Memorial Service to Honor USS Lagarto Crew: A Debt of Honor

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USS Lagarto

Sailors Rest Your OarsThere were 52 submarines lost on patrol during WWll. One that was lost, is now found.

On Eternal Patrol, as the submariners say.

For 60 years, crew members’ families did not know the exact circumstances surrounding the 86 submariners who perished. Lagarto was last heard from May 3, 1945, as it was preparing to attack a Japanese convoy under heavy escort. Japanese war records later revealed that the minelayer Hatsutaka reported sinking a U.S. submarine at roughly the same time and location.

In May 2005, MacLeod [a British wreck diver] and a group of commercial divers found Lagarto in the Gulf of Thailand sitting upright in 225 feet of water. A large rupture in the port side bow area confirmed that Lagarto had apparently been struck by a depth charge.

But there was something else that MacLeod’s team noticed that caught their attention: an open torpedo tube door, with an empty torpedo tube. It seemed to suggest that Lagarto had gone down fighting.

62-year old Arthur H. Keeney III of Engelhard, N.C., said the discovery of Lagarto has given him a new connection to a father he never knew.

“It has made my father’s high school and Academy yearbooks and other family memorabilia more alive and personal,” said Keeney. “Moreover, I’m pleased for my mother, who, now 84, can reflect on the earlier stages of her life when Bud was part of it.”

The warship is now a coffin. For 86 men who made the ultimate sacrifice. We owe them so much. A debt of honor. These men remaine in the service of our Country. On Eternal Patrol.

We are so lucky.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Read about the man who took my father’s place on the USS Bonefish.

Search “submarine and Manitowoc” on Tom McMahon.

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