Hartwell, Harold Hall, Jr., LTJG

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1945, USS Underhill (DE-682)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

33 kb

Home State
Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Year of Birth
1921
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Hartwell, Harold Hall, Jr., LTJG.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Worcester, MA
Last Address
271 Salisbury St
Worcester, MA

Casualty Date
Jul 24, 1945
 
Cause
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Reason
Torpedoed
Location
Pacific Ocean
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Worcester Rural Cemetery - Worcester, Massachusetts
Wall/Plot Coordinates
(memorial marker)

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World War II FallenWW II Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
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  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
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 Duty Stations
US Navy
  1945-1945, USS Gillette (DE-681)
  1945-1945, USS Henry R. Kenyon (DE-683)
  1945-1945, USS Underhill (DE-682)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Colleges Attended 
Harvard University
  1941-1945, Harvard University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Jul 24, 2012, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Underhill's (DE-682) radar detected a Japanese "Dinah" reconnaissance plane circling the convoy about ten miles out. Her crew immediately manned their battle stations and ordered other escorts to air defense stations.
 
Two or three Japanese submarines were in the area. After establishing the convoy's base course, one released a dummy naval mine in the path of the convoy. When it was sighted by Underhill lookouts, the ship's commander ordered a general course change to port. When the last ship had cleared, Underhill stood in to sink the mine. After repeated direct hits by the 20-millimeter guns and 30-calibre rifle fire, the convoy realized the mine was a diversionary tactic by the Japanese submarines.
 
Later, sonar picked up another contact. The depth charges had brought to the surface two Kaiten, Japanese suicide manned torpedoes, each with a warhead equivalent to about two standard torpedoes. One was on either side of Underhill; the one to starboard was too close for any of Underhill's guns to bear.
 
At 15:15, the captain ordered flank speed, a turn onto collision course, and all hands to stand by to ram. Underhill struck the Kaiten to port, and two explosions resulted, the first directly under the bridge and magazine area, the second, a few seconds later, forward of the bridge area and more to starboard. Underhill broke in half at the forward fire room. The stern section remained upright and afloat; The bow, sticking straight up, began drifting away to starboard. The explosions flung a tremendous quantity of oily water over the aft section, knocking down men and washing some overboard, but also dousing possible fires in that portion of the ship.

LTJG Hartwell was listed as missing in action and later declared dead.
   
Comments/Citation

Service number: 340799

Harold Hartwell joined the US Navy Reserves while attending Harvard University. He was called to active duty after graduation.
   
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