Sunday, October 12, 2008

Memorial Service Held for USS Grunion Crew

And when at length her course is run,
Her work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that in her sailed
Let not one life in Thee have failed;
But hear from Heaven our sailor’s cry,
And grant eternal life on high!

--Alternative verse, the Navy Hymn

On Saturday, October 11, 2008, a memorial service was held in Cleveland, Ohio for the crew of the USS Grunion, an American submarine that was lost in battle on July 30, 1942. About 200 relatives of the 70 lost crew members attended. The service was held at the site of the USS Cod, a sister ship to the USS Grunion. The Cod is now preserved in Cleveland for current and future generations to see and reflect on that great war. See pic at right.

As I noted in a previous post, the Grunion was found last month by a search team using sonar equipment. The wreck was photographed with remotely operated undersea cameras. The US Navy, after viewing the pictures, confirmed that it was indeed the Grunion.

I took it upon myself to Photoshop a very poor quality photo of Seaman Richard Harry Carroll, Seaman Second Class, who died on the Grunion. Carroll was only 18 years old when the sub was sunk by a Japanese artillery shell from the merchant ship Kano Maru, at the tip of the Aleutian Islands. Japanese crew members of the Kano Maru repoted that the Grunion had fired four torpedoes at the Kano Maru; only one of them exploded. One missed; the other two were duds and just bounced off. Had they exploded, the Kano Maru would be the ship resting on the bottom of the ocean. Whoever manufactured those faulty torpedoes should rest in everlasting infamy.

Mary Bentz of the Grunion crew family-member search team contacted me from my post, and I sent her my first Photoshopped picture of Seaman Carroll. My Photoshops of it have continued to evolve as I find some aspect of it to improve. Tonight I added some detail to the ears to make them more lifelike; they previously lacked any detail. See the Photoshop in its current state here. Mary's probably getting sick of my many revisions. She is planning to give it to Seaman Carroll's niece this week as well as to one of the Abele brothers, a son of the Grunion's captain.

At the ceremony someone read the names of the crew aloud, stating that this "releases the souls" of the departed. God bless them all.

This service and memorial reminds me of one of my favorite hymns, the Navy Hymn. A Navy choir sings it in the YouTube video that follows. The words to the song follow the video.

Its words are as follows:

The Navy Hymn

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy Word,
Who walked on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our family shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect us wheresoever we go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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