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Pins & Needles Time

For Pompano

On May 25, 2013, I was informed that a U.S. Navy salvage vessel equipped with a high definition side scan sonar system has been ordered to investigate the object found last July by the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM-5). The object is resting at a depth of 129 feet below the surface, near the Shiriyazaki Lighthouse, located on the outermost extremity of Cape Shiriyazaki, the northeastern-most point of Honshu. It is believed that this object could be the submarine USS Pompano (SS-181). She was tasked with hunting in this area on her seventh and final war patrol. After sailing from Midway on August 20, 1943, she was never seen or heard from again. Recent research conducted by noted naval historian Sander Kingsepp documents an antisubmarine attack by Japanese air and surface forces in this area on September 17 and 18, 1943. The Pompano was the only American submarine operating there at the time of the attack. It is hoped the additional scrutiny of the object by the Navy salvage vessel will determine if the object is the Pompano. The Navy team will work in the area from June 1 to June 14, 2013 (possibly beginning May 30). The esteemed Naval Archeologist, Dr. Robert Neyland, is on the team.

I would be remiss if I failed to recognize Keith Kibbe. He is the man responsible for getting the Navy involved in this search for the Pompano and for keeping the relatives of the boat’s crew members informed. I highly commend his hard work and persistence. Job well done, sir. Thank you!

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