Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Memoriam - USS Runner (SS-275) - Lost on or after June 26, 1943

USS Runner (SS-275), a Gato-class submarine, left Midway Island to begin her third war patrol on May 28, 1943.

She was never heard from again.

Postwar examination of Japanese records revealed no recorded attack that would account for Runner's loss.

Japanese records do indicate that Runner claimed two final victims. The cargo ship Seinan Maru (1,338 tons) was sunk by an allied submarine on June 11th and the troop transport/cargo vessel Shinryu Maru (4,935 tons) was also the victim of a submarine attack on this day in 1943. As Runner was the only submarine assigned to the area, she was almost certainly the attacker in both cases, and sank sometime thereafter.

Possible explanations for her loss are:
  • An operational accident
  • An unreported enemy attack
  • A minefield
A minefield is believed to be the most likely cause, as there were four Japanese minefields in her assigned patrol area.

Runner was declared overdue and presumed lost with all hands on July 20th, 1943.

There is a memorial to USS Runner in New Paltz, NY, which is roughly midway between New York City and Albany, NY


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