R-12 (SS 89)

Lieutenant Commander E.E. Shelby

R-12 (Lieutenant Commander E. E. Shelby) was lost between 1220 and 1225 on 12 June 1943 at Latitude 24° 24'30" North and Longitude 81° 38'30" West in six hundred feet of water with the loss of forty two lives. The personnel on the bridge, two officers including the Commanding Officer, and three enlisted men were the only survivors. Those missing consisted of four U.S. Naval officers, two Brazilian Naval officers and thirty-six U.S. Naval enlisted men.

At the time of the accident R-12 was engaged in normal operations off Key West, Florida, being underway to take up her position for a torpedo practice approach. She was rigged for diving (except main induction was open and batteries were ventilating into the engine room) and riding the vents. The Commanding Officer was on the bridge in the act of turning the Officer of the Deck watch over to another officer when the collision alarm was sounded from below and the report that the forward battery compartment was flooding was passed to the bridge. Although the Commanding Officer gave immediate orders to blow main ballast and close the hatches, the ship sank in an estimated fifteen seconds from the time the alarm was sounded until the bridge was completely under water.

It was the opinion of the Court of Inquiry that the cause of the loss of R-12 was unknown but probably was the rapid flooding of the forward part of the ship through a torpedo tube.

USS R-12

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Submarine insignia.
U.S.S. R-12 (SS-89)
§Almeida, A.G.D.
Bacon, General W.
*Bailey, Eric P.
*Balfe, Robert B.
*Barnett, Percy E.
*Boucher, Claude A.
Bronson, Robert B.
Buckley, James J.
Cashell, F.E.
Clayton, Howard L.
*Cross, Joe L.
*Davis, Daniel E.
§De Moura, J.L.
*Durrenberger, Robert
*England, Robert N.
Flisher, Raymond R.
Garbulsky, Lenard E.
Graziani, Frederick P., Jr.
Hall, Joseph C., Jr.
Harman, Elmer L., Jr.
Horton, J. U.
Horvath, Joseph S.
*Kapral, John
Knapp, Howard H.
Krigbaum, Everett
Kymer, Leland V.
Le Van, Charles B.
Lobeck, Henry P.
Mathis, Curtis V.
*Mayer, William W.
McKibben, P.T.
Moncada, Joseph
LT
EM3
MoMM1
TM2
RM2
SM3
F2
SM1
ENS
CSM
MM1
MoMM2
LT
F1
Y2
F1
S2
GM1
EM3
ERM
LTJG
TM1
TM3
S2
CMoMM
MoMM2
S1
TM3
TM3
F1
EM1
MM1
    Mullis, Albert J.
Ness, George W.
*Niles, Glenn H.
Noonan, Paul L.
*Ovenson, Leif
*Pinkley, Jack E.
*Pool, Sydney H.
Rabbitt, John H.
Rafferty, Edward J.
Schnake, Ernest E.
*Schnee, Adolph J.
*Schwartz, Ernest E.
Scott, Craig R.
Secor, Howard R.
*Shelby, Edward E.
Shellenberger, Harry H.
Smith, Granby S.
Starks, R.N.
Sullivan, Donald C.
*Sullivan, John J.
Thompson, Rudolph A., Jr.
Unger, J.D.
*Van Leuven, Franklin A.
Vincent, Ernest W.
Walker, Norman W.
Walsh, Edwin F.
Wheeler, Kenneth J.
*Wood, James H.
Young, Willie D.
Zimmerman, George A.
*Zions, Frank J.
F2
S2
S1
S2
F1
EM3
S2
EM3
MM2
GM2
EM2
GM2
F2
RM2
LCDR-CO
F3
S2
LT-XO
RM3
CCS
S2
LTJG
F2
MoMM2
MoMM1
MoMM2
SC3
MoMM2
STM2
F3
MoMM3
* Survivor: all but 3 enlisted survivors were on liberty at the time of mishap; another officer survived but is unidentified here.
§ Brazilian Navy

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Related Resource: Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations