|Birth: ||Oct. 14, 1913|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Oct. 3, 1944, Indonesia|
On October 3, 1944 the USS Seawolf commanded by CDR Albert Bontier and the USS Narwhal exchanged SJ radar recognition signals at 0756. Later the same day an enemy submarine attack was made at 2°-32'N, 129°-18'E, which resulted in the sinking of USS Shelton (DE407). Since there were four friendly submarines in the vicinity of this attack, they were directed to give their positions, and the other three did, but Seawolf was not heard from. On October 4, 1944 the Seawolf again was directed to report her position and again she failed to.
USS Rowell (DE403) and an aircraft attacked a submarine in the vicinity of the attack on Shelton, having at that time no knowledge of any friendly submarines in the area and it was thought that Seawolf must be held down by these antisubmarine activities. It is possible that Seawolf was the submarine attacked.
The report from Rowell indicates that an apparently lethal attack was conducted in conjunction with a plane which marked the spot with dye. Rowell established sound contact on the submarine, which then sent long dashes and dots which Rowell stated bore no resemblance to the existing recognition signals. After one of the several hedgehog attacks a small amount of debris and a large air bubble were seen. It has been established that the Japanese submarine RO-41 sank Shelton on October 3, 1944 and was able to return to Japan.
In view of the above facts, and the fact that there is no attack listed in the Japanese report of antisubmarine attacks which could account for the loss of Seawolf, it is possible that Seawolf was sunk by friendly forces in an antisubmarine attack on October 3, 1944, in the vicinity of 02°-32'N, 129°-18'E.
It is also possible that she was lost due to an operational casualty or as a result of an unrecorded enemy attack.
During her first fourteen patrols, Seawolf sank 27 enemy ships, and damaged 13. This gave her total tonnage for ships sunk and damaged of 108,600.
Bontier was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.
Bontier and the Seawolf are on Eternal Patrol.
Note: Entered the service from Missouri. Body lost at sea.
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
National Capital Region, Philippines
Plot: Tablets of the missing
Created by: Dave Jones
Record added: Mar 12, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25213157