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Report to Explorers Club by Patrick Scannon (FN 96) 20 May 2001

Summary of Effort to Find USS Mississinewa in Ulithi Atoll (27 March to 7 April 2001)

I. Expedition Members: Chip Lambert (MN 01) Team Leader, Pam Lambert (MN 01) and Pat Scannon (FN 96).

II. Explorers Club Flag Number: 103

III. Historical Background (In the words of Chip Lambert):

Background for the expedition:

Although it was a new ship, commissioned on 18 May 1944, Auxiliary Oiler AO-59, USS Mississinewa, had already accumulated, in its short 6 month career in the western Pacific, 4 Battle Stars including action against Peleliu, Leyte and Okinawa. The 24,400-ton "Ashtabula" class oiler was built at Sparrows Point, Maryland and manned by a complement of 278 enlisted men and 20 officers under the command of Captain Philip G. Beck. Attached to Halsey's 3rd Fleet, AO-59 swung on her mooring, designated as Berth 131, in the peaceful waters of Ulithi lagoon during the early morning hours of 20 November 1944. The tranquillity was interrupted by the first, and probably the most successful, attack of a new Japanese weapon, the manned suicide submarine known as "Kaiten."