April 2024 | Tennessee Submarine Memorial Assoc. News

April 2024 | Tennessee Submarine Memorial Assoc. News

April  2024

Greetings from the Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association.

April is the month Submariners celebrate the birthday of the Silent Service, marking the U.S. Navy’s acceptance of USS Holland in commission on April 11, 1900. As we mark our 124th birthday we also remember the over 4000 Brothers of the Phin, lost aboard 65 American submarines, nine before WWII, 52 during WWII and four after WWII.

April 10th is the anniversary of the loss of one of those boats, USS Thresher with 129 lost, including 17 civilian technicians. (Lost Boats Below)  The loss of the Thresher attached special significance for Submariners. It was the largest single loss on one boat, she was the lead ship of the most advanced nuclear powered submarine class of her day, and her legacy was a revolution in submarine design and maintenance, called SubSafe, that has contributed immeasurably to the world’s best Submarine Force. Among the 129 lost on Thresher were two Tennesseans, LCDR Pat Garner and LTJG Frank Malinski, both from Memphis. In 2019 a National Commemorative Monument to Thresher was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery. [Link]

This month we’re pleased to share news that the Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association has been in conversations with officials from the City of Smyrna, Tennessee on the prospective location for our Memorial project. A Submarine Memorial may rise from a site at Lee Victory Park, adjacent to the Captain Jeff Kuss Blue Angel Memorial. [More below]

We’d like to share a big hat tip to Herb and Susan Gould for their gift of $1,000 to the TSMA in support of our work. Herb is a longtime USSVI and Volunteer Base member and a recipient of Holland Club honors. Thanks also to Susan for her work archiving experiences of service members in the National Archives Veterans History Project.

This monthly newsletter series will keep you up to date on the progress we’re making bringing a memorial to Tennessee to commemorate American Submariners lost in war and peace in defense of the nation.

Please share this newsletter with family, friends and everyone in your network and encourage them to become monthly donors to build a memorial. Your and their gifts will make a Submarine Memorial possible.

Thank you.

Patrick Ryan
President, TN Submarine Memorial Assoc.

Get the newsletter.

To make a gift by check: make it to Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association and mail to: 309 Church Street, #107, Nashville, TN 37201.

Thank you.


Join us in remembering the boats and crews that were lost in the anniversary month of April.

5 Boats, 353 Sailors including 7 Tennesseans, and 17 Civilians Lost

USS Pickerel (SS-177)3 Lost Tennesseans

Lost on April 3,1943 with the loss of 74 officers and men, while on her 7th war patrol. She was lost off Honshu. The exact cause of her loss has never been determined, but her OP area contained numerous minefields.

Radioman Third Class Grover Cleveland Morrison Jr. was from Memphis, Tennessee.

Seaman Second J. W. Wayne Pierce was from Maryville, Tennessee

Seaman Second Elmer Howard Russell
was from Maryville, Tennessee.

USS Snook (SS-279) 1 Lost Tennessean

Lost on April 8, 1945 with the loss of 84 officers and men. Snook ranks 10th in total Japanese tonnage sunk and is tied for 9th in the number of ships sunk. She was lost near Hainan Island, possibly sunk by a Japanese submarine.

Seaman First Clarence Foster Edmunds was from Knoxville, Tennessee.

USS Thresher (SSN-593) 2 Lost Tennesseans

Lost on April 10, 1963 with the loss of 112 crew members and 17 civilian technicians during deep-diving exercises. 15 minutes after reaching test depth, she communicated with USS Skylark that she was having problems. Skylark heard noises “like air rushing into an air tank” – then, silence. Rescue ship Recovery (ASR-43) subsequently recovered bits of debris, including gloves and bits of internal insulation. Photographs taken by Trieste proved that the submarine had broken up, taking all hands on board to their deaths in 1,400 fathoms of water, some 220 miles east of Boston.

Lieutenant Commander Pat Mehaffy Garner was from Memphis, Tennessee.

Pat Mehaffy Garner
Pat Mehaffy Garner

Lieutenant, Junior Grade Frank John Malinski
was from Memphis, Tennessee.

Frank John Malinski
Frank John Malinski

USS Gudgeon (SS-211)

USS Gudgeon (SS-211) was probably lost on April 18, 1944 with the loss of 79 men SE of Iwo Jima, but may have been sunk on May 12, 1944 in another attack on an unidentified submarine and heard by several other submarines in the area. Winner of 5 Presidential Unit Citations, Gudgeon was on her 12th war patrol and most likely lost due to a combined air and surface antisubmarine attack. Gudgeon was the first US submarine to go on patrol from Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack. On her first patrol, she became the first US submarine to sink an enemy warship, picking off the submarine I-173.

USS Grenadier (SS-210)

Lost on April 22, 1943 near Penang, with no immediate loss of life. She was on her 6th war patrol. While stalking a convoy, she was spotted by a plane and dove. While passing 130 feet, the Grenadier was bombed, causing severe damage. She was lodged on the bottom 270 feet and the crew spent hours fighting fires and flooding. When she surfaced, she had no propulsion and was attacked by another plane. While she shot down the plane, when enemy ships arrived, the CO abandoned ship and scuttled the boat. Of the 76 crew members taken prisoner, 4 died as Prisoners of War and 72 survived the war.

USS Scorpion (SS-278) – 1 Lost Tennessean

Prior to being lost on Jan 5,1944 The Scorpion suffered a previous wartime casualty when LCDR Reginald Raymond was killed during battle on April 30, 1943.

Lieutenant Commander Reginald Marbury Raymond was from Sewanee, Tennessee. (April 1943)



TSMA has begun conversations with the City Manager and Director of Parks from the City of Smyrna to build the Tennessee Submarine Memorial at the Lee Victory Park. The site hosts a world-class memorial to Blue Angel pilot, Captain Jeff Kuss, who was lost in a tragic training accident as the Blue Angels prepared for an air show in Smyrna in 2016. We’ll have more details about the TSMA project developments at the site, but for today let us share with you these photos and LINK to the Captain Kuss memorial.



Please contact Patrick Ryan (tennsub@gmail.com)


The TSMA is registered with Kroger Rewards and earns revenue based on your shopping totals — with no charge to you. Your Cheerios and ice cream will help us build a Submarine Memorial in Tennessee. Check out the Kroger Community Rewards program HERE.

Help Build A Memorial to Tennesseans Lost in Submarine Duty in Defense of the Nation

To make a gift by check: make it to Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association and mail to: 309 Church Street, #107, Nashville, TN 37201.

Thank you.

The Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association is a tax exempt charitable organization and donations are subject to treatment in accordance with IRS 501c3 considerations.

The Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association is approved by the Tennessee Secretary of State to solicit charitable contributions for the purposes of our mission.

Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association
309 Church Street, #107
Nashville, TN 37201

Chairman: Mike Anderson
President: Patrick Ryan
Treasurer: Larry Smith
Secretary: Mike Gorham
Board Member: Vinny McCrum
Board Member: Mike Patzius
Board Member: Bob Woolf

Advisory Board:
Jon Jacques

Email: TennSub@gmail.com

Comments are closed.