William R. Wall
Oct. 18 1924
Nov. 7 1944
LOST [star] AT [star] SEA
The cenotaph of William R. Wall, submariner, is in the Glen Dyberry Cemetery in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. He went down at sea with his 83 comrades on the U.S.S. Shark II (SS-314) on 24 October 1944, sunk by the destroyer Harukaze‘s depth charges. The Shark had just sunk the Japanese cargo ship Arisan Maru, which, unbeknownst to the Shark’s crew, was conveying American POWs to Japan, 1774 of whom died in the sinking. This was the largest single U.S. loss of life in a sinking in World War II.
The authorities did not know when the Shark went down until after the war; so the cenotaph is more-or-less guessing with 07 November 1944. The submariner’s emblem is a nice touch on the stone, and I note that the veteran’s badge beside the monument is personalized, though I think Wall would not technically ever have been a veteran, right?
The Shark I (SS-174) was sunk by the Japanese in the early days of 1942; it says something to think that the U.S. went through enough submarines to have to reuse the same name only two years later. The Pedia of Wiki notes that 375 officers and 3,131 enlisted submariners were killed in World War II, with some 50 boats lost to enemy action.