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Remembering World War II
Name: John Delmont Rogers Rank: Electrician's Mate First Class Service Number: 2016523 Service: USS Runner (SS-275), US Submarine Force, US Navy Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: February 29, 1920 Place of Birth: Gorham, Coos County, New Hampshire Date of Enlistment: December 29, 1938 Place of Enlistment: Boston, Massachusetts Address at Enlistment: Reading, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts Age at Enlistment: 18 Marital Status: Married Next of Kin: Jean A. Rogers (Wife), of Dartmouth, NS Date of Death: July 11, 1943 Age: 23 Cemetery: Honolulu Memorial, National Memorial of the Pacific, Hawaii Reference: Court 1, Courts of the Missing John Delmont Rogers was born in Gorham, in Coos County, New Hampshire, nestled in the Androscoggin Valley and adjacent to the picturesque Presidential Mountain Range of the White Mountains. He was the son of Llewellyn Delmont Rogers (1885–1950) and Mary H. (Hartford) Rogers (born 1899). His father was born in South Orrington on the Penobscot River in Penobscot County, Maine. John’s wife Jean Ashford (Shatford) Rogers (1921-2007) was Nova Scotian, born in Dartmouth, Halifax County on July 28, 1921. John and Jean married January 24, 1942, in Reading, in Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. John first mustered on (joined) the USS Drum (SSN-677), a Gato-class submarine on November 1, 1941, and was still on the Drum December 31, 1941. He joined the USS Runner, another Gato-class boat on July 30, 1942, mustered on the Runner March 31, 1943, and served until its loss and his death. John served aboard the US Submarine Force’s USS Runner, named for the runner, an amberfish inhabiting subtropical waters, so called for its rapid leaps from the waters. Following shakedown from New London, Connecticut, the USS Runner departed the United States East Coast in late 1942, transited the Panama Canal, and arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on January 10, 1943. She set out on her first war patrol on January 18, 1943, bound for a patrol area in the Pacific Ocean between Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Palau Islands. She claimed five Japanese cargo ships torpedoed during the patrol, but none was confirmed as being sunk. On February 19, 1943, she suffered damage from a near-miss by a bomb dropped from a Japanese patrol bomber while she was making the last attack of her patrol, on a cargo ship off Peleliu. The concussion knocked out the sound gear and the power supply for both periscope hoists. Runner made an escape by a deep dive, her crew made emergency repairs, and the submarine returned to Pearl Harbor on March 7, 1943 for overhaul. For this patrol, the commander, Lieutenant Commander F.W. Fenno, received his third award of the Navy Cross. Runner departed Pearl Harbor on April 1, 1943 to begin the second patrol, April 1 to May 6, with a primary mission was to lay a minefield off Pedro Blanco Rock. Successful in this mission, Runner proceeded to Hainan Strait off China. The submarine torpedoed one cargo ship, and the crew heard the sound of a ship breaking up over sound gear, but could not confirm a kill. It later was determined that in fact Runner had torpedoed and damaged the Imperial Japanese Army hospital ship Buenos Aires Maru on April 24, 1943. The submarine concluded the patrol with the arrival at Midway Atoll on May 6, 1943. On May 27, 1943, Runner departed Midway for her third war patrol, assigned a patrol area in the Kuril Islands chain and the waters off northern Japan. The submarine was never heard from again. Runner was declared overdue and presumed lost in July 1943. Investigations have concluded that the USS Runner was lost with all hands somewhere North of Hokkaido, Japan, probably from a mine. Lost at sea, John has no grave but is remembered in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is also remembered on his father’s grave marker at the Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. (John’s widow later remarried Captain Pentti Adolph Stark (1919-1985) in 1953.)
John Delmont Rogers
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