Author Topic: BURIAL AT SEA  (Read 8863 times)

Offline K0EFV

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BURIAL AT SEA
« on: March 17, 2008, 08:30:59 PM »
Test to see if we can post larger size files:
The USS Cobia has the distinction of being the only submarine to conduct a burial at sea of a crew member KIA from their deck during World WarII.  A distinction but a very sad one to say the least.  The crew member's name was Ralph Clark Huston Jr.  Listed below are excerpts from the book "The COBIA at WAR", Deck log and fellow crewmembers remarks.
 
Feb 26, 1945
1638  Went to battle stations,manned deck guns, and put four engines on line.  Gun attack-1,114-06
[Starmer: Huston was a very sharp, intelligent young man.  as he came by me word was passed
down for the gun crew to wear foul weather jackets Huston couldn't find his or it wasn't
available and I handed him mine to wear topside.]
1822 Machine gun fire from the target had been wild and inefective, But he got one good burst in.
This burst wounded 20mm loader seriously, Huston R.C. Jr. S1c, USNR, wounded with one
shell in left upperarm and another entering left rib cage.  [Mahanes I looked up and saw Ralph
when he was hit.  He looked right at me and screamed.  He took a slug just below the armpit. ]
[Pelton: I was the one that picked Huston up and carried him thru the door and handed him
down the hatch.]  [Starmer I waited for him to be lowered thru the conning tower at the end of
the control room.  He looked at me and said, "Look what those bastards did to your jacket
Doc"!  He never uttered another word after that.]
1847 Target sank.  Huston appeared to be dying.  [Mahanes: The Doc knew he was beyond help
with what he had to work with.  He was given drugs to relieve his pain.  The Doc felt helpless
and we all had tears.]
Feb 27
0534 Huston Ralph Clark Jr. 755-96-96-S1c, USNR died of wounds received in gun action.
1800 Slowed to one third speed, 06-02S/114-00E.  Commited remains of Huston to the deep.
[Mahanes: Ralph was wrapped in several matress covers and his feet were weighted down with
heavy fire bricks.  A board or slab was needed to slide the body into the sea.  somebody
came up with the idea to use the door off the head.]  [Starmer: We took it off, and took it
topside.]  [Madigan: We played a record of TAPS when we did this.]  [Pelton: 6 men holding the
door the Captain and firing squad.]  [Stewart: When he slid into the water he was wrapped
in the American Flag, and that went in too.]  [Mahanes: The Captain conducted A Christian
burial service that couldn't have been any finer had it been held at Arlington National Cemetery.]
Tom USMC

Offline Fred Tannenbaum

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Re: BURIAL AT SEA
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 09:17:06 PM »
Hate to say it, but Silversides TM Michael Harbin was the first U.S. submariner to die in a submarine gun action on 10 May 1942 and was buried at sea.

Offline Mark Sarsfield

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Re: BURIAL AT SEA
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2008, 09:02:22 AM »
The movie Destination Tokyo had a crew member buried at sea and it came out in 1943.  So, they may have gotten the idea from Silversides.  The character in the movie was stabbed by a downed pilot, instead of being shot, but I remember crewmen being strafed by planes and they never buried any of them, but I digress...

Regards,
Mark Sarsfield
USS Batfish reenactor



"If you have one bucket that can hold 5 gallons and one bucket that can hold 2 gallons, how many buckets do you have?" - IQ test from Idiocracy

Offline K0EFV

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Re: BURIAL AT SEA
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 09:43:45 AM »
Thanks Fred:
You are correct "Eternal Patrol" lists Mike Harbin of the Silversides as being KIA in a gun fight.  It might have been better if the researcher had stated that "the only known photographs of a burial at sea from a sub were from the USS Cobia.  Being the "first or only" of an event is often not very pleasant.  I live here in Waterloo Iowa the home of the Five Sullivan Brothers.  Their tragic loss was the "first and only" time five brothers were lost in the sinking of a Navy ship at war.  It is unusual that the the two submarines Cobia and Silversides have ended up so close to each other.

Several of us Ham radio operators had planned to take the Ferry boat Badger from Manitowoc across Lake Michigan and visit an old friend Elmer Wood K8ROH.  Elmer had operated many radio special events from aboard the Silversides and the Coast Guard Cutter at Muskegon.  Elmer passed away this past year from cancer

Thanks again for the correction
K0EFV Tom USMC
Tom USMC

Offline K0EFV

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Re: BURIAL AT SEA
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2008, 10:18:50 AM »
I had been searching for some time for a photo of R.C. Huston.  I just noticed this one posted on "Eternal Patrol" sie.  Some one at Manitowoc told me some of his relatives were invited to one of the Cobia's crew reunions to meet some of the crew, especially  Stormer.  That may be where the photo came from.
Tom USMC