Underwood, Gordon Waite, CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1947, 112X, Bureau of Ships
Service Years
1936 - 1962
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Panama Canal
Iwo Jima

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

18 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Underwood, Gordon Waite, CAPT USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
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.

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback

 Additional Information
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.

Other Comments:
AWARDED 3 NAVY CROSSES 1 FOR EACH OF 3 PATROLS ON USS SPADEFISH (SS-411)   Underwood was credited with sinking 14 ships to total 89,600 tons.

 Photo Album   (More...

USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) 1st War Patrol
From Month/Year
July / 1944
To Month/Year
September / 1944

Not Specified
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
July / 1944
To Month/Year
September / 1944
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories

23 Jul, 1944
USS Spadefish (Cdr. G.W. Underwood) departs Pearl Harbour for her 1st war patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the South China Sea north-west of Luzon, Philippines.

19 Aug, 1944
USS Spadefish (Cdr. G.W. Underwood) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese landing craft depot and repair ship Tamatsu Maru (9589 GRT) west of Luzon, Philippines in position 1848'N, 11947'E. (see map)

22 Aug, 1944
USS Spadefish (Cdr. G.W. Underwood) torpedoes and damages the Japanese tanker Hakko Maru No.2 (10023 GRT) in Luzon Strait in position 1848'N, 12046'E. The tanker takes limps to Passeleng Bay where efforts to salvage fail and she broke up in heavy weather on 18 September 1944. Spadefish now set course to Saipan to resupply and then resume her 1st war patrol in the waters east of Formosa. (see map)

8 Sep, 1944
While operating east of Formosa USS Spadefish (Cdr. G.W. Underwood) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese troop transport Shokei Maru (2557 GRT) and the Japanese army cargo ship Shinten Maru (1254 GRT) in position 2439'N, 12331'E and the Japanese merchant cargo ships Nichiman Maru (1922 GRT) and Nichian Maru (6197 GRT) in position 2445'N, 12326'E. (see map)

24 Sep, 1944
USS Spadefish (Cdr. G.W. Underwood) ends her 1st war patrol at Pearl Harbour.

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

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