Bigelow, Henry Forbes, Jr., ENS

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Last Rank
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1944, USS Albacore (SS-218)
Service Years
1943 - 1944

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Nicole Summers, MMFN to remember Bigelow, Henry Forbes, Jr., ENS.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Clinton, MA
Last Address
Clinton, MA

Casualty Date
Nov 07, 1944
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Other Explosive Device
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
North Village Cemetery - Lancaster, Massachusetts
Wall/Plot Coordinates
(memorial marker)

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Last Known Activity

The USS Albacore (SS-218) began a patrol on October 24, 1944, and refueled at Midway Island on October 28th. There was no further contact with the boat after that date. Japanese records report a submarine exploding as the result of contact with a mine on November 7, 1944 and the Albacore was presumed lost on December 21st 1944. Ensign Bigelow was officially declared dead on December 13, 1945.

Service number: 313151
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  1944-1944, USS Albacore (SS-218)

Lieutenant Junior Grade

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USS Albacore (SS-218) Unit Page

Lieutenant Junior Grade

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 USS Albacore (SS-218) Details

USS Albacore (SS-218)
Hull number SS-218



USS Albacore (SS-218) was a Gato-class submarine which served in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II, winning fourPresidential Unit Citations and nine battle stars for her service. During the war, she was credited with sinking 13 Japanese ships (including two destroyers, a light cruiser, and the aircraft carrier Taihō) and damaging another five; not all of these credits were confirmed by postwar JANAC accounting. She also holds the distinction of sinking the most warship tonnage of any U.S. submarine.

Albacore was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the albacore. Her keel was laid on 21 April 1941 by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 17 February 1942 (sponsored by Mrs. Elwin F. Cutts, the wife of CaptainCutts), and commissioned on 1 June 1942, Lieutenant CommanderRichard C. Lake (Class of 1929) in command.Following shakedown, the submarine proceeded via the Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor and, from that base on 28 August 1942, began her first war patrol, to waters of the north and northeast pass through the coral reef which surrounds Truk. On 13 September, Albacore sighted two cargo vessels in column and prepared for her first combat action. She made a submerged approach and fired three torpedoes at the leading ship and two at the second. One or two torpedoes hit on the first ship; none struck the second. Albacore claimed to have damaged the leading vessel.

Her next enemy contact came on 1 October when she made a night surface attack on a Japanese tanker. She expended seven torpedoes and scored two hits. Although the tanker appeared to be low in the water, she was still able to leave the scene under her own power. On 9 October, Albacore spotted a Shōkaku-class aircraft carrier escorted by a heavy cruiser and a destroyer, but the submarine was depth charged by the escorts and forced to break off her pursuit. The next day, she attacked a freighter. One torpedo hit the mark, and 12 minutes after firing, the sound of two heavy explosions caused the submarine's crew to presume they had downed the vessel.
Beginning on the mid-morning of 11 October, Albacore was depth charged numerous times. At 1548, the conning officer finally spotted the Japanese attackers, two submarine chasers and an airplane. A third ship equipped with sound gear joined the group and continued the hunt. The ships crisscrossed over Albacore, close enough for propeller noise to reverberate throughout her hull and compelled her to proceed at silent running, with her ventilator fans shut down. After a chase of nearly seven hours, the Japanese ships disappeared astern, and Albacore then surfaced to clear the immediate area. The next day, Albacore headed for Midway Island. Although she had had several opportunities to score during the patrol, Albacore was not credited with any damage to Japanese shipping. The submarine arrived at Midway Island on 20 October and commenced a refit.
With her refurbishing completed and a new Oerlikon 20 mm cannon installed, Albacore sailed on 11 November for her second patrol. Her assigned areas were the Roger St. George's Channel, New Britain, along the east coast of New Guineato Vitiaz Strait, and the Dallman Pass off Madang harbor. On 24 November, the submarine spotted a convoy of two cargo vessels. Albacore maneuvered into position and fired two stern tubes, but neither torpedo found its target. Two days later, on 26 November, Albacore herself became the quarry. Two Japanese destroyers depth charged her and the explosions caused numerous small leaks around the cable packing glands in the pressure hull. After a two-hour chase, the Japanese retired, and Albacore shifted her patrol area to Vitiaz Strait. Another golden opportunity arose on 13 December, whenAlbacore found three Japanese destroyers. She released a three-torpedo spread but again was unsuccessful. On 18 December, Albacore was stationed off Madang. The submarine discovered what seemed to be a transport and a destroyer.
Albacore torpedoed the "transport," and it exploded in a mass of flames and sank. Albacore had in fact downed Tenryū, and the second Japanese cruiser sunk by an American submarine in World War II. Albacore put into port at Brisbane,Australia, on 30 December.
Albacore left Pearl Harbor on 24 October 1944 (with Hugh Raynor Rimmer, Class of 1937,[11] in command), topped off her fuel tanks at Midway Island on 28 October, and was never heard from again. According to Japanese records captured after the war, a submarine (presumed to be Albacore) struck a naval mine very close to the shore off northeastern Hokkaidō on 7 November 1944. A Japanese patrol boat witnessed the explosion of a submerged submarine and saw a great deal of heavy oil, cork, bedding, and food supplies rise to the surface. On 21 December, Albacore was presumed lost. Her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 March 1945.



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Last Updated: Jan 14, 2010
My Photos For This Unit
Submarines/USS Albacore (SS-218)
1944-1944, Submarines/USS Albacore (SS-218)
61 Members Also There at Same Time
USS Albacore (SS-218)

Rimmer, Hugh Raynor, LCDR, (1937-1944) Lieutenant Commander
Lang, Walter Emery, LT, (1939-1944) Lieutenant
Riley, Francis Albert, LT, (1940-1944) Lieutenant
Walker, Theodore Taylor, LT, (1942-1944) Lieutenant
Fortier, John Francis, LTJG, (1943-1944) Lieutenant Junior Grade
Gilkeson, John Frederick, LTJG, (1943-1944) Lieutenant Junior Grade
Traynor, Charles Edward, LTJG, (1942-1944) Lieutenant Junior Grade
Bower, William Walter, LT, (1942-1944) OFF Lieutenant
Roberts, A. B. (Abijah Bige), CPO, (1942-1944) QM QM-0000 Chief Quartermaster
Gennett, John Paul, CPO, (1938-1944) EM EM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Mercer, Joseph Norfleet, CPO, (1934-1944) EM EM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Peterson, Elmer Harold, CPO, (1925-1944) TM TM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Shoenthal, Philip, CPO, (1934-1944) RM 23CQ Chief Petty Officer
Stanton, Arthur Lemmie, CPO, (1934-1944) MO MO-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Blackmon, Edward Brown, CPO, (1936-1944) PhM PhM-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Childs, Frederick Herbert, PO1, (1941-1944) TM TM-0000 Torpedoman 1st Class
Burch, Herbert Hodge, PO1, (1942-1944) RM RM-2333 Petty Officer First Class
Carpenter, Charles Lee, PO1, (1938-1944) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Davis, Philip Hugh, PO1, (1942-1944) EM EM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Dunlap, James Thomas, PO1, (1941-1944) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Gibson, William Henry, PO1, (1942-1944) SC SC-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Hill, Robert Daniel, PO1, (1941-1944) SC SC-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Kincaid, Morris Keith, PO1, (1938-1944) SM SM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Porter, James Teel, PO1, (1936-1944) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Smith, Carl James, CPO, (1941-1945) RM RM-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Collom, Perry Aubrey, PO2, (1942-1944) TM TM-0000 Torpedoman 2nd Class
Naudack, Richard Joseph, PO2, (1940-1944) TM TM-0000 Torpedoman 2nd Class
Brannam, Allan Rose, PO2, (1942-1944) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Crayton, Audrey Cecil, PO2, (1942-1944) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
DeWitt, James Leroy, PO2, (1942-1944) TM TM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Eskew, Carl Hillis, PO2, (1941-1944) RM RM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Johnson, Burton Paul, PO2, (1942-1944) EM EM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Jones, Sheridan Patrick, PO2, (1942-1944) QM QM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Pieringer, Charles Francis, PO2, (1941-1944) TM TM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Strattan, Maurice Crooks, PO2, (1939-1944) YN YN-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Weisenfluh, Elmer, PO2, (1942-1944) EM EM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Baumer, Kenneth Ripley, PO2, (1941-1944) GM GM-0000 Gunner's Mate 2nd Class
Hughes, Donald Patrick, PO3, (1942-1944) TM TM-0000 Torpedoman 3rd Class
Carano, John Joseph, PO3, (1943-1944) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Childress, Douglas, PO3, (1942-1944) FC FC-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Cugnin, Jack Eugene, PO3, (1942-1944) TM TM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Culbertson, John Wilber, PO3, (1942-1944) EM EM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Davis, Ray Ellis, PO3, (1942-1944) GM GM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Day, Fred Wallace, PO3, (1944-1944) MM MM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Delfonso, Julius, PO3, (1943-1944) TM TM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Gant, John Wilfred, PO3, (1943-1944) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Harrell, James Kenneth, PO3, (1943-1944) QM QM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Hutchinson, Eugene Edsel, PO3, (1940-1944) TM TM-0000 Petty Officer Third Class
Barber, Walter Henry, S1c, (1942-1944) S1c S1c-0000 Seaman First Class
Cado, Nicholas John, S1c, (1943-1944) S1c S1c-0000 Seaman First Class
Fullilove, Gordon Harvey, S1c, (1943-1944) SN SN-0000 Seaman First Class
Kaplafka, George, S1c SN SN-0000 Seaman First Class
Kelley, Nelson, S1c, (1943-1944) SN SN-0000 Seaman First Class
Nevarez, Encarnacion, S1c, (1943-1944) S1c S1c-0000 Seaman First Class
Reed, Jerrold Winfred, S1c, (1942-1944) S1c S1c-0000 Seaman First Class
Carracino, Pasquale Charles, F1c, (1943-1944) F1c F1c-0000 Fireman First Class
Hall, Charles Chester, F1c FN FN-0000 Fireman First Class
Hudgins, Allen Don, F1c, (1943-1944) FN FN-0000 Fireman First Class
O'Brien, Robert James, F1c, (1943-1944) MO MO-0000 Fireman First Class

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