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Home Town Jamestown, New York
Last Address Portland, Oregon
Date of Passing Jan 15, 1978
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Burial location unknown.
Last Known Activity Captain Gordon Waite Underwood was born in New York on 3 June 1910, and at an early age moved with his family to Portland, Oregon from where he was appointed to the US Naval Academy in the class of 1932. At the Naval Academy he proved to be an outstanding student and superb athlete. He earned letters and starred in football and track. He was awarded the coveted "Academy Sword" for athletic excellence.
Following his graduation from the Academy, Captain Underwood served in USS Oklahoma. This tour was followed by training at the US Submarine School in New London, Connecticut. After his graduation he served in the Submarine School S-21, USS Mississippi, and USS Vega. In 1941, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a Masters Degree in Marine Engineering. Upon his return to sea duty he was assigned to the Staff of Commander Submarine Squadron Ten as Squadron Engineer supporting submarines on war patrol. In January 1944, he was assigned as Commanding Officer of USS Spadefish SS-411. On this ship during three war patrols he was credited with destruction of seventy-six thousand tons of enemy shipping including one aircraft carrier, the Shinyo. For each of his war patrols he was awarded a Navy Cross and in recognition of the great successes of the first two patrols SPADEFISH was awarded the President Unit Citation. His record of success in his war patrols remains one of the most notable in the history of the US Navy Submarine Service.
Captain Underwood, following his retirement from the Navy in 1962 after 30 years service with distinction, became associated with Spelin Inc., Mountain View California, in which he was Vice President. He was also Vice President of Filter-Aire of Hollister, California until his retirement. He died January 15, 1978 at the age of 67.