“Do you have a list of the USS Razorback (SS 394) World War II crew members?”

The following list was compiled from the World War II cruise book. Since the cruise book was produced shortly after the end of the war, this is probably the best source of information available about who served aboard USS Razorback (SS 394) during the war.

Name Rate & Rank Patrols
Absher, Eugene Lee (Gene) F 1/c 3
Atkinson, Arland Kenneth (Ace) MoMM 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2, 3, 4
Atkinson, George Junior (George) RM 1/c (SS) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Arts, Renee Andre (Michel) SC 1/c 1/2/2013
Anderson, Douglas Arthur (Andy) EM 1/c (SS) Plank Owner
Aucoin, Earle Leo (Yeo) Y 1/c (SS) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Auer, Joseph Alois (Joe) MoMM 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Ballard, Hugh Fletcher (Snake) EM 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2, 3
Bauman, Budrow Howard (Spud) FCS 3/c (SS) 4/5/2013
Beasley, M. D. MoMM 2/c (SS) 4/5/2013
Bly, Donald Archer (Dably) RT 2/c 5
Bohreer, John Cecil CEM (SS) Plank Owner, 1
Borney, Walter Stanley (Skee) TM 3/c (SS) 2, 3, 4, 5
Blue, Robert St. M 1/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2
Brown, Charles Edwin SC 2/c (SS) 3/4/2013
Brown, Elden “H” (EH) EM 2/c (SS) 3/4/2005
Brown, Falma Lee (TLO) GM 3/c (SS) 3/4/2005
Bryant, Edward Benny St. 3/c (SS) 3/4/2005
Bundy, Fulton Charles FC 2/c 4/5/2013
Carlson, Eugene Ole (Olaf) EM 3/c (SS) 3/4/2005
Carson, Kenneth Boyd (Kit) TM 1/c (SS) Plank Owner
Casson, Truman Nathan, Jr. (Sister) S 1/c 2/3/2013
Clague, George Wilson S 1/c 2/3/2013
Clower, Joseph Franklin CCS (SS) None
Cobb, Willie Clay (Boots) BM 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2
Coffman, Arwin Ariel (Panama) MoMM 2/c (SS) 4/5/2013
Cole, Troy Leon (Hoot) S 1/c 2
Combs, Elmer S 1/c Plank Owner
Connelly, William Guy S 2/c Plank Owner
Corton, Charles Joseph EM 3/c Plank Owner
Craig, John William EM 2/c (SS) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Crawford, John Raymond (Snuffy) MoMM 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1
Culp, Ercel Harold MoMM 2/c (SS) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Darnell, Charles William (Charley) TM 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Davis, Robert Wilson (Doc) Ph.M. 1/c (SS) 3/4/2005
Day, Arthur Eugene TM 1/c (SS) 5
Dement, George Elyott, Jr. (Little Georgie) S.C. 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
DeMerritt, Alan Ellsworth (Al) QM 3/c (SS) 4/5/2013
Denmark, Fennis Leroy RM 2/c (SS) 3
Dewald, Samuel Ellsworth (Sam) S 1/c 4/5/2013
Dubuque, Maurice Arthur (Deb) TM 1/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1
Dukes, Madison Lavern (Preacher) TM 1/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2, 3
Echols, Albert Lawrence, Jr. GM 2/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1, 2
Erst, Charles Henry (Chuck) MoMM 1/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1
Evanger, Herbert Glen (Dewald Jr.) S 1/c 5
Everhart, Carlyle, Jr. S 1/c 1
Feitush, Clyde Edward MoMM 3/c 2
Fosnocht, Medford Allen (Fuzzy) S 2/c Plank Owner
Fudge, Ralph Leroy GM 3/c 1/2/2013
Gallagher, George Robert MoMM 3/c (SS) Plank Owner, 1


“How big was the crew aboard USS Razorback (SS 394)?”

According to her “Booklet of General Plans”, USS Razorback (SS 394) had the following berthing arrangement after her 1962 refit:

Compartment Number of Berths
Forward Torpedo Room 14 Enlisted
Forward Battery Compartment 10 Officers
Forward Battery Compartment 5 Chief Petty Officers
After Battery Compartment 36 Enlisted
After Torpedo Room 16 Enlisted

Total Berths


Currently, Razorback is configured for the following berthing arrangement:

Compartment Number of Berths
Forward Torpedo Room 10 Enlisted
Forward Battery Compartment 8 Officers
Forward Battery Compartment 5 Chief Petty Officers
After Battery Compartment 35 Enlisted
After Torpedo Room 15 Enlisted

Total Berths


At commissioning, she had the following crew:

Officers: 8
Chief Petty Officers: 8
Enlisted Crew: 63

Total Complement:


During her first war patrol, Razorback had the following crew:

Officers: 9
Chief Petty Officers: 7
Enlisted Crew: 71

Total Complement:


On January 1, 1945, she had the following crew:

 Officers: 10
Chief Petty Officers: 3
Enlisted Crew: 72

Total Complement:


During a port visit to Singapore in 1967, photographs of the entire crew were taken. The crew consisted of the following:

Officers: 9
Chief Petty Officers: 6
Enlisted Crew: 68

Total Complement:


Source: Various USS Razorback (SS 394) deck logs, patrol reports, and blueprints.


“How many awards did USS Razorback (SS 394) win?

During her career in the U.S. Navy, USS Razorback (SS 394) won the following unit awards:

  • Battle Efficiency Award:
    • 1948
    • 1959
    • 1969
  • Asiatic-Pacific Area Service Medal (5 Battle Stars):
    • Capture & Occupation of the Southern Palau Islands – 06 September-14 October 1944 / Assault on Philippine Islands – 06-24 September 1944
    • Second War Patrol 15 November 1944-05 January 1945
    • Iwo Jima Operation – 15 February-09 March 1945
    • Okinawa Gunto Operation – 19 May-17 June 1945
    • Fifth War Patrol – 22 July-22 September 1945
  • Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia:
    • 02-03 September 1945
    • 04-11 January 1948
    • 08-16 February 1948
    • 07-27 August 1949
  • China Service Medal:
    • 12 January-07 February 1948
    • 02-06 October 1949
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal:
    • 23-25 November 1959
    • 27-29 December 1959
    • 13-14 January 1960
    • 02-03 May 1963
    • 18-22 May 1963
    • 31 May-01 June 1963
  • Vietnam Service Medal:
    • 30 November-10 December 1965
    • 06-07 April 1967
    • 07-08 January 1969
    • 24 June 1970
  • Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation – Gallantry:
    • 06-07 April 1967
    • 07-08 January 1969


“Who were the Commanding Officers of USS Razorback (SS 394)?”

Name Assumed Command Relieved
LCDR Alfred M. Bontier 4/3/1944 6/5/1944
CDR Roy S. Benson 6/5/1944 10/21/1944
LCDR C.D. Brown 10/21/1944 12/22/1945
CDR W.J. Germershausen 12/22/1945 July 1946
CDR L.A. LaJaunie, Jr. July 1946 August 1948
CDR J.D. Miller August 1948 February 1950
CDR J.D. Worley February 1950 8/1/1952
Decommissioned 8/1/1952 1/8/1954
LCDR C.E. Stastny 1/8/1954 12/30/1954
LCDR W.R. Boose 12/30/1954 1/3/1957
LT A.G. Beutler 1/3/1957 July 1958
LCDR J.G. Gullette July 1958 7/2/1960
LCDR C.G. Schoenherr 7/2/1960 7/5/1962
LCDR Whittier Gale Davis 7/5/1962 4/30/1964
LCDR Glen R. “Pappy” Sears 4/30/1964 3/11/1966
LCDR Ken R. Brown 3/11/1966 5/10/1968
CDR William Biggar 5/10/1968 December 1969
CDR Joseph T. Talbert, Jr. December 1969 11/30/1970


“What is a Razorback Whale?”

“Razorback” is a nickname for the Finback Whale (Balaenoptera physalus). The Finback is often called the “Razorback” because of its’ very distinctive ridges between the dorsal fin and the tail.

Razorback whales are the second largest animals in the world, second in size only to the enormous Blue Whales. Razorback whales grow to as large as 79 feet (24 meters) long. They are also among the fastest of the great whales, capable of a sustained speed of up to 23 mph (37 kph) (about the same speed as USS Razorback).

Razorback whales can be found across the entire globe, but generally prefer temperate and polar waters. They migrate from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic and Antarctic to winter breeding and calving grounds in subtropical waters. In the Northern Atlantic, the Razorback ranges from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. Northern Pacific Razorbacks range from the Bering Sea as far south as Cabo San Lucas, Baja California. They are an important eco-tourism resource in many areas, as they migrate along coastal areas. Although they are easily spooked by noisy boats, they will swim up to a stopped vessel.

The “Razorback” whale is considered endangered worldwide, due to severe population depletion by commercial whaling.


American Cetacean Society

San Diego Natural History Museum

World Wildlife Federation

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Finback Whale Page


“Why is there a second flag on the Conning Tower?”

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum flies both the American flag and the Turkish flag from USS Razorback‘s Conning Tower to honor her service as a fighting ship of both the American and Turkish navies.

The Turkish flag is flown at the same height as, but to the left of, the American flag as required by both US law and International custom. US Code Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 7c specifically states (in part):

No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America…

Furthermore, Section 7g states (in part):

When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size.

The Republic of Turkey has been an important American ally for many years. Turkey has been a member of NATO for over 50 years. Turkey’s democratic form of government is based on the separation of powers, with an indepedent judiciary, just like the United States. Turkey’s constitution guarantees freedom of religious worship, just like the United States. The President and Members of Parliament are elected by the people in multi-party elections and candidates may run for election without the support of a party.

For more information about flag etiquette, visit the Flag Rules and Regulations Page at ushistory.org (External Link).


“What does ‘Sandlance variant’ mean?”

Submarines, like other naval ships, are built in “classes”. Each class is named after the first ship of the class. Even though all members of a class are largely identical, as new technology is introduced, “variants” of the class occur.

For example, there are nine different variants of the “Balao” class:

  • Balao (SS 285 – 291)
  • Devilfish (SS 291 – 297)
  • Lionfish (SS 298 – 299, SS 308 – 312)
  • Moray (SS 300 – 303)
  • Seahorse (SS 304 – 307)
  • Perch (SS 313 – 352, SS 362 – 378)
  • Sandlance (SS 381 – 404)
  • Sea Owl (SS 405 – 410)
  • Spadefish (SS 411 – 416)

Sources: Christley


“What Vessels Have Names Associated with Arkansas?”

A number of vessels, including a Confederate Navy Ironclad, have names associated with places in Arkansas including the state herself, as well as several cities and counties.

Other vessels are named for native Arkansans, including an Army General. Two ships were named for Arkansans killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In addition, since many naval vessels are named after plants or animals (and especially fish) there are many vessels that are named after plants and wildlife that are native to Arkansas. This group includes the first submersible ever commissioned in the United States Navy.

These vessels include:

Type of Vessel Name Dates of Service
Ironclad (Confederate Navy) CSS Arkansas (1862-1862)
Steamer USS Arkansas (1863-1865)
Monitor USS Arkansas (1902-1909)
Battleship USS Arkansas (BB 33) (1912-1946)
Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Cruiser USS Arkansas (CGN 41) (1980-1998)
Troop Transport USS Admiral E. W. Eberle (1945-1946)
Schooner USS Alligator (1809-1815)
Sloop USS Alligator (1813-1814)
Schooner USS Alligator (1821-1822)
Submersible (Hand Powered) USS Alligator (1862-1863)
Schooner USS Althea (1862-1863)
Screw Tug USS Althea (1863-1866)
Screw Tug USS Azalea (1864-1865)
Lighthouse Tender USS Azalea (1917-1919)
Motor Launch USS Azalea (1917-1919)
Submarine USS Bass (SS 164) (1925-1945)
Submarine USS Bass (SS 551) (1952-1957)
Submarine USS Bluegill (SS 242) (1943-1969)
Submarine USS Bowfin (SS 298) (1943-1954)
Submarine USS Bullhead (SS 332) (1944-1945)
Submarine USS Carp (SS 338) (1945-1971)
Submarine USS Catfish (SS 339) (1945-1971)
Submarine USS Dace (SS 247) (1943-1955)
Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine USS Dace (SS 607) (1964-1988)
Submarine USS Darter (SS 227) (1943-1944)
Submarine USS Darter (SS 576) (1956-1989)
Submarine USS Drum (SS 228) (1941-1967)
Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine USS Drum (SSN 677) (1972-1995)
Submarine USS Eel (SS 354) (1941-1959)
Submarine USS Flier (SS 250) (1943-1944)
Destroyer Escort USS Foss (DE 59) (1943-1957)
Submarine USS Gar (SS 206) (1941-1959)
Troop Transport USS General William O. Darby (T-AP 127) (1950-1968)
Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-On/Roll-Off Cargo Vessel USNS Gilliland (T-AKR 298) (1997-Present)
Submarine USS Herring (SS 233) (1942-1944)
Submarine USS Lamprey (SS 372) (1944-1946)
Guided Missile Cruiser USS Little Rock (CLG 4) (1945-1976)
Landing Ship, Tank USS Marion County (LST 975) (1945-1956)
Destroyer USS Moale (DD 693) (1944-1973)
Monitor USS Ozark (BM 7) (1909-1922)
Submarine USS Pickerel (SS 177) (1937-1943)
Submarine USS Pickerel (SS 524) (1949-1972)
Submarine USS Pike (SS 6) (1903-1922)
Submarine USS Pike (SS 173) (1935-1957)
Landing Ship, Tank USS Pulaski County (LST 1088) (1945-1973)
Submarine USS Quillback (SS 424) (1944-1973)
Destroyer Escort USS Riley (DE 579) (1944-1947)
Landing Ship, Tank USS Saline County (LST 1101) (1945-1960)
Submarine USS Sculpin (SS 191) (1939-1944)
Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine USS Sculpin (SSN 590) (1961-1990)
Attack Transport USS Sevier (APA 233) (1944-1946)
Submarine USS Shad (SS 235) (1942-1960)
Submarine USS Silversides (SS 236) (1941-1969)
Landing Ship, Tank USS Stone County (LST 1141) (1945-1973)
Submarine USS Sturgeon (SS 187) (1938-1948)
Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine USS Sturgeon (SSN 187) (1967-1994)
Destroyer Escort USS Traw (DE 350) (1944-1946)
Frigate USS Van Buren (PF 42) (1943-1946)
Destroyer Escort USS Weaver (DE 741) (1943-1952)
Medium Landing Ship, Rocket USS White River (LSMR 536) (1945-1970)