Crew Information

Please send pictures and/or information about the of the USS Underhill crew and I’ll post it here.  If you have information you can add about another existing crew member please also send that along. 

Stanley J. Abcunas (KIA)

Read more about Stanley here.

Norman Ackerman (S)

John Raymond Boyd (KIA)

Dear Underhill family

My Uncle, RM3c John Raymond Boyd, served and was killed that fateful day in 1945.

The photo (to the left) was taken in Mobile Alabama in 1944. With him in the photo is a women by the name of Clara Tew. If anyone knowing John Raymond Boyd knew this lady, I would like to have more information on her.  My other Uncle, Smitty Boyd (Raymond's brother) told me the lady in the photo was Raymond's fiancee. John Raymond Boyd was born in Natchez Mississippi (Adams County).

If any of the surviving crew members knew my Uncle, I would like to hear about him from you. I never knew him.  I was not born until 1953.

My Uncle is survived by two brothers still living, both in the New Orleans area and both WWII era vets Merion "Smitty" Boyd and William Edwin Boyd. William E. Boyd is my father.

I served my country in the US Army for 8 years, I am a Vietnam veteran (1971-1972) and retired from the USNR in 1994. To all of you from the USS Underhill, I say thank you for your service and God bless you.

Raymond was born in April 1924 and was 20-21 years old at the time of his death.

Would you also include the personal message that if any survivor has any information or additional photos of John Raymond Boyd, Clara Tew, or any information about Raymond or Clara to please contact me at my email or home phone.

Thanks Very Much,

David M. Boyd Sr.
Nephew of John Raymond Boyd
(Contact Information)
Home: 719-502-0707
Colorado Springs Co.

Carl Baumgartner (S)

These photos were supplied by Bob Baumgartner son of Carl.

Robert Evert Burkett (KIA)

My name is Steve Burkett, I am the nephew of Robert Evert Burkett. He was my uncle, that so courageously gave his life for his country. That is why I want to honor him by posting his picture on this website.

Here is his story from the Underhill website.
Thank You, for honoring the sailors of the USS Underhill.
Steve Burkett

Detail of Ships Log
2145 investigation proved that ship sunk in vicinity was USS Underhill-682. Recovered three bodies pronounced dead by ships doctor.
2215 completed investigation commenced forming cruising disposition ONE VICTOR, base course 155T and pgc, 165 pgc. Speed 15 knots, 138 rpm. 2300 Captain held burial services for men from USS Underhill tentatively identified from marks on clothing as: HIGGINS, E. H.,SMITH E., BURKETT, R. E. all killed in action, details not known.

Clackum Ernest

Ernest Clackum Jr   S

.This photo was sent to us by Bonnie, granddaughter of Earnest Clackum Jr.    I also included another photo from our archives that included Earnest.        Thanks Bonnie


Jay H. Conlin  (KIA)

My father was good friends with Jay Conlin and I was named after him. (Jay Crum)

Rodger J. Crum (S)

Memorial page link.

Donald Lee Davis (KIA)

This photo was supplied by Donald’s sister (nearly ‘85) via Judy Estep.  Thanks Judy

Fabringer Charles H

Charles H. Fabringer (KIA)

This photo was received recently from Michele Lehigh, the great-niece of Charles.

Please see this link for more information on Charles Fabringer.


Albert (Buddy) Friel (KIA)

This photo was supplied by Joe Ball, nephew of Albert.

See letter from Joe Ball, Nephew of Albert “Buddy” Friel (KIA).  The letter was written by Buddy a month before the sinking of the USS Underhill.

Baxter Wayne Garrett (KIA)

This photo was supplied by Adam Garrett, nephew of Baxter.  Baxter was a Seaman First Class and a really great young guy.

I am sure Adam would be very happy to hear from one of the crew that remembers Baxter.  He can be contacted at

Jacob C. Golba (S)

Other information about Jacob on this site

Frank F. Grandinetti (KIA)

Phil Hanlon (S)

Cecil Heming (KIA)

Cecil Heming was the son of Paul and Agnes Heming and was born on July 24, 1926.
He enlisted on his 17th birthday and was killed exactly two years later on his 19th birthday - July 24th 1945.

Cecil had two brothers, Gerald and Rick Heming.

He  was a Soundman Third Class and went down with the forward section of the USS Underhill on July 24, 1945.

Submitted By:
Rick Heming and Duane Carney

 John D. Houglin (S)

Here is a picture I would like you to put in your crew picture section. It is of my grandfather...John D Houglin.

Also, if you can mention me Tim, and my mom (John's daughter) Terri.

John died of cancer on October 17, 1990. I can provide many more picture from this time period plus any from the late 80s, for those who knew him and want to see him as I knew him. He was a ship's cook.

I found his discharge papers...
His full rank/branch was

Asiatic Pacific
Phillippine Liberation
Purple Heart
American Theater


Leonard Frank Howard  (KIA)

Leonard was born in Chicago in 1901 and was 40 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.He was living in California and immediately enlisted in the Navy although he was beyond the draft age.  He had left Chicago in 1924 to go to Hollywood and get into the movies. He did get in “The Vanishing American" in 1925 and some others, but he was not a major level actor.

Waggy Wagstaff told me he was a practical joker with other members of the crew and they mostly called him "Pop" since he was almost twice the age of most crew members.  Waggy loved to share stories of my Uncle Leonard aboard the ship when we would all get together. He said Leonard smoked stinky big stogie cigars.

Benjamin C.  Hubbard (KIA)

The son of Benjamin C. Hubbard (KIA) sent me this photo of his father.

Many thanks Benjamin.  It is a pleasure to add your fathers picture to this page.

His son’s name is:
Benjamin Congdon Hubbard III

Please also read the eyewitness account of the sinking that Ben provided to us and was a part of their family record.


My father, Benjamin C. Hubbard Jr., was one of four children and was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan.¬  Upon graduating from high school in 1936, he went on to attend the University of Chicago and graduated with a degree in business in 1940.¬  Instead of returning home to join the family warehousing business, he got his first job at the General Box Company in Cincinnati. Shortly after arriving, he met my mother at a church concert, and they were married in late 1941.

When the US entered the war, my father attempted to enlist but was rejected for military service due to a cyst on his spine.  However, he persisted in additional attempts in the first year or so of the war because of his strong sense of duty to serve his country.  Finally, due to a shortage of officers, the US Navy instituted the “90-day wonder” program for anyone with a college degree; my father applied immediately and was accepted.  Upon graduation from that program, he received a commission of Lt. J.G. (Lieutenant Junior Grade) and was assigned to the USS Underhill.

When I was born on May 4, 1944, my father was at sea on his first cruise on the USS Underhill. He saw me for the first time after the ship docked in New London, Connecticut and my mother made the train trip with me from Cincinnati to New London.  We were united as a family just one more time in early 1945 when the Underhill stopped for about a week in San Diego on the way to Leyte; my father made the cross-country trip by train for the short 48-hour visit at home.

Jiggetts, James W  Underhill (2016-11-19)

James Wilbert Jiggetts (KIA)

See additional entry on James HERE.

Vincent S. Joss

Vincent S. Joss    (KIA)

 Evelyn and son Roger Joss

VINCENT¬  S. JOSS, raised in Manhattan, Kansas, hid the fact that he had a heart condition. He did this so that he could join the Navy and fight for his country. He took schooling in Champaign, Illinois to become a Signalman and got married to a Clinton, Illinois woman in December of l943. He had one child by Evelyn. His son’s  name was Roger Joss of Clinton, Illinois.

Vincent originally served on the USS Buckley, DE51 Fletcher Class in the Atlantic Ocean. He transferred to the USS Underhill, DE682 Fletcher Class in the Pacific Ocean. It was just off of the Philippines on July 24, 1945 that his ship sank.

Whatever the cause, he left a wife and son behind. Let us daily pray for understanding and empathy that produces peace. “War should encourage us all to relentlessly seek at peace with one another.” Ě Mark 9:5
by Roger Joss

Richard Keneipp (KIA)

I found another picture of my Uncle, Richard Keneipp, pictured below in the middle. I do not know the names of the other sailors. My Uncle was killed aboard the Underhill. My Mom, Dorothy, and her sister Evelyn, were heartbroken for the rest of their lives. God Bless all who served.
Thanks, Bill Moss

Robert Lacey (KIA)

I found your website today while looking for some info on Robert  Lacey who was killed when the USS Underhill was struck in July 1945.  Robert was from the Wilkes-Barre area Pennsylvania and belonged to a  loose group of guys called the Knight Kappers. This was the name given  to the a large group guys serving in WWII by Floyd and Peggy Siegfried  who were close friends of my grandparents. My grandfather was a WWI  veteran and in his early 40's enlisted for WWII and served in the CBI  Theater eventually becoming a Warrant Officer.

Peggy was always "Aunt Peg" to us growing up.  Peg and  Floyd hosted the boys when they were on leave or in between schools --  you name it.  They drank some beer and just socialized with each other.  My Aunt started a weekly newsletter in April 1943 that she sent out to  all the members during the war.  I read of the account of their finding  out that Robert (nicknamed Hot Tip) was missing and presumed dead.  I  run a small Facebook community called Knight Kappers in honor of  the name, but honoring all who served in WWII.

I just wanted to share with you what little I know of  Robert's story.  I don't know his family and actually don't even know if his body was recovered.  But I did post some info to my page today  regarding the USS Underhill.  Thanks for running the site about the  brave men of that ship.  I am a third generation veteran (My  grandfather: WWI and WWII, my father: Korean War, and me: Desert  Storm).  Feel free to contact me with any questions.  I am sorry I have  no picture of Robert to share.

David Young

Tony Maio (S)

Photo submitted by his daughter. Tony is on the left and  this was taken on July 25, 1945.

John Maki (S)

Please contact me if you have any information on John and his life.

 Warren Alden Matheny (S)

This  information was obtained from Warren’s grandson (David on Aug20). Warren was an Electricians Mate Third Class at the time of the sinking. Thank  you David.

Warren Alden Matheny  Photo
Warren Alden Matheny  Purple Heart

Western Union Telegram Announcing Sinking of USS Underhill - Notice he was wounded.

Gordon McCarty (KIA)

It was good to meet everyone at the USS Underhill Reunion this year (2010). Our family had the opportunity to attend this year. Attached please find a picture of my uncle, Gordon McCarty, for you to add to the website.

Gordon was a 2ND Class Sound Man, and was in the area of the ship that was hit.

Thank you,
Serena Hale

Norman F. McCarty (S)

Picture of Norman F. McCarty and his Father.

Link to the Memorial Page.

John S. Murray (KIA)

Attached are two photos of John S. Murray, RM3 of New Bedford, Ma.  (KIA)  One photo taken in the summer of '44 and another of him and his sister, Mary, in December of '44.

Thank you,
Peter Boniface

John D. Nutter (S)

John is 87 years old.  Served on USS Underhill. He lives at an assisted living facility in Apopka,  Florida.

Originally from Elizabethton, TN.

Mark Nutter Son of John


Ulon Palmer

Ulon Palmer (S)

 Ulon Palmer, 95,
of Town Creek, Alabama, died January 24, 2021. He was born in Hodges, Alabama on January 6, 1926 and lived there until he joined the Navy in 1943. He served as a Seaman 1st Class on the USS Underhill in the Pacific until 1946. Ulon received two Purple Heart medals and multiple service ribbons in recognition of his service and personal accomplishments. On March 1, 1954 Ulon married Edith Garrison of Vina, Alabama. They settled in Muscle Shoals to raise their family. Ulon worked as a diesel mechanic and was affectionately called “Pappy’ by his co-workers. In his free time, he enjoyed working with quarter horses and calf roping at rodeos. Upon retirement, he and Edith moved to Town Creek where he raised sheep and Border Collies. Ulon became a certified Border Collie trainer and enjoyed competing in shows across the Southeast. He also served as Chaplain of the Town Creek Masonic Lodge 361.

Herbert Wayne Patton-1

Herbert Wayne Patton (KIA)

The following was submitted by Nancy Suthard Winkler, niece of Herbert Wayne Patton:

PATTON, HERBERT WAYNE , Seaman First Class (no. 6582416), USS Underhill, US Navy Reserve, July 24, 1945, Philippine Sea, date of loss July 24, 1945.  He was the son of  Herbert Cornellius Patton and Nora Wilson Patton of Garrisonville (formerly Toluca) Virginia.  He is memoralized at the Memorial: Manila American Cemetery.   On line at wrecksite:
            Herbert Wayne Patton was called Wayne by his family.  He was the beloved brother of Julia Patton Suthard and Rena Patton Cox.  He never married and had no children.  He had one half-brother, Nelson Patton, and a half-sister Mildred Patton Jacobs.  He had numerous nieces and nephews.
            Among his descendants are: Joyce Suthard Kurz, Frances Suthard Cloe, Priscilla Ann Suthard Bender, Nancy Suthard Winkler, Pamela Suthard Manning, Wendell Suthard, Alice Cox Correll and Mary Raye Cox.
            Wayne was declared killed in action on July 24, 1945.

Kenneth Carl Statler (S)

Submitted by his Niece Stephanie M. Crunkleton.

Please see additional information about Ken HERE.

Smith_Edwin (small -2)

Edwin Smith (KIA)

Submitted by Ginger Baldwin, the niece of

Edwin Smith (KIA July 24th 1945).

George Kearney Thompson (S)

My father, George Kearney Thompson, was one of the surviving men of the S.S. Underhill  attack.  He was an electrician and mechanic on the Underhill and continued these skills after serving. My mom, Beulah Wicker Thompson, was teaching school in Kearney's home town of Taylorsville, MS.  Still being in the navy, Kearney and Beulah married. They later moved to Atlanta, GA where he entered Emory Seminary to prepare for the ministry. Wanting to be a chaplain of a ship, they said that he was too old.  He told the story many times of the Underhill bombing and how he had 'been missing in action', but then reported to the press that 'he was so much alive'! My mom was with him when the news was released.
He was proud to tell of his adventures with traveling and going around the world.  Being one of the men to operate the movie projector on board, he stated that he saw the film 'The Wizard of Oz' a zillion times and couldn't face it again.
My parents have attended a few reunions.  At 91, my mom loves to keep up with the current events of the Underhill reunions, but can't attend.  My dad died about 10 years ago at the age of 85.

We enjoy looking at the many photos/metals he acquired and will remember his dedication to God and his country.

 Clarisse McDonald--daughter of George Kearney Thompson

George Toomey (04Jul2019)

George Toomey (KIA)

The link below was submitted to us by Graeme Noseworthy as part of some research he was doing on people killed in WWII.  Thank you for making this available to us.

George Toomey Article.

Gus Valsamedis (S)

See additional information about Gus HERE

William Varosso 2020-07-26_144025-2

William Varosso (S)

BRAINTREE, MA — William Varosso, 94, a WWII veteran and former Braintree police officer has died. Police announced the death of the Purple Heart recipient on Thursday evening.

"Known to many as 'Officer Bill', he was the town's first safety officer and will forever remain a legend to the Braintree Police," Braintree police said in a Facebook post.

Varroso joined the United States Navy when he was 18. On July 24, 1945, Varroso was aboard a destroyer, the USS Underhill, which was leading a convoy of tank landing ships. Two "suicide submarines," typically operated by one Japanese sailor armed with 3,000 pounds of explosives, rammed the Underhill, splitting the ship and causing it to sink in the Pacific Ocean. Out of the 236 sailors aboard the Underhill, 122 survived, including Varroso.

"We as a department, will send off Officer Bill with the respect he earned due to his lifetime of service to his country, the Town of Braintree, and his countless hours of volunteer work," police said in a statement. "Our most heartfelt condolences go out to Officer Bill's children, grandchildren and the Varroso Family."

By Jimmy Bentley,ᅠPatch Staff
Jul 24, 2020 10:17 am ET|Updated Jul 24, 2020 2:31 pm ET

Eugene L. Wagstaff (S)

Richard Jackson Ward (S)

Dear Jay,

I found an old photo of my uncle that served aboard the Underhill. His name was"Richard Jackson Ward" and was known to his shipmates as "JW".

He was oridganally from Marion Virginia but lived out his life around Batavia NY after the war. I'm sorry to say her never lived to see your website as he died before it was published. It would make me very happy if you could post this picture on your site and see if any of his shipmates remember him. I have no knowlege as to his job/duty aboard the Underhill. I would love to hear from shipmates that might still be alive remember him and maybe have a story they could share. All I know about him is that he was blown off the ship and was rescued. Shipmates may reach me at

Great website, Donny

George Wooten (S)

See additional information about George HERE.

Joseph Zakutny

Joseph Zakutny (S)

This picture of Joseph was submitted by his great-nephew Mike Paintner.  Thanks Mike for adding to our history.

 Much appreciated.

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