OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - In March 1944, 79 men lost their lives and never returned home after the sinking of the USS Tullibee. On Saturday, U.S. submarine veterans gathered to honor the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the United States.
“It was making a torpedo run on the surface at a Japanese ship, and one of its torpedo malfunctioned and made a circular run and came back and hit the sub,” said Tullibee base chaplain Fred Holcomb.
Only one soldier survived, known as Kuykendall, and he survived as a prisoner of war in Japan. The veterans believe it is their duty to pay tributes for the service and sacrifices fulfilled.
“Those of us here have all served in the submarine service, and we know what it’s like to go in harm’s way and to face the damages that we find, not only being in the military but being on a submarine,” Holcomb said.
Those who lost their lives are considered on eternal patrol. Each submariner’s name was read, the sound of a bell followed in respect.
“And for us to have survived when others didn’t, we find it an obligation and an honor to honor those whenever we can,” Holcomb said.
Kuykendall joined his submarine crew on eternal patrol in February of 2016.