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...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Officer Badge
Submarine Combat Patrol Badge
Command at Sea

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)US NavySubmarine School Officers BasicUSS Mississippi (BB-41)
NROTC (Faculty Staff)COMSUBRON 10, COMSUBGRU 2USS Spadefish (SS-411)Bureau of Ships
  1932-1936, 110X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1936-1937, 116X, USS Oklahoma (BB-37)
  1937-1937, 117X, Submarine School Officers Basic
  1939-1940, 112X, USS Mississippi (BB-41)
  1940-1941, 112X, USS Vega (AK-17)
  1941-1943, 112X, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) NROTC (Cadre)
  1943-1944, 112X, COMSUBRON 10, COMSUBGRU 2
  1944-1945, 112X, USS Spadefish (SS-411)
  1945-1947, 112X, Bureau of Ships
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) 1st War Patrol
  1944-1944 USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) 2nd War Patrol
  1944-1944 China Defensive Campaign (1942-45)/Battle of Convoy Hi-81
  1945-1945 USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) 3rd War Patrol
  1950-1953 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyMassachusetts Institute of Technology
  1932-1936, United States Naval Academy
  1941-1943, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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