Friday, November 23, 2012

In Memoriam - USS Capelin (SS-289) - Sunk 23 November 1943

USS Capelin's disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

After being out 17 days on her first war patrol, she returned to the U.S. submarine base in Darwin, Austrailia with a defective conning tower hatch mechanism, too-loud bow planes, and a malfunctioning radar tube. After these flaws were corrected, she left for her second patrol on 19 November.

Although USS Bonefish (SS-223) reported sighting a United States submarine on 2 December in Capelin's assigned area in the Molukka and Celebes Seas, nothing was heard from the boat after she departed on her second war patrol.

Postwar records revealed that on 23 November, 1943, an American submarine was attacked off Halamaera, a heavily fortified island in Capelin's patrol area. Enemy minefields are known to have been placed along the Celebes coastline, and it is suspected that Capelin was lost to a mine explosion.

76 sailors went down with Capelin.

National Archives photograph 80-G-468104


Blogger mrlfvl said...

My grandfather was LCDR XO of the Capelin, and I would love to learn more about his life and those with whom he spent his final days. If there are any Capelin descendants out there, please contact me.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Always happy to include any crew info, pics etc that anybody might have to help keep the images of the boat alive.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

If mrlfvl can write me at I would like to ask her a question or two re her grandfather as the XO of the Capelin.

10:12 AM  

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