Found: the bow of the USS Grunion

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The USS Grunion was a Gato-class submarine that was sunk at Kiska, Alaska, during World War II. Operating near the Aleutian Islands, the submarine reported that it had been attacked by Japanese antisubmarine patrols, but had managed to avoid sinking.

Black and white photograph of the USS Grunion in 1942.
The USS Grunion in 1942.

Later moving to Kiska Island, from which it was based throughout July 1942, the Grunion sank two enemy patrol boats. However, on 30 July 1942, the submarine sank leaving no record of activity. The reasons for her sinking remained a mystery until the shipwreck was discovered in 2007, when analysis indicated that the ship had been lost due to a torpedo accident, where a torpedo fired by the ship had missed its target, circled back, and hit the Grunion without exploding but causing enough damage for it to sink.

While the bulk of the shipwreck was identified in 2007, the bow of the submarine still remained missing. But now, researchers from the Lost 52 Project, which searches for sunken WWII submarines, have identified the bow a quarter of a mile away from the main wreckage.

This news article appears in issue 109 of Military History Matters. To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

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