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)

3.  USS Kete (SS-369)

USS Kete

Hey, we told you submariners suffered heavy losses and often operated in the same areas.

The Kete was younger than the Swordfish, commissioned in 1943. A Balao-class submarine, she was the only ship in the US Navy to ever bear her name. Her dedicated crew of 87 excelled at search and rescue in heavy weather, as well as ambushing ships, sinking several cargo vessels and even a cable-layer that was trying to set up a communications line.

After a particularly successful patrol, the Kete was scheduled to go to Midway for refueling before making the long haul to Pearl Harbor. On 20 March, 1945, she sent a weather report from near the Colnett Strait.

The Kete would never make it to Pearl Harbor, and after over a month of no word from her, she and her 87 men aboard were presumed lost. While theories of a Japanese submarine kill would come and go throughout the years, the only Japanese submarine in the area made no note of ever running into the Kete.

The Kete would receive only one battle star.   Her final resting place is believed to be off the Ryukyu Islands (the islands in between Japan and Taiwan) but much like the Swordfish it is a mystery to this very day.


  • 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.

Post navigation