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.
|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 http://www.archives.gov/.
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 http://www.abmc.gov/home.php.
(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: http://www.ndmhs.com/.
Wally Stratton's class of 1937 can be found at: http://www.ndmhs.com/pages/yearclass1935(1995.60).html.
(4) An enlarged picture of the Swordfish and crew members can
be viewed http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-swordfish-193.htm
or you can click on the photo shown above, and it will take
you to an enlarged version of entry of Wally Statton. http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/statton-w-g.htm.
read about the specific individual missions of the USS Swordfish (SS-193):
"Anchors Aweigh" by the U.S. Navy Band
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