For a while, the mystery of the USS Grunion was one that seemed like it would remain unsolved. For more than 80 years, no one knew what happened to the submarine or its 69-man crew. With time, what used to be a tragic loss became little more than an interesting footnote in the history books. But for a certain few, the fate of the Grunion is a lot more personal.
USS Grunion (SS-216), 20 March 1942 at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT. Source: Wikipedia
The mere passage of time wasn’t enough to get the proper closure they needed. One particular family’s determination led them on a journey to uncover the truth about Grunion. It also inspired them to make a rather unexpected move once they got their answers.
This is the story of one family whose mission was to uncover the story of a war submarine, and more importantly, their father.
It Mysteriously Sank
The USS Grunion was a Gato-class submarine that operated during World War II in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The Grunion was reported to have been attacked by Japanese anti-submarine squads, but somehow it managed to avoid sinking. In July 1942, it was moved to Kiska Island, where the Grunion sank two enemy patrol boats.
Then, on 30 July 1942, the submarine mysteriously sank, leaving no record of activity. The reasons for the sinking remained a mystery, that is, until 2007, when the shipwreck was discovered. While the bulk of the wreckage was identified, the bow of the submarine was still missing. The researchers eventually found the bow, but it turns out there’s a lot more to the story.