Monday, October 3, 2016

WW II Submarine Memorial

This is at Mountwood Park.  The boys and I explored the rest of the park last week but it was raining too much to get a look at their memorial to the lost submarine men that day.  Today we went back to the dog park to work out some wiggles and attitude problems and then took some time to remember and reflect at this small, simple, and unassuming memorial site on the shores of Walker Lake.

I learned a sad fact.  52 U.S. Submarines were lost in World War II.  This plaque on the front of the memorial lists those still listed as "On Patrol."  That's a sobering number... As is the number of men who are still onboard: 3,505 officers and enlisted men.

Words fail me to express my respect and gratitude for their sacrifice!

"We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the lines against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds."  Fleet Admiral C.W. Nimitz, USN

I didn't find an explanation as to why, but the U.S.S. Cisco was given special recognition here, listing men who went down with her on September 28, 1943.  According to her Wikipedia page, "Cisco sailed from Panama 7 August 1943 for Brisbane, Australia, arriving 1 September to assume local patrol duties, until 18 September, when she docked at Darwin. She put out on her first war patrol 20 September, but never returned. Japanese records tell of sighting a submarine leaking oil on 28 September in an area where Cisco is known to have been the only submarine then operating. Japanese records state this submarine was sunk by bombs and depth charges. Cisco is thus presumed to have been lost in action 28 September 1943. The only survivor from the crew was Chief Radioman Howell B. Rice (USN ret.), who was taken sick in Darwin and sent ashore to the Navy hospital prior to Cisco's final voyage."

The lake side of the memorial has a plaque recognizing those who contributed to its building and placement.  It includes a number of WW II submarine veterans.

With the loss of our veteran's from this time period, I have to wonder how many stories are lost with them.  What could we learn that would help us not repeat the mistakes that drew the world into this war with its unspeakably horrible human cost?  I think these memorials help, both the famous and the obscure, when we take the time to stop, read and put some effort into really comprehending our history and how it's made our life today possible.  It also makes me think that a simple 'thank you,' no matter how appreciated, just isn't enough...

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