North High School Wall of Honor
Wallace "Wally" Greeley Statton
Class of January, 1935
Died; January 12, 1945
Research done by Rick Nehrling, class of 1963, and Claradell Shedd, class of 1953.
Wallace "Wally" Greeley Statton
Wally was a member of North High's January, 1935 class. He joined the Navy and became a submariner assigned to the USS Swordfish (SS-193). The Swordfish was the first US Navy ship to sink a Japanese ship in WWII. Between December 9, 1941 and June 30, 1944, the Swordfish was credited with sinking 29 Japanese ships totaling more than 130,000 tons.
On December 22, 1944, the Swordfish departed its Pearl Harbor base to conduct its thirteenth war patrol in the vicinity of Nansei Shoto or the Ryukyu Islands. The Ryukyu Islands stretch for about 650 miles between Taiwan and Japan, separating the East China Sea from the Philippine Sea. Okinawa is in this island chain.
On December 26, 1944, the Swordfish stopped at Midway Island for fuel and then set course for the Ryukyu Islands. In addition to her regular patrol, the Swordfish was also directed to conduct a photograph reconnaissance of Okinawa. On January 2, 1945, the Swordfish was ordered to delay her assignment near Okinawa until completion of carrier based air strikes which were scheduled for preparation of the Okinawa campaign. She was directed to patrol in the vicinity of 30N 132E until further orders were received. Her acknowledgement of those orders on January 3, 1945 was the last communication received from the sub. On February 15, after repeated attempts to contact her, she was reported as presumed lost. She had a crew of 90 officers and men.
Wally was a Motor Machinist's Mate First Class with the US Navy Reserve. His listed next of kin was his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth V. Statton, 3108 Amherst Street, Des Moines, Iowa.
Information obtained from the American Battle Monuments Commission show that Wally was officially declared dead on Wednesday, January 30, 1946. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial Cemetery, Honolulu, Hawaii.
USS Swordfish (SS-193)

The above information was obtained from the following:
(1) The State Summary of War Casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Personnel was compiled in April, 1946 by the Casualty Section, Office of Public Information, Navy Department. it is considered to be the official list of the World War II dead for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. These records can be viewed online at
All of the names and information in this document are arranged by State. Within this document, the Navy states the following: "Inclusions of names in this State group have been determined solely by the residence of next of kin at the time of notification of the last wartime casualty status. This listing does not necessarily represent State of birth, legal residence, or official State credit according to service enlistment."

The casulaties listed in the document represent only those personnel on "active duty in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, resulting directly from enemy action or from operational activities against the enemy in war zones from December 7, 1941 to the end of the war." Any casualties in the United States area (training, other assignment to a permanent duty station in the US, etc.) or as a result of disease, homicide, or suicide, in any location, are not included.

(2) The American Battle Monuments Commission was established in 1923 to commemorate the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces. There are 24 overseas cemeteries that serve as the final resting places for almost 125,000 American war dead. The serviceman and women are either buried at these cemeteries or their names listed are on tablets of the missing that memorialize these men and women and their sacrifice. These records can be found online at

(3) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2017 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of all North High School graduates can be found online at: Wally Stratton's class of 1937 can be found at:

(4) An enlarged picture of the Swordfish and crew members can be viewed or you can click on the photo shown above, and it will take you to an enlarged version of entry of Wally Statton.

To read about the specific individual missions of the USS Swordfish (SS-193):
Music: "Anchors Aweigh" by the U.S. Navy Band
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