|Harry Schlabecker, Torpedoman's Mate, First Class, USS Triton.|
Harry Roland Schlabecker never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 6, 1917 in Maryland. His parents were also both born in Maryland. His grandparents on his father's side were from Germany His father worked as a railroad conductor. Harry was an only child.
I don't know when Harry joined the navy, but he ended up as a torpedoman's mate first class serving on the USS Triton. The Triton left Brisbane, Australia on February 16, 1943 for her sixth patrol. She was sent to the Solomons - Bismarck area. After sinking two medium freighters on this patrol, the Triton's last report back on March 11, 1943 was "Two groups of smokes, 5 or more ships each, plus escorts ... Am chasing." Two days later the Triton was warned by radio of Japanese destroyers in the area hunting for American submarines. The Triton was never heard from again.
After the war Japanese records revealed that the Triton was sunk by depth charge on May 15, 1943 near the Admiralty Islands. Before its demise, the Triton sunk 16 enemy ships totally 64,600 tons over her six mission career.
Petty Officer Schlabecker is honored at the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines.
Thanks to Darillyn Lamb Starr for recommending that Harry be profiled.
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