Daily Event for February 26

February 26, 1944 A Japanese plane spotted a submarine running on the surface near Okinawa. The pilot bombed the sub and reported that it sank immediately. A hunter- killer squadron was called in to depth charge the site. Seeing a large oil slick and air bubbles the Japanese declared the sub sunk. The USS Grayback SS-208 and all 80 of her crew were gone. Grayback had a good career in the Pacific. Launched in 1941, Grayback was on her 10th war patrol. credited with sinking 22 ships totaling 83,900 tons, and damaging a further 9 ships at 49,300 tons. This included the Japanese submarine I-18 on Jan. 3, 1943. The crew of the Grayback had also rescued the crew of a downed bomber on Jan. 5, 1943, for which the Captain, Edward C. Stephen was awarded the Navy Cross.

After reporting in on Feb. 25, 1944, Grayback was never heard from again. It was not until after the war that her fate was discovered. Using the official Japanese records it was decided that the attack reported by the Japanese pilot was the Grayback. The USS Grayback received 8 battle stars and 2 Navy Unit Commendations for her service in World War 2. The 80 brave crew remain on eternal patrol.

© 2006 Michael W. Pocock

USS Grayback SS-208