198434 instead of 2619834) Corrected before 27 November 2018.

51
TULLIBEE (SS-284)
79 79  
52
WAHOO (SS-238)
80 79

Wrong man - Campbell***, George H., GM3, 6563458, should be Campbell, John Stephenson, ENS, O-243663. J. S. Campbell is not listed by unit (Wahoo), but he is listed on SPNR. (Added September 26, 2017) Corrected before 27 November 2018.

OMMISSION - Joe Vidick - not listed in DPAA databases -- checked by name, by state, by unit, and by service number. Not Corrected

*Arthur Castles Beeman was killed by enemy gunfire 12 days before Amberjack was lost on the same patrol. If he is included, the number of men lost with the boat would be 73.


**Howard Walter Gilmore (Medal of Honor) and William Wadsworth Williams were killed during an engagement with Japanese gunboat, twenty-one months before the loss of Growler. Wilbert Fletcher Kelley was also killed in the same gun action, but is not listed in the DPAA databases. Other than for Amberjack and Growler, the DPAA listings do not include men lost in non-sinking events.


*** GM3 George Henry Campbell, US Navy Armed Guard, lost in sinking of SS Samuel Heintzelman on 9 July 1943 near the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean; from Candler, North Carolina (https://www.facebook.com/notes/mia-recoveries-locating-lost-wwii-servicemen/names-of-3162-missing-us-military-personnel-still-unrecovered-in-china-burma-ind/10150312358202463/)

Note that many other men on many other submarines were lost in non-sinking events, but are generally not included in SOM or SPNR. See our Additional Losses - World War II page for further information.


Note to users of the DPAA databases: While using the search function on "Search Our Missing" page (https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaOurMissing), care should be taken to sort by the intended criteria. To sort by unit (i.e., the name of the submarine), enter the name of the submarine in the bar that says "Search:" (not the "Search DPAA" bar on the top of the page) and scroll to the right using the bar below the last name listed. Click on the word "Unit" and scroll down to find the submarine name. Unfortunately, some men, particularly officers, are occasionally not listed by unit (submarine) name. Some results will show entries unrelated to your search, such as, for example, including men whose name includes the letters "tang" when you are searching for men who were lost with USS Tang.


Sources of our Statistics 
For a general listing of research sources, see our Sources page.

Primary Sources

The statistics presented below represent thousands of hours of original research into the records of more than 4,000 individual submariners.  Our findings are not a result of copying group listings from secondary sources. The evidence on which we base our information, in nearly every case of submariner fatality during World War II, is found by accessing individual personnel files in the National Archives' National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis.  This research has been done (and is still being done) almost entirely by World War II submarine veteran Paul W. Wittmer, with input by Charles R. Hinman.

We are also in touch with the families of hundreds of the men we seek to honor, many of whom have donated photos, documents, and information. 

U. S. Submarine war patrol reports in hard copy have been accessed in the Archives of USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, and online at http://www.hnsa.org/resources/manuals-documents/submarine-war-reports/ .

U. S. Navy Casualty Books, 1776-1941. Accessed for pre-World War II submarine personnel losses. Available on Ancestry.com (subscription required) at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2324&path=.

U. S. Navy Casualty Lists, Book 11, pp. #2042 - #2152, Submarine War Patrols, Pacific - 7 December 1941 to 2 September 1945, noted below as Navy Casualty. This listing was provided to us by Michael W. Pocock of the Maritime Quest website. A recently completed man-by-man comparison of our World War II lost submariner listings with those shown in Navy Casualt confirms complete agreement between our two sets of applicable data. In the Notes to the Discrepancy Table below, all of the men that we suggest to Add to the listings of lost submariners of World War II appear in Navy Casualty, and none of the men that we suggest to Remove appear on the lists.

Access to U. S. World War II Muster Rolls have recently been made available on Ancestry.com (subscription required) at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1143 .

Secondary Sources

U.S. Submarine Losses - World War II, which was first published in 1946, then republished with some corrections (and a few mistakes of its own) in 1949, and finally republished in 1963 (unfortunately reinserting many of the errors in the 1946 edition).  See www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/title-list-alphabetically/u/united-states-submarine-losses.html on the website of the Naval History & Heritage Command for the online version of the 1963 edition. Discrepancies are noted below, as Sub Losses. The online version on the NHHC website has recently been updated, and is now entirely consistent with On Eternal Patrol research. We have a seperate page detailing the now corrected Discrepancies in Submarine Losses that were found on the NHHC website.

State Summary of War Casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Personnel -  (noted below as NARA) Immediately after the War, the Navy Department published their State SummariesThey are available online on the website of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/navy-casualties/). Within this are also lists of POWs who were released from prison camps.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS). In most of its entries on submarines, DANFS does not list the number of men lost. In the few that do list these statistics, our numbers disagree with theirs in three instances - for Argonaut, Bass, and Cochino (older version only). "DANFS Online - Submarines" (the older version) is available on the Haze Gray and Underway site at www.hazegray.org/danfs/submar/. Discrepancies are noted below, as DANFS. Newly rewritten versions are available online at http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs.html, although the numbers of men lost on Argonaut and Bass remain uncorrected.

U. S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945, available online on the Ancestry.com website (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1102) (noted below as War Dead). Again, all of the men that we suggest to Add to the listings of lost submariners of World War II appear on these rosters, and none of the men that we suggest to Remove appear on their lists.

The Register of the Commissioned Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps (noted below as Officers) is available online on the late Patrick Clancey's HyperWar website at http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AMH/USN/Naval_Registers/.

American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) maintains files for the nearly 225,000 American war dead who are buried at their cemeteries or commemorated on their Tablets of the Missing.  Their website is a good source for obtaining Service Numbers, but is unreliable for their listings of medals and awards.  Search their listings at http://www.abmc.gov/search-abmc-burials-and-memorializations.


 

 


Discrepancies in Numbers of Lost Submariners

NHHC - Corrected Discrepancies in Submarine Losses

Lost Submarines by Month

Submarine Losses - Chronological

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