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Harry Brogden Jones

Harry Brogden Jones
Harry Brogden Jones

Harry Brogden Jones, seen here as a MM2/c while aboard the USS Sealion SS 195. Jones reported aboard Sealion in 1939 and was part of the commissioning crew..

Jones joined the Navy on January 7, 1937 at the Recruitment Station in Raleigh, NC. He graduated from his basic training taken at Norfolk, VA on May 7, 1937 as a Sea2/c. He attended additional training at Norfolk, VA and graduated from there as a F3/c on September 28, 1937. He was assigned to the USS ARGONNE and the USS VESTAL at the San Diego Destroyer Base until he requested and was assigned to Sub School, New London, CT on or about August 16, 1938.

On December 31, 1939 Jones was promoted to F 1/c and visited Kailua Bay, TH, Pearl Harbor, TH, Manila/Caveti Naval Yard as Sealion worked her way to her new duty station. He was a member of the USS Sealion Baseball team along with Wheeler Lipps a Pharmacists mate who was to perform the first underwater appendectomy on a submarine during war aboard the USS Seadragon where he was assigned after the attack on Sealion.

On March 31, 1941 Jones was promoted to MM2/c and was working in Sealion's engine room. He probably worked closely with the men who later died in the bombing on December 10, 1941.

Jones reported this about the attack: 'We were hit twice, once on the stern and once directly amid ship through the after part of the conning tower. I was in the crews mess room, about four yards aft of where the bomb that hit our conning tower struck. There’s no way to explain the sensation I felt when it hit. All I could seem to hear was the tearing and crashing of metal. Of course there was an awful concussion. I surely thought my time had come! Luckily the superstructure set the bomb off before it could get through the pressure hull or I and a greater percentage of the crew would’ve surely been killed. (I) Was called to topside to help fight fire and was utterly shocked to see the damage the Jap bombers had done to our ship. She was damaged beyond repair. The captain went aft and called through the after torpedo room hatch – No answer! It was then that I feared casualties. Later on after a muster of the crew I learned that we had lost four men...'

After the attack and scuttling of Sealion the crew was assigned to various boats and Jones was sent to the USS Stingray and made his first war patrol on her. It was Stingray's second war patrol. He then left Stingray and was assigned to the USS Holland as part of relief crews and on USS Sculpin on her 3rd war patrol out of Fremantle/Perth on March 14th thru April 27th 1942 before being assigned to the USS Sargo on July 1942 where he made his second war patrol, (Sargo's 3rd war patrol).

After returning with Sculpin he met his future wife at her family's boarding house, where many sub crew went to recover and relax after a patrol. According to son, Bryan Jones: 'My Nana's Boarding house was known as Warrawong, or the house near the 'Dog Rock' in Albany. Their boarding house gave a lot of them, who wanted to get away from the Fast Action of Fremantle, a place that felt like home. They all called my Nana, Mom not Mum which she always found funny!'

On January 2, 1943 he was recommended for promotion to Warrant Officer while on Sargo. On July 1, 1943 he was promoted to Chief Machinist Mate (A) and assigned to Navy unit 136 in Melbourne, Australia. On July 23, 1943 he changed rates and became a Chief Motor Machinist Mate, CMoMM, (AA) while at Navy unit 136 in Melbourne. On December 31, 1943 he was transferred to Navy unit 135 in Sydney, Australia.

On July 6, 1945 he changed rates once again to MACH (T) at USN Navy 135 Sydney and the on July 13, 1945 to Ch. Mach (T) again at USN Navy 135 in Sydney.

Photo and information from Bryan Jones, (son).

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