S-26 (SS 131)
S-26 (Lieutenant Commander E.C. Hawk) was lost at 2223 on 24 January 1942 in the Gulf of Panama about fourteen miles west of San Jose Light in three hundred feet of water. There were three survivors, two officers including the Commanding Officer, and one enlisted man-all on the bridge at the time of the collision; the fourth person on the bridge, an enlisted man, was lost.
S-26 was proceeding from Balboa, Canal Zone, to its patrol station in company with S-21, S-29 and S-44 and an escort vessel, PC-460, at the time of the disaster. At 2210 the escort vessel sent a visual message to the submarines that she was leaving the formation and that they could proceed on the duty assigned. S-21 was the only submarine to receive this message. Shortly there-after PC-460 struck S-26 on the starboard side of the torpedo room and the submarine sank within a few seconds.
Salvage operations started immediately under Captain T.J. Doyle, USN, Commanding Submarine Squadron Three and Submarine Base, Coco Solo, Canal Zone; they were not successful. She had previously made one war patrol but had inflicted no damage on the enemy.
Related Resource: Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations