Forsythe, Joseph R., Jr., SM1c

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Signalman 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
SM-0000-Signalman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Signalman
Primary Unit
1941-1944, SM-0000, USS Grayback (SS-208)
Service Years
1935 - 1944
SM-Signalman
Two Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
1916
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Forsythe, Joseph R., Jr., SM1c.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Cresskill, NJ
Last Address
Harrington Park, NJ

Casualty Date
Feb 26, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Lost At Sea-Unrecovered
Location
Pacific Ocean
Conflict
USS Grayback (SS-208)
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Cenotaph

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenWWII Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, World War II Fallen [Verified]
  2014, WWII Memorial National Registry
  2014, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2014, The National Gold Star Family Registry


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Grayback’s tenth patrol, her most successful in terms of tonnage sunk, was also to be her last. She sailed from Pearl Harbor on 28 January 1944, for the East China Sea. On 24 February Grayback radioed that she had sunk two cargo ships 19 February and had damaged two others (Taikei Maru and Toshin Maru sunk). On 25 February she transmitted her second and final report. That morning she had sunk tanker Nanho Maru and severely damaged Asama Maru. With only two torpedoes remaining, she was ordered home from patrol. Due to reach Midway on 7 March, Grayback did not arrive. On 30 March ComSubPac listed her as missing and presumed lost with all hands.

From captured Japanese records the submarine's last few days can be pieced together. Heading home through the East China Sea after attacking convoy Hi-40 on 24 February, Grayback used her last two torpedoes to sink the freighter Ceylon Maru on 27 February. That same day, a Japanese carrier-based plane spotted a submarine on the surface in the East China Sea and attacked. According to Japanese reports the submarine "exploded and sank immediately," but antisubmarine craft were called in to depth-charge the area, clearly marked by a trail of air bubbles, until at last a heavy oil slick swelled to the surface. Grayback had ended her last patrol, one which cost the enemy some 21,594 tons of shipping.

Grayback ranked 20th among all submarines in total tonnage sunk with 63,835 tons and 24th in number of ships sunk with 14. The submarine and crew had received two Navy Unit Commendations for their seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth war patrols.

Grayback received eight battle stars for World War II service.
   
Comments/Citation
Not Specified
   
 Photo Album   (More...



Submarine War Patrols
From Month/Year
December / 1941
To Month/Year
September / 1945

Description
Not Specified
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
December / 1941
To Month/Year
September / 1945
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories

Memories
The fifth war patrol began as Grayback sailed from Australia on 7 December 1942. Only a week out of port, Pharmacist's Mate Harry B. Roby was called upon to perform an emergency appendectomy, the second to be done on a patrolling submarine. With Grayback running a hundred feet beneath the surface, the untutored Roby successfully removed the infected appendix, and his patient was back standing watch by the end of the patrol. Then, on 25 December, Grayback surfaced to sink four landing barges with her deck guns. Four days later she was again fired on by an enemy submarine but maneuvered to avoid the torpedoes. On 3 January 1943 sunk I-18, one of 25 Japanese submarines destroyed by western submarines during the war.

On 5 January Grayback served as beacon ship for the bombardment of Munda Bay and also indulged in rescue work. Lying off Munda early in the morning of 5 January, she received word that six survivors of a crashed B-26 Marauder bomber were holed up on the island. Grayback sent ashore two men, then submerged at dawn to avoid enemy aircraft. The submariners located the downed aviators, three of whom were injured, and hid out with them in the jungle. As night fell, Grayback surfaced offshore and by coded light signals directed the small boat "home safe" with the rescued aviators. For this action skipper Edward C. Stephan received the Navy Cross.

Grayback continued on patrol, torpedoing and damaging several Japanese ships. On 17 January she attacked a destroyer escorting a large maru, hoping to disable the escort and then sink the freighter with her deck guns. However, the destroyer evaded the torpedoes and dropped 19 depth charges on Grayback. One blew a gasket on a manhole cover, and the submarine, leaking seriously, was ordered back to Brisbane where she arrived 23 February.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  299 Also There at This Battle:
  • Azer, John, CAPT, (1928-1948)
  • Bernard, Lawrence, RADM, (1937-1971)
  • Betty, Charles, PO2, (1941-1945)
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