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LTJG Donald Arthur Abel

LTJG Donald Arthur Abel

Riverside, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 18 Jun 1945 (aged 22)
Burial Body lost at sea, Specifically: Body is aboard the wreck of the Bonefish.
Memorial ID 8669985 · View Source
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Donald Arthur Abel I (1922-1945) was a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the US Navy who was killed in action, and his body was lost at sea while he was serving on the submarine USS Bonefish (SS-223) in the Pacific theater during World War II. (b. September 9, 1922, probably Riverside, Cook County, Illinois, USA - d. June 18, 1945, Toyama Wan, West Coast of Honshu Island, Japan) Military Service Number 0-313601.

He was the son of Donald Fredrick Abel (1898-1956) and Sigried Brigida Jensen (1896-1990).

The family appears in the 1930 US Census living in Riverside, Cook County, Illinois and Donald Sr. was working as a physiologist in a laboratory.

Donald was married to Marybell and they had a son that was born after Donald's death off the coast of Japan: Donald Arthur Abel II (1945-?).

Donald was aboard the USS Bonefish (SS-223) when it was sunk of the coast of Honshu during World War II. All hands were lost and no bodies have been recovered to date. The official Navy Report is as follows: "In company with USS Tunny and USS Skate, USS Bonefish (SS 223), commanded by Commander L.L. Edge, departed Guam on May 28, 1945 to conduct her eighth war patrol. This coordinated attack group under Commander G.W. Pierce in Tunny, which was one of three groups then penetrating the Japan Sea, was ordered to transit Tsushima Strait on June 5, 1945, and to conduct offensive patrol in the Sea of Japan off the west central coast of Honshu. This area was further subdivided, with Bonefish assigned to patrol the northern portion. Bonefish successfully transited Tsushima Strait, and made rendezvous with Tunny on June 16, 1945. Commander Edge reported he had sunk one large transport and one medium freighter to date. On the morning of June 18, Tunny and Bonefish rendezvoused. Bonefish asked permission to conduct a submerged daylight patrol in Toyama Wan, in the mid part of western Honshu, and having received it, departed for Suzo Misaki. She was never seen or heard from again. Bonefish, in accordance with the operation order, was to rendezvous with the other eight submarines of the three groups at sunset on June 23, 1945, in preparation for the transit on June 24 of La Perouse Strait. Bonefish did not make this rendezvous, and after the other eight vessels had successfully transited La Perouse Strait, Tunny on June 25 and 26 waited off the entrance to the strait and unsuccessfully tried to contact Bonefish. When all possibilities had been examined, and she had not been seen or heard from by July 30, Bonefish was reported as presumed lost. Japanese records of anti-submarine attacks mention an attack made on June 18, 1945 in Toyama Wan. A great many depth charges were dropped, and wood chips and oil were observed. This undoubtedly was the attack which sank Bonefish. She sank a total of 12 enemy vessels, for a total tonnage of 61,345, and damaged seven, for 42,000 more tons. Bonefish was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for the period of her first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth patrols."

His body was never recovered but there is a memorial tablet at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu in Hawaii listing the dead from the Bonefish sinking.

Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) for Findagrave starting on April 23, 2004.


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  • Created by: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
  • Added: 23 Apr 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8669985
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LTJG Donald Arthur Abel (9 Sep 1922–18 Jun 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8669985, ; Maintained by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (contributor 46580804) Body lost at sea, who reports a Body is aboard the wreck of the Bonefish..