Chapman, Edward Temple, CPO

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Last Rank
Chief Petty Officer
Last Primary NEC
MO-0000-Motor Machinist/Oiler
Last Rating/NEC Group
Motor Machinistmate/Oiler
Primary Unit
1940-1944, MO-0000, USS Seawolf (SS-197)
Service Years
1939 - 1944
MoMM - Motor Machinistmate/Oiler
One Hash Mark

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Chapman, Edward Temple, CPO.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Seiling, OK
Last Address
Rt.1 Box 1689
Sacramento, CA
(Wife~June Chapman)

Casualty Date
Oct 03, 1944
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Tablets of the Missing (Cenotaph)

 Official Badges 

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Edward Temple Chapman was raised on the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Reservation in Seiling Oklahoma and was listed as 1/4 Tsetchestahase (Cheyenne). He Enter the Service in 1939 at Dallas, TX. Served on less than a year on a Minesweeper and transferred to the Submarine USS Seawolf. He quickly worked up to his rank of Chief Petty Officer. 

On October 3, 1944, at 0756 hours, the Seawolf exchanged recognition signals by radar with the USS Narwhal (SS-167). Both boats were in a safety lane in which American surface forces were prohibited from attacking any submarine unless it was positively identified as an enemy. At 0807 hours, 35 miles east of Morotai Island, the commanding officer of the Japanese submarine RO-41 fired his last four torpedoes at two American escort carriers, the USS St. Lo (CVE-63) and the USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE-70). The torpedoes missed both escort carriers. However, the destroyer escort USS Shelton (DE-407), while turning to evade one of the oncoming torpedoes, was hit on the starboard screw by a second torpedo, which caused severe damage and flooding. The destroyer escort USS Rowell (DE-403) came alongside and removed the crew, after counterattacking the RO-41 unsuccessfully with depth charges. The Shelton was taken under tow, but eventually capsized and sank. Three hours later, one of the St. Lo's aircraft sighted a submarine in the safety lane and dropped two bombs and dye marked its position as the boat submerged. The destroyer escort USS Rowell (DE-403) got to the scene and detected the submarine on sonar. The sonar operator reported his equipment was receiving signals consisting of long dots and dashes from the submarine. The Rowell's commander dismissed these as an attempt to jam his sonar and pressed on with firing Mark 10 "hedgehog" projector mortars. Following a second barrage of twenty-four projectiles, the Rowell reported, "Three explosions heard. Two large boils [bubbles] observed off port beam. Debris observed in the boils." Four submarines were in the safety lane at the time of these events. Urgent calls from the surface forces to the submarines to report their positions brought responses from three of them, but there was only silence from the Seawolf. At that point it became obvious that the submarine the Rowell had sunk was the Seawolf and not the RO-41. 

The attack against the Seawolf by the Rowell occurred at the geographic position 02° 31' 60" N, 129° 18' 00" E. This location is off the east coast of Morotai Island, which is located in the Halmahera group of eastern Indonesia's Maluku Islands (Moluccas).

On October 5, 1944, an inquiry into the incident was held at Manus Island. It was found that the Rowell had sunk the Seawolf. The Rowell's captain, Commander Harry A. Barnard, Jr., was censured for making insufficient efforts to identify his target, for dismissing the sound signals, and for attacking the Seawolf. 

Ned Beach wrote that the Seawolf tragedy was due to "...a lack of the rudiments of common sense." 

The loss of the Seawolf was made public on December 28, 1944:

Navy Department Communiqué No. 564, December 28, 1944
  1. The submarine USS Seawolf is overdue from patrol and presumed lost.
  2. Next of kin of casualties have been informed.
Not Specified
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Submarine Enlisted Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge - 7 Patrols

 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US NavyUSS Seawolf (SS-197)
  1939-1940, SN-0000, USS Widgeon (ASR-1)
  1940-1944, MO-0000, USS Seawolf (SS-197)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1944 Submarine War Patrols
  1944-1944 World War II
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Aug 11, 1939, Enter the Service in Dallas, TX
  Aug 12, 1939, Service entry date and Serial Number
  Aug 16, 1940, Promoted to S1c
  Nov 28, 1940, Received on USS Seawolf (SS-197)
  May 01, 1941, Changed from Sea1c (E-3) to F2c (E-3)
  Oct 01, 1941, Promote to Fireman 1st class (F1c) or E-4
  Jun 01, 1942, Promoted to MM2c
  Aug 01, 1942, Rating Change from MM2c to MoMM2c
  Apr 02, 1943, Promoted to MoMM1c
  Sep 26, 1943, Temporary Transfer to CSD-43 Flag
  Dec 13, 1943, Returned to USS Seawolf
  Feb 01, 1944, Promoted to Chief Petty Officer MoMM
  Oct 03, 1944, Seawolf Lost North of Morotai, between PI and Indonesia Sunk in error by USS Rowell
  Mar 10, 2016, General Photos1
 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryWW II Memorial National Registry
  2016, World War II Fallen
  2016, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2016, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2016, WW II Memorial National Registry
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