The stories of seven lost US Navy submarines, the bravest Americans who will never come home

A World War II veteran watches the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade at Fort Derussy Beach Park, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 2016. Civilians, veterans, and service members came together to remember and pay their respects to those who fought and list their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Casbarro)

6. USS Shark (SS-174)

USS Shark (SS-174) immediately after launching, 21 May 1935 USS Shark (SS-174) Immediately after launching by the Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut, 21 May 1935. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
USS Shark (SS-174) immediately after launching, 21 May 1935 USS Shark (SS-174) Immediately after launching by the Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut, 21 May 1935. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

An older submarine built in the late 1930s, the Shark was a Porpoise-class submarine with a crew of 54 that was engaged in exercises near the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Adding to their good fortune, the Shark was out to sea when the Japanese bombed Manila the next day and even narrowly missed a Japanese torpedo a month later.

Unfortunately, her luck would run out. The Shark would be damaged attempting to sink several ships (never achieving a single kill) and would never return.

On March 7, 1942, after nearly a month of absence, the Shark would take on the dubious honor of being the first American submarine lost to enemy anti-submarine warfare.

After the war, Japanese records would indicate that a submarine was sunk in the area where the Shark was presumed lost. The record would indicate that voices were heard screaming in the water, but no attempt was made to rescue possible survivors.

Author

  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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