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Mannert Lincoln Abele
Abele onboard a submarine c. 1940
Born (1903-07-11)July 11, 1903
Died 1942 (aged 38–39)
Place of birth Quincy, Massachusetts
Place of death Lost at sea
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1920-1942
Rank Lieutenant Commander
Service number 0-60162
Commands held USS Grunion
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Navy Cross

Lieutenant Commander Mannert Lincoln Abele, USN was a World War II submarine commander who posthumously received the Navy Cross for his heroism in the Pacific Theater.


Abele was born July 11, 1903, in Quincy, Mass., enlisted in the United States Navy August 12, 1920; was appointed midshipman in June 1922; and was commissioned ensign June 3, 1926 following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He completed training at the Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut in 1929; and, prior to America's entry into World War II, he commanded submarines R-13 and S-31.

Promoted to lieutenant commander December 1, 1940, he assumed command of the USS Grunion (SS-216) at her commissioning April 11, 1942 and took her out of Pearl Harbor June 30 on her first and only war patrol. Grunion steamed to the western Aleutians where from 15 to July 30 she sank two 300-ton patrol boats, heavily damaged a third, and twice escaped enemy depth charge attacks. Because of intensive antisubmarine activity off Kiska Island, she was ordered to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, July 30. She did not arrive and was reported missing and presumed lost August 16. For extraordinary heroism during an aggressive war patrol, LCDR Abele was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

Abele's three sons financed a search for their father's lost ship. On August 23, 2007, USS Grunion was found by the search team in the Bering Sea off the coast of the Aleutian Islands in about 1000 meters of water.[1]

Military awards and decorations

Navy Cross citation

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Mannert Lincoln Abele (NSN: 0-60162), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. GRUNION (SS-216), during its FIRST War Patrol, in Alaskan Waters. Lieutenant Commander Abele conducted an aggressive and successful submarine war patrol from 30 June 1942 to 24 July 1942. He pressed home all attacks in such a skillful and resolute manner that he attacked and sank in one day, three enemy destroyers of the Towlekju Class. Despite severe anti-submarine measures, Lieutenant Commander Abele brought his ship safely through these counter attacks but was subsequently lost from an unknown cause. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.[2]



This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links