Category Archives: US Navy
In 1944, a submarine slid sideways into the Manitowoc River near where it empties into Lake Michigan. As she kissed the water, some 1500 miles to the west, a young man who wanted to be a farmer heard the clarion call of his country, left his home in Ogden, Utah and joined the US Navy. After a detour through Connecticut and New Guinea, he would arrive in Manitowoc and report aboard that new submarine.
Commissioned in September, the USS Kraken (SS-370) would sail down the Mississippi River, through the Panama Canal and on to the Pacific Ocean where Wendall would make all four combat patrols of USS Kraken, and eventually leave the Navy after the war ended. He would return to Ogden and become well involved in farming. Kraken would be decommissioned and placed in reserve until she was needed again.
The United States Submarine Veterans exists “To Perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.”
In 1982, almost 38 years after she touched the waters of Lake Michigan, Kraken was scrapped. Last year, Wendall passed away, after a long and fruitful life.
I just thought that you might like to know their stories…
The Reunion was a huge success. Seeing friends I hadn’t seen in 35 years was… well… amazing. These are just a taste of the main event…
This morning held a grand opportunity for me, as I was honored to sit at a table with other Submarine Veterans for the annual Breakfast Meeting of the Bremerton Chapter of USSVI. At our table sat a World War II Submarine Veteran, as well as another fellow USS Michigan sailor.
There aren’t very many places I can go anymore where I can say about things, “That was before I was even born,” but listening to the exploits and tales of some of these fine men, I feel like an infant. And compared to the WWII guys, I was still a generation away when some of them left their boats.
The guy I was sitting with served aboard USS Raton (SS-270) during the War. The boat made eight war patrols, earning six Battle Stars. But what makes her unique was where she was born. Of the hundreds of US Submarines that served in World War II and into the Cold War, twenty-eight were built in Wisconsin. Yep… Wisconsin, the heart of America where the real Americans live. Read the rest of this entry