Abel, Donald Arthur, LTJG

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 112X, USS Bonefish (SS-223)
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Abel, Donald Arthur, LTJG.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
RIverside, Illinois
Last Address
USS Bonefish (SS-223)

Casualty Date
Jun 18, 1945
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Other Explosive Device
Sea of Japan
USS Bonefish (SS-223)
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea - N/A, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
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End Year

The plan of the Pacific subseries was determined by the geography, strategy, and the military organization of a theater largely oceanic. Two independent, coordinate commands, one in the Southwest Pacific under General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and the other in the Central, South, and North Pacific (Pacific Ocean Areas) under Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, were created early in the war. Except in the South and Southwest Pacific, each conducted its own operations with its own ground, air, and naval forces in widely separated areas. These operations required at first only a relatively small number of troops whose efforts often yielded strategic gains which cannot be measured by the size of the forces involved. Indeed, the nature of the objectivesùsmall islands, coral atolls, and jungle-bound harbors and airstrips, made the employment of large ground forces impossible and highlighted the importance of air and naval operations. Thus, until 1945, the war in the Pacific progressed by a double series of amphibious operations each of which fitted into a strategic pattern developed in Washington.
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Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories

Fourth patrol

Underway again on 13 April 1944, Bonefish headed for the Celebes Sea and her fourth war patrol. On the 26th, she intercepted a convoy of four ships steaming along the Mindanao coast. The submarine maneuvered into a position suitable to attack Tokiwa Maru, fired four torpedoes, and then turned to evade the escorts. Two torpedoes struck the 806-ton passenger-cargo ship amidships and aft, sinking her. The next day, Bonefish fired a spread of four torpedoes at a cargo ship headed for Davao Gulf but, in spite of three hits, failed to sink the target.

While in the Sulu Sea on 3 May, Bonefish approached a convoy but was forced to dive when an enemy plane dropped two depth bombs which exploded close aboard. The boat sustained minor damage and surfaced to make repairs, but two Japanese ships began to close in on her. Bonefish went deep once again and rigged for the depth charges which sought to destroy her, 25 in all. When her pursuers were no longer near, she left the area to cover the northern approach to Basilan Strait. She attacked a convoy in those waters on 7 May, firing four torpedoes at an escort vessel, but could not observe the results.

On 14 May, Bonefish approached a convoy which was steaming off Tawi Tawi in the Philippines and headed for Sibutu Passage. There were three tankers and three escorting destroyers in the group. She fired five torpedoes. One hit under the bridge of a tanker and another struck under the stack, enveloping the ship in smoke and flames. The destroyers converged on Bonefish for counterattack, but she escaped into the depths. Postwar records show that, while her torpedoes only damaged the tanker, they sank one of the escorting destroyers, Inazuma.

Bonefish then set course for Sibutu Passage on a reconnaissance mission. She sighted a Japanese task force consisting of three battleships, one carrier, three heavy cruisers, and one light cruiser, screened by eight destroyers. The submarine relayed the information, then continued her reconnaissance. She again sighted and reported the same task force on the 17th, this time anchored in Tawi Tawi Bay. Upon completing this mission, she headed for Australia and arrived at Fremantle on 30 May.

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  324 Also There at This Battle:
  • Anderson, Lawrence, PO2, (1940-1947)
  • Beckwith, Elmer, CPO, (1943-1946)
  • Beckwith, John Edward, S1c, (1942-1945)
  • Beyeler, Matthew David, PO3, (1944-1952)
  • Bibb, James, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Bivin, Homer Richard, CAPT, (1941-1976)
  • Boatwright, General, PO3, (2005-2007)
  • Bridgeman, William Barton, LT, (1941-1947)
  • Brown, Perry Thompson, C.B., (1942-1945)
  • Carmichael, Daniel Archibald, CAPT, (1942-1965)
  • Cass, Harry, PO2, (1942-1952)
  • Clark, Joseph Howard, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Coleman, Thaddeus Thornton, CAPT, (1941-1973)
  • CORY, AL, MCPO, (1940-1970)
  • Dawson, William L., PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Desideri, Gino, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • DiCento, Paul V., CPO, (1942-1945)
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