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Five Miles To Seaward


On December 9, 1943, the Commander Task Force Seventy-One dispatched a radio message to the USS Capelin. The dispatch required an acknowledgement from her captain, Commander Steam Marshall. A response was never received and the Capelin and her crew were presumed to be lost. She was last seen on December 2, 1943 by the USS Bonefish off the north coast of Celebes. The Bonefish sent her a message by sonar, which Steam Marshall acknowledged by sonar. At that time the Bonefish’s captain stated the Capelin was to seaward at a range of about five miles. The two most likely possible causes for her loss is that she struck a mine at some point along the northern coast of Celebes or that she had a catastrophic operational mishap as a result of hull distortion. Her loss remains an unsolved mystery. All that is known for sure is that she was lost sometime after her contact with the Bonefish, but before the December 9th radio dispatch.

USS Capelin

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