Mannert L. Abele
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|Mannert Lincoln Abele|
Abele onboard a submarine c. 1940
July 11, 1903|
|Died||1942 (aged 38–39)
Lost at sea
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1920-1942|
|Commands held||USS Grunion|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Abele was born July 11, 1903 in Quincy, Mass., enlisted in the United States Navy August 12, 1920; was appointed midshipman in June 1922; and was commissioned ensign June 3, 1926 following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He completed training at the Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut in 1929; and, prior to America's entry into World War II, he commanded submarines R-13 and S-31.
Promoted to lieutenant commander December 1, 1940, he assumed command of the USS Grunion (SS-216) at her commissioning April 11, 1942 and took her out of Pearl Harbor June 30 on her first and only war patrol. Grunion steamed to the western Aleutians where from 15 to July 30 she sank two 300-ton patrol boats, heavily damaged a third, and twice escaped enemy depth charge attacks. Because of intensive antisubmarine activity off Kiska Island, she was ordered to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, July 30. She did not arrive and was reported missing and presumed lost August 16.
For extraordinary heroism during an aggressive war patrol, LCDR Abele was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Abele's three sons financed a search for their father's lost ship. On August 23, 2007, USS Grunion was found by the search team in the Bering Sea off the coast of the Aleutian Islands in about 1000 meters of water.