|Petty Officer Bennie Polidori served on the USS Shark from before the war until it was sunk.|
Bennie John Polidori never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 10, 1917 in Colorado. I could find no census data with more information about Bennie or his family, though he was likely of Greek heritage.
He enlisted in the US Navy on June 26, 1940. By August he was serving on the oiler USS Kanawha. He transferred to the submarine USS Shark by February 1941 where he served as an electrician's mate, first class. The Shark was Porpoise class submarine with a complement of 5 officers and 49 enlisted men. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor the Shark was stationed out of Manila. It was sent out to sink Japanese ships but was not very successful due in large measure to the poor design of the American torpedoes.
The Shark was lost on February 11, 1942, sunk by gunfire by the the Japanese destroyer Yamakazi east of Menado, Celebes. It was the first American submarine sunk by the enemy in World War 2.
Petty Officer Polidori sacrifice is recognized at the USS Shark Memorial in Oklahoma City.
Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Bennie be profiled.
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To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY
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