Bontier, Albert Marion, CDR Fallen
 Service Photo   Service Details
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View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary Designator/NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - qualified in Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Last Duty Station
1944-1944, 112X, USS Seawolf (SS-197)
Service Years
1935 - 1944
Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Golden Dragon
Neptune Subpoena
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
Commander Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

336 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
Casualty Info
Home Town
White Plains
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Oct 03, 1944
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Lost At Sea-Unrecovered
Wars and Conflicts/World War II*/Lost at Sea
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon

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Conflict  :   Campaigns, Battles and Exercises
Start Year
End Year
Conflict  :   Wars and Conflicts
Start Year
End Year
Conflict  :   World War II*
Start Year
End Year
World War 2
Sunk  :   Lost at Sea
Start Year
End Year
Not Specified
From Year
To Year
Personal Recollections

Seawolf stood out of Brisbane on 21 September to begin her 15th war patrol under the command of Lieutenant Commander A.M. Bontier. She reached Manus Island on 29 September, refueled, and sailed the same day carrying stores and Army personnel to the east coast of Samar.

Seawolf and Narwhal exchanged radar recognition signals at 0756 on 3 October in the Morotai area. Shortly thereafter, a 7th Fleet task group was attacked by Ro-41. Shelton was torpedoed and sunk, and Richard M. Rowell began to search for the enemy.

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 4 October, Seawolf again was directed to report her position, and again she failed to do so. One of two planes from Midway sighted a submarine submerging and dropped two bombs on it even though it was in a safety zone for American submarines. The site was marked by dye. Rowell's commanding officer knew he was in a safety lane,[9] but, having failed to get word Seawolf was behind schedule,[10] believed there was no U.S. submarine nearby and chose to attack. Rowell established sonar contact on the submarine, which then sent a series of dashes and dots which Rowell stated bore no resemblance to the existing recognition signals. Believing this an attempt to jam her sonar,[11] Rowell attacked with Hedgehog. The second attack was followed by underwater explosions, and debris rose to the surface.

Post-war examination of Japanese records shows no attack listed that could account for the loss of Seawolf. While it is possible Seawolf was lost to an operational casualty or as a result of an unrecorded enemy attack, it is more likely she was sunk by friendly fire. 62 officers and men as well as 17 Army passengers were lost. She was the thirty-fourth U.S. submarine lost in the Pacific War, the second (after Dorado in the Caribbean) to friendly fire.

Last Updated:
Dec 10, 2010

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