Grenadier (SS 210)

Lieutenant Commander J.A. Fitzgerald

Patrolling in Lem Voalan Strait in the northeast Indian Ocean, on her sixth war patrol, Grenadier under Lieutenant Commander J. A. Fitzgerald met her end on 22 April 1943. The following account of her fate is taken from statements made by her Commanding Officer and five of her men after they had been recovered from Japanese camps.

On the night of 20 April 1943, having had poor hunting for two or three days in Lem Voalan Strait (north-west of Penang on the Malay Peninsula), Grenadier ventured out ten miles west of that place to see what she could find. She found two ships, but before she could attack, they turned away. Figuring that they would come back to their original course in an hour and a half, Fitzgerald planned an attack to meet them on their course at that time. About 15 minutes before time to dive and prepare for the attack, a plane came in on Grenadier, and she dived. As she was passing 120 feet, a violent explosion shook the ship, and all lights and power were lost. She was brought to rest on the bottom at about 270 feet. The hull and hatches were leaking badly aft, and a fire in the control cubicle kept the ship without propulsion. A bucket brigade kept the motors dry, and later a jury rig pump was called into service to perform the task, while the electricians worked all day to restore propulsion. Several men were prostrated by heat and exertion, but the work went on.

At dusk, Grenadier surfaced and continued the work of trying to restore herself. Finally, they were able to turn over one shaft very slowly, but everything possible had been done, and no more speed could be expected.

Toward morning what appeared to be a destroyer, but was actually an 1800-ton merchantman, and an escort vessel were seen on the horizon, and a plane was driven away by gunfire. The skipper decided to scuttle the ship then, and it was done, with all hands being taken prisoner by the enemy merchant ship. The statements of the men relate the brutal treatment they received at the hands of the Japanese and how their spirit was kept up by their Commanding Officer. The enemy gained no information from this gallant crew, despite the worst they could inflict, and all but four members of the crew were recovered from prison camps at the close of the war.

Grenadier's record prior to her loss was six ships sunk, for 40,700 tons, and two ships damaged, for 12,000 tons. Her first patrol, beginning in February 1942, was conducted off the coast of Japan, and Grenadier sank a freighter. Going to the Formosa shipping lanes for her second patrol, Grenadier sank a large transport and a freighter. On her third patrol, she sank a large tanker. Grenadier's fourth patrol was a mining mission in the South China Sea, and she damaged no enemy shipping. On her fifth patrol, this vessel patrolled the Java Sea area, and sank two small freighters and a sampan. In addition she damaged a freighter.

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Submarine insignia.
U.S.S. Grenadier (SS-210)
Name Rate   Name Rate
Adkins, Ralph L.
Albertsen, Norman A.
Andrews, David J.
Barker, Lesley L.
Barrington, Clyde W.
Clark, Lynn R.
Courtney, Thomas R.
Cox, Gordon C.
Critchlow, John N.
Cunningham, William M. J.
*Doyle, Charlie
Embry, Jewell C.
Erishman, Charles A.
Evans, Rex R.
Evans, Robert E.
Fitzgerald, J. A.
Fourre, Glen R.
Fulton, Ben H.
Garrison, Randolph J.
*Guico, Justiniano G.
Gunderson, John H.
Harty, K. D.
Herbert, Carlisle W.
Hinkson, Richard J.
Ingram, Joe G.
Johnson, Charles E.
Keefe, William H.
Keysor, Riley H.
Knutson, Joseph S.
Landrum, James D.
Leskovsky, John
Leslie, Raymond G.
*Linder, Charles F.
Loftus, Irving C.
McBeath, John J.
McCoy, Charles H.
McGowan, Dempsey E.
McIntyre, Arthur G.
EM1
TM1
TM1
EM3
TM3
SM1
S2
S1
LT
S2
MoMM1
MoMM1
CMoMM
RM3
SC3
LCDR-CO
EM2
EM2
SC1
MAtt1
S1
LT
F2
EM2
F1
EM3
RM2
TM3
RM1
EM2
TM3
MoMM1
MoMM2
S1
PhM1
S1
F2
LT
    Minton, Joseph A.
O¹Brion, Elwood A.
Ouillette, Virgil A.
Palmer, Robert W.
Pianka, John K.
Pierce, Miner B.
Poss, Edgar L.
Price, Joseph T.
Quarterman, Carl O.
Rae, Thomas J.
Roberts, Warren E.
Roskell, Charles
Rupp, Albert J.
Russell, Paul D.
Rutkowski, Henry W.
Sawatzke, Lyle L.
Schwartzly, John F.
Shaw, Lee C.
Sherry, Harmon B.
Shoemaker, Dean B.
Simpson, John E.
*Snyder, George W., Jr.
Stauber, George F.
Taylor, Orville A.
Toulon, Alfred J., Jr.
Trigg, Thomas J.
Ver Valin, Charles H.
Walden, John S.
Westerfield, Charles W.
Whiting, George H.
Whitlock, Charles H.
Wilson, Charles M.
Wise, William E.
Withrow, William C.
Witzke, Bernard W.
York, Robert F.
Zucco, Peter
Zufelt, Fred
QM3
EM1
F2
Y1
MoMM1
S1
RM1
F1
CQM
S1
TM2
F2
S2
F3
S1
F2
F1
MoMM2
LT
TM2
S1
F1
MM2
FC2
LT
MAtt1
MoMM2
Gunner
CCStd
LT-XO
CEM
MoMM1
GM2
CTM
F1
EM2
S1
GM1
* Died in Fukuoka prison camp, Kyushu I., Japan.

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Related Resource: Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations