(SS-279) was lost on or about April 8, 1945, likely near Hainan Island on the coast of SE China.
One member of Snook
's crew when she was lost was Seaman First Class Thomas William Lamont II. Born into a wealthy family, he traveled Europe at 13, attended school in Switzerland before the start of World War II and was accepted into Harvard in 1942.
In 1943, Tommy was accepted into the Naval Aviation Cadet program and advanced as far as solo flight before washing out. Offered a chance to enter the V-12 program and become an officer, Tommy refused, opting instead for Boot Camp. After Boot Camp in San Diego he was again offered the chance to enter the V-12 program but chose Quartermaster School and then volunteered for submarine training. After training aboard USS S-34
(SS-139), which had been built in 1918, Tommy shipped out for Midway Island aboard the submarine tender USS Fulton (AS-11). While at Midway, the young quartermaster worked to overhaul submarines as they returned from patrol and served as a relief crewman.
Finally, in late August, 1944, Tommy was assigned to USS Snook. He joined the veteran sub just before she began her seventh war patrol. He was still aboard Snook when she was lost on her ninth war patrol.
After the war ended, Tommy's father gathered as many of Tommy's letters and other writings as he could and published them in a book titled, Things to be Remembered. It is unknown how many copies were printed or how they were distributed, but there probably weren't many.
AIMM is lucky to have acquired a copy, thanks to the efforts of Bonnie Zonner, who spotted the book for sale, purchased it, and donated it to the museum.
USS Snook photograph courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC.
Photograph of Tommy scanned from the book.