US submarine lost during WWII found nearly 80 years later
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT/Gray News) - After nearly 80 years of wondering, some U.S. military families finally have closure.
The discovery made waves across the country, including in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I never knew him, but I knew of him all my life,” Omaha resident Lu Moss Shirley said.
Shirley is the niece of Leonard David Moss, who was aboard the USS Albacore when it went missing on Nov. 7, 1944.
Moss received a Purple Heart for his service.
“He was always in a picture in my grandmother’s home,” Shirley said.
Moss remained at the center of their home and hearts, though no one knew where the 23-year-old was.
“I don’t know that it was exactly sad, but just looking at him knowing they didn’t know what happened to him.”
In 1944, Moss’ parents received a telegram saying their son was missing.
The following year, they received another letter presuming he and about 85 others on the submarine were lost.
In Omaha, someone else received the same news.
“Back in 1944, a telegram came to Boys Town informing Father Flannagan that the submarine had been sunk and the whereabouts of Patrick had been unknown. For many years we just waited,” said Thomas Lynch, director of community programs for Boys Town.
On Feb. 13, three days before the official announcement, families got an email from Charles Hinman, the director of education for the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum.
Hinman attached another letter from the Naval History and Heritage Command regarding the discovery of the USS Albacore.
The letter said with the help of a Japanese professor from the University of Tokyo, the USS Albacore was identified.
Shirley said she felt “shock” after hearing of the confirmation.
“My next thought was for my grandmother and grandfather. My grandmother lived 40 years not knowing where he was and what happened to him. They always had that hope that they would know where he was. They know now, as I said, they’re all in heaven rejoicing now. But they didn’t know. So I wish we could’ve told them then,” Shirley described.
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