Skip to comments.Ceremony Brings Sense of Closure to USS Lagarto Families
Posted on 05/08/2006 9:19:55 PM PDT by SandRat
MANITOWOC, Wis. (NNS) -- Families of crew members who served aboard the World War II submarine USS Lagarto (SS 371) gathered here May 6 to honor the men whose submarine went missing six decades ago and was only recently located by divers.
Lagarto was last seen May 3, 1945, in the southern Gulf of Thailand while preparing to strike an enemy convoy. Japanese records later indicated that the minelayer Hatsutaka reported sinking a U.S. submarine on that date.
Last May, nearly 60 years to the day after Lagarto was lost, British diver Jamie MacLeod reported finding Lagarto sitting upright in about 225 feet of water in the southern part the Gulf of Thailand. MacLeod traveled to Wisconsin this weekend to attend the ceremony and to share his remarkable story with family members.
For Floyd Harrington of Lehi, Utah, the experience brought a much-needed sense of closure. Harrington was 10 years old when his brother, Motor Machinist's Mate 3rd Class George Clark Harrington, was killed aboard Lagarto. He carried a lot of uncertainty with him until he gathered in Manitowoc this weekend.
It settled a lot of things, said Harrington. We never knew what happened.
That was a sentiment echoed by many of the family members who attended the ceremony, hosted by the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.
For every single family here, this has been one of the most important events of their entire lives, said Nancy Kenney of Lake Leelanau, Mich., whose father, Signalman 1st Class William T. Mabin was lost on Lagarto.
Kenny, working with museum director Norma Bishop and her staff, have been successful in finding family members of 51 of the 86 men lost. More than 150 of the family members traveled to Manitowoc to attend the ceremony.
It is moving to know that even six decades after their death, the men who served in Lagarto are still loved and still missed, said Pacific Fleet Submarine Force Commander Rear Adm. Jeffrey Cassias, who delivered the keynote address at the ceremony.
During the ceremony, there was a tolling of the bell for each of the 86 crew members, a gun salute, and a flag presentation to the family members.
The Navy plans to send the diving and salvage ship USS Salvor (ARS 50) to the site during exercise CARAT Thailand in June to attempt to confirm the discovery.
Lagarto was one of 28 submarines built in Manitowoc, Wis., and one of 52 submarines lost on patrol during World War II.
For related news, visit the Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/subpac/.
Submariners on Eternal Patrol
"..Sleep Well! Courageous Lads!...Sleep Well...!
...your Mission is done...Your Mission is over..
..You had Carried your Ship Well...
..and your Ship had Carried you well too...
..Now WE carry the Memory of your Bravery and Courage..Forever,
...Sleep Well...Sleep Well..."
God Bless you all and your families and friends Brave Ones-
-We are forever in your debt for your Service.
May God take you all into His house and sit you down next to all those others who have Bravely given their lives for that of another...
For YOUR Great Sacrifice is the Greatest Gift that any man can give to another.
God Bless you all.
Rest In Peace.
This story aroused my interest due to having recently read Shadow Divers, an exciting story about the discovery and six-year process of identifying a U-boat off the coast of NJ. The two main characters of the book, John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, are the hosts of Deep Sea Detectives on the History Channel. I understand from IMDB.com that Ridley Scott will direct The Shadow Divers for a big-screen release in 2007.
I highly reccommend two books; Bowfin nabd Iron Coffins. Those are two fantastic Submarine reads.
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