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Lawrence County WW II Submarine Hero to be Honored

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

By James Lee Hutchinson


The family of Chris Lyons of Williams recently received an invitation, to attend Special Memorial Services in Muskegon, Michigan August 11. The program will honor all crew members of the WW II submarine, USS Albacore SS 218 which was lost seventy- nine years ago. Chief Petty Officer John Paul Gennett of Lawrence County was a crew member of the Albacore, which was sunk by a floating mine off the coast of Japan in 1944 World War II. John’s name is listed on the Gold Star Mothers’ Memorial Plaque beneath the courthouse flag. He was the uncle of Mrs. Darrell Robinson (Barbara) and Great Uncle of Mrs. Chris Lyons, (Amanda) and also Matt Robinson. The Memorial Services will be held in three locations across the United States. The family plans to attend those in Muskegon Michigan. The invitation from the Pacific Fleet Museum in Honolulu stated:


“The US Navy has positively identified the wreckage of the USS Albacore found off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. The men of the USS Albacore deserve honor and respect and to be remembered for their sacrifices in this special ceremony. Services will be pier-side next to the submarine, USS Silversides at 10:00am Friday, August 11. A luncheon will follow in the Channel View Room at the Museum.”


The USS Albacore (SS-218) submarine served in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II, winning the Presidential Unit Citation and nine battle stars for her service. During the war, she was credited with sinking 13 Japanese ships (including two destroyers, the light cruiser Tenryū and the aircraft carrier Taihō and damaging another five; not all of these credits were confirmed by post-war. She also holds the distinction of sinking the highest warship tonnage of any U.S. submarine.


The USS Albacore (SS-218) Submarine

The USS Albacore (SS-218) Submarine




Note: John Gennett was the second family member to die WW II. His nephew, RCAF Flight Sgt. Francis Wayne Gennette was one of the first Lawrence County men to die, he was a tail gunner in the Royal Canadian Air Corps. He was shot down and buried in Holland and is highly honored by the Canadian Government in Ottawa. However, he is not listed on the Gold Star Mothers WW II Memorial for USA service members. The plaque also lists the names of two of my boyhood Dutchtown buddies. Sylvester “Tony” Catozzi and Lowell “Bud “Goodin who were also lost on WW II submarines found undersea many years later.



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Unknown member
Sep 16, 2023

Wow Mr. Hutchinson I never realized that.

What a dangerous and terrible way to go.

Thank you for bringing the names of these heroes to our attention.

Great article and thank you.

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