USS Grunion

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Col Debra Shattuck (USAF ret)

 

I don't have a family connection with the Abele's, but I got to know them during the year-long period after the missions they funded located the wreckage of the Grunion.  My father was "Skipper" of the U.S.S. Cod submarine memorial in Cleveland, Ohio.  Grunion and Cod were sister ships; they were almost identical in design and their engines were built in Cleveland.

My father was a computer genius and he wrote a software program that melded the 2D underwater photographs of Grunion's wreckage into 3D images that enabled the Navy to conclusively determine that the wreckage was Grunion.

The Navy was initially reluctant to render this decision and I got involved too, contacting a Navy 3-star Admiral I used to work for who contacted the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.  Eventually the right people got involved and the relatives of the lost crewmembers finally got closure.

In October 2008, I had the honor of attending the beautiful memorial service the COD hosted for the families of the Grunion crew.  I took many pictures that day and was deeply touched to see how, even after 50 years, the family members needed that ceremony to get closure and to honor the memory of their loved ones.


On October 12, 2013, Bruce Abele (photo) will be introduced by Col Debra Shattuck (USAF ret), former commander of the 28th Maintenance Group at Ellsworth Air Force Base.  He is the son of LCDR Mannert Abele, Captain of the ill-fated USS Grunion, submarine which disappeared during 1942 off Kiska, Alaska, after reporting "intense anti-submarine activity."  A book is forthcoming by Abele.

more on USS Grunion

Shattuck note to Abele:  A large number of our members are World War II veterans.  I believe our members would really enjoy learning the amazing story of the U.S.S. Grunion.  I was deeply touched when I first heard it--especially the part about how your dad took you, your mom and your brothers to lunch at the officer's club in Pearl Harbor and then said "goodbye" without being allowed to tell you that he was leaving on a military mission.  The same story was repeated across the base that day as family members and loved ones said goodbye to people they would never see again.  Worse still, they never even knew what had happened to them for over 50 years.