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Gato Class Submarine
1,526 Tons (surfaced)
2,424 Tons (submerged)
307' x 27.3' x 19.3'
10 × 21" torpedo tubes
(6 fwd, 4 aft)
with 24 torpedoes
1 x 3" deck gun
2 × .50cal MG
2 × 30cal MG
USN December 22, 1941
USN March 1942
After her shakedown, Grunion transited the Caribbean Sea to the Panama Canal. On the way, she rescued 16 survivors of USAT Jack, which had been torpedoed by a German U-boat. After dropping off the survivors, she reached Pearl Harbor on June 20, 1942 and was involved in ten days of intensive training.
On July 30, 1942 Grunion reported intensive anti-submarine activity against her and was ordered to Dutch Harbor, even though she still had 10 of her 24 torpedoes aboard. It is unclear if Grunion received the order to return to base or not. The submarine was never seen or heard from again and aerial searches found no trace of her. On October 5, Grunion was reported overdue from patrol and assumed lost with all hands. The Grunion received one battle star for World War II service.
Reporting their find, the U. S. Navy, citing lack of resources, was not involved in the search. The team contacted Robert Ballard, who declined to participate in a search, but briefed the Abeles on the complications of searching for deep sea wrecks. Geological formations sometimes conceal a vessel; it could be perched precariously on an undersea cliff; the water pressure and landing impact could have broken the Grunion into small pieces, making it harder to find.
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