Quesenberry, Merlin Justice, TM1

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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
TM-0000-Torpedoman's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Torpedoman's Mate
Primary Unit
1942-Present, TM-0000, USS Grayling (SS-209)
Service Years
1938 - 1943
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Square Rigger
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
TM-Torpedoman's Mate
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by David Quesenberry (Q, 3MC), MM1 to remember Quesenberry, Merlin Justice, TM1.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Sep 13, 1943
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Unknown, Not Reported
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Dragon Excellence Award Weapons

 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2013, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2013, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Enlisted Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1938, Recruit Training (Norfolk, VA)
 Duty Stations
School Assignments - StaffUS NavyUSS Argonaut (SS-166)USS Tuna (SS-203)
USS Pelias (AS-14)USS Triton (SS-201)USS Grayling (SS-209)
  1938-1939, 00-0000, Ordnance and Ammunition Handling School
  1939-1939, 00-0000, USS Nashville (CL-43)
  1939-1939, TM-0000, USS Cuyama (AO-3)
  1939-1940, TM-0000, USS Argonaut (SS-166)
  1940-1940, TM-0000, USS Altair (AD-11)
  1940-1942, TM-0000, USS Tuna (SS-203)
  1942-1942, TM-0000, USS Pelias (AS-14)
  1942-1942, TM-0000, USS Triton (SS-201)
  1942-Present, TM-0000, USS Grayling (SS-209)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
28-30(?) July 1943:  USS GRAYLING starts Eighth and Final War Patrol.


31 July 1943:  Delivers supplies and equipment to guerrillas at Pucio Point, Pandan Bay, Panay, Philippines.


23 Aug 1943:  Delivers supplies and equipment to guerrillas at Pucio Point, Pandan Bay, Panay, Philippines.


27 Aug 1943:  Sank the passenger-cargo ship Meizan Maru in the Tablas Strait.


09 Sept 1943:  Last known transmission from the USS GRAYLING.


13 Sept 1943:  Post War intelligence places this date, as the last day the USS GRAYLING would have been active. She was due to report via radio that she had passed to SUBPAC, on her way to a refit in Pearl Harbor.


          Following war’s end, the Japanese have submitted the following reports. On 27 Aug 1943, the enemy saw a torpedo attack, and the next day a surfaced submarine was seen northeast. Both of the positions were in the Tablas Strait area. On 9 Sept, a surfaced US submarine was seen inside Lingayen Gulf; this ties with orders to patrol the approaches to Manila. It is said that the freighter-transport Hokuan Maru was engaged in a submarine action on the 9th in the Philippine area, but no additional date were available, and no known enemy attacks could have sunk the USS GRAYLING. Her loss may have been operational or by an unrecorded enemy attack. At any rate, it is certain that the USS GRAYLING was lost between 9 and 12 September 1943 either in Lingayen Gulf or along the approaches to Manila. ComTaskFor 71 requested a transmission from her on the latter date, but did not receive one.


30 Sept 1943:  USS GRAYLING is reported as ‘Presumed Lost with All Hands’.


01 Dec 1943:  Would have been his 24th Birthday.


03 Jan 1946:  USS GRAYLING, and all 76 officers and men onboard, are officially listed as “LOST AT SEA – WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN”.
Strange being here in Pearl Harbor.  Knowing that I now tread on ground that was once tread upon by Merlin.  Seeing the Submarine Barracks that he would have stayed in, still here, still standing. Touching the very Tower he would have "Ho, Ho, Ho'd" to train for Submarine Escape. Here is a (still uncomplete) list of his life in the Navy I've gleaned from his Service Record.

01 DEC 1919:  Born in Willis, VA.

08 Sept 1938:  Enlisted in the US Navy at NRS Richmond, VA, ‘Boot Camp’ at NTS Norfolk, VA, Followed by Class ‘A’ Group I (b) “Ordnance School”
01 Dec 1938:  19th Birthday.
02 June 1939:  Graduated Ordnance School, Rate: S2C
26 June 1939:  Received aboard the USS NASHVILLE (CL-43) for transport from Norfolk, VA to San Pedro, CA.
14 Aug 1939:  Received aboard the USS CUYAMA (AO-3) for transport from San Pedro, CA to Pearl Harbor, HI
24 Aug 1939:  Received aboard the USS ARGONAUT (SS-166) for duty as messman, awaiting qualification.
01 Dec 1939:  20th Birthday.
16 Feb 1940:  Advanced to S1C this date.
05 Apr 1940:  Qualified in the use of the Momson ‘Lung’ at a depth of 18 feet
01 May 1940:  Qualified SUBMARINES!!!
07 June 1940:  Discontinued duties as crew’s messman, transferred to Torpedo Division.
09 July 1940:  Crossed the equator at LONG 155 West.
16 Aug 1940:  Rating changed to TM3(SS) this date.
06 Sept 1940:  Transferred to the USS ALTAIR (AD-11) for transportation and transfer to the USS TUNA (SS-203) at Mare Island Navy Yard, Mare Island, CA.
17 Sept 1940:  Transferred via Commercial transport, arrived San Diego, CA this date.
20 Sept 1940:  Transferred to Navy Yard Mare Island, CA via Commercial transport.
21 Sept 1940:  Reported aboard the CFO (Connection Fitting Out) USS TUNA (CFO 203)
02 Oct 1940:  Launched the USS TUNA.
01 Dec 1940:  21st Birthday.
02 Jan 1941:  Commissioning Crew, USS TUNA (SS-203).
19 May 1941:  Original change of Homeport to Pearl Harbor, however, operations in Hawaiian waters revealed that the Torpedo tubes were misaligned, and required returning to Mare Island for repairs.
01 Aug 1941:  Advanced to TM2(SS) this date.
01 Dec 1941:  22nd Birthday.
07 Dec 1941:  Attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS TUNA was in drydock at Mare Island Navy Yard.
19 Jan 1942:  Transferred to the USS PELIAS (AS-14) for ‘duty and treatment (?)’.
06 May 1942:  Transferred to the SUBDIV 62 Relief Crew for the USS TRITON (SS-201). May not have been an active crewmember, but would have handled repairs and weapon on load when the crew pulled into port.
01 Dec 1942:  23rd Birthday.
30 Dec 1942:  Transferred to the USS GRAYLING (SS-209).  Although no transport is noted in his personnel record, some travel would have had to be done, as the CSD 62 Relief Crew was stationed in Pearl Harbor, and the USS GRAYLING, had changed her base of operations to Fremantle, Australia on 13 Dec 1942.
07 Jan 1943:  USS GRAYLING starts Fifth War Patrol.
26 Jan 1943:  Sank cargo ship Ushio Maru west of Luzon, received CO’s Commendation for performance of duties in the After Torpedo Room.
27 Jan 1943:  Damaged (crew believed sunk) another Japanese ship, received CO’s Commendation for performance of duties in the After Torpedo Room.
11 Feb 1943:  Again received CO’s Commendation for performance of duties in the After Torpedo Room, although later accounts showed no shipping lost that day in the operational area. May have been confused with the sinking of a schooner on 24 Feb 1943, to which the USS GRAYLING is credited.
01 Mar 1943:  Advanced to TM1(SS) this date.
18 Mar 1943:  USS GRAYLING starts Sixth War Patrol.
09 Apr 1943:  Attacked and sunk cargo ship Shanghai Maru and damaged four other ships.
18 May 1943:  USS GRAYLING starts Seventh War Patrol. Credited with damaging a freighter and two smaller ships, but no targets sunk.
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