Daily Event for January 24

January 24, 1942: Four US submarines and one patrol craft were moving from the canal zone to their ordered patrol area. The S-21, S-26, S-29, S-44 and the PC-460 must have been traveling close together. At 22:10 the PC-460 sent a visual signal advising the submarines to continue on and that they were leaving the formation. The only submarine that got the message was the S-21.

The PC-460 made a turn to port and soon rammed the S-26 which sank immediately. Four men, including the commander, were on the bridge and made it into the water. The other forty six on board perished with the boat. One of the men in the water died before he could be rescued leaving only three survivors.

A rescue attempt was made in earnest but with no result. The boat was left where it sank in the Gulf of Panama and is still there today, presumably with the bodies of the forty two men still inside.

© 2006 Michael W. Pocock

USS S-26 SS-131