Sailors aboard the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) held a wreath laying ceremony July 9 to honor the sailors of USS Wahoo (SS 238).
Nearly 64 years after they were lost in the La Perouse Strait
, north of Hokkaido, Japan, the crew of Wahoo received their final farewell.
“It was an extreme honor and privilege to preside over this solemn and long-awaited ceremony,” said Rear Adm. Douglas J. McAneny, the commander of Submarine Group 7 based in Yokosuka, Japan. “The accomplishment of U.S. Navy submarines during World War II underscores the relevance and importance of submarines in today’s world. This ceremony brings closure to the families of the men of Wahoo; one of the greatest fighting submarines in the history of the U.S. Navy.”
Wahoo’s final resting place remained a mystery for 63 years. In July 2006 the Russian Federated Navy discovered a sunken submarine in the vicinity of La Perouse Strait in approximately 213 feet of water. The Russian Navy contacted the U.S. 7th Fleet and the U.S. Navy confirmed that the images were those of the Wahoo.
The legend of the Wahoo were an inspiration to serve in the U.S. Navy, according to Capt. Tom Logue, chairman of the Computer Science Department at the U.S. Naval Academy and nephew of Wahoo Fire Controlman
1st Class Robert Logue.
“It affected me as a young boy, hearing the stories about Uncle Bob in the Navy and service to our nation was a big part of that,” said Logue “For me, growing up hearing those stories I immediately glommed on to the idea of submarines.”
Commissioned in 1942, Wahoo had a brief, but strong impact on the Pacific front during World War II. Following her first two wartime patrols, Wahoo received a new commanding officer in Cmdr. Dudley “Mush” Morton. A new tone was set during his speech upon taking command when he proclaimed, “Wahoo is expendable.”
Morton led Wahoo on five successful patrols, sinking 27 enemy ships totaling 119,000 tons. During Wahoo’s seventh and final patrol it entered the dangerous yet vital Sea of Japan.
While transiting out of the Sea of Japan through the La Perouse Strait, Wahoo was spotted by the Japanese and attacked for hours by sea and air. Wahoo sank on Oct. 11, 1943. Morton was posthumously awarded his fourth Navy Cross for his actions.
Wahoo was one of the most distinguished submarines during World War II, earning the Presidential Unit Citation for its wartime actions.
The U.S. Navy has long held that the sea is a fitting resting place for our Sailors. Wahoo will not be salvaged nor any remains of the crew be recovered.
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew R. White, USS Frank Cable Public Affairs