In Honored Glory!
World War II Honor Roll

Ramsey F. Mc Connell

Electrician's Mate, Third Class, U.S. Navy



Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: March 26, 1944
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery
Manila, Philippines
Awards: Purple Heart

ELECTRICIAN'S MATE THIRD CLASS RAMSEY FARLEY  MCCONNELL had lived in Camden NJ, at 525 Gordon Terrace, off Broadway, not far from the New York Shipbuilding Company shipyards. He was lost in action while serving aboard the submarine USS TULLIBEE when she was sunk with only one man surviving on March 26, 1944. He was 23 at the time of his death. He was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Bernard McConnell, of 1617 Euclid Avenue, Camden NJ.

March 26, 1944 - 79 Men Lost

   On March 5, 1944, TULLIBEE, commanded by Cmdr. C.F. Brindupke, departed Pearl Harbor to start her fourth war patrol. She stopped at Midway to top off with fuel, and having left that place on March 14, she was not heard from again. The area assigned to TULLIBEE was an open sea area north of Palau, and she was to cooperate with surface forces in the first carrier strike on Palau.

TULLIBEE was to leave her area not later than April 24, 1944, and on that date a dispatch was sent directing her to proceed to Majuro for refit. She was expected at Majuro about 4 May, but instructions stated that a submarine unable to transmit would not go to Majuro, but to Midway. On May 6, 1944, Midway was alerted for a submarine returning without transmission facilities, but the lookout was not rewarded and TULLIBEE was presumed lost on May 15, 1944.

The following story of TULLIBEE’s loss is taken from a statement made by the lone survivor, C.W. Kuykendall, GM2c. He reports that the boat arrived on station, March 25, and on the night of March 26 radar contact was found to be on a convoy consisting of a large troop and cargo ship, two medium sized freighters, two escort vessels and a large destroyer.

Having solved the convoy’s speed and course, TULLIBEE made several surface runs on the large transport, but held fire, being unable to see her due to squally weather. The escorts had detected the submarine’s presence, and dropped 15 to 20 depth charges. The submarine came in to 3,000 yards, still unable to see the target, and fired two bow tubes. A minute or two later a terrific concussion shook the boat, and Kuykendall, who had been on the bridge, soon found himself struggling in the water. Since range and bearing of escorts were known, the survivor states that he is sure the explosion was the result of a circular run of one of TULLIBEE’s torpedoes.

There were shouting men in the water when Kuykendall first regained consciousness after the blast, but after about ten minutes everything was silent, and he never again saw or heard any of the other TULLIBEE men. At 1000 on March 27, an escort vessel located the swimming man, and after firing on him with machine guns, came in and picked him up. He learned here that the transport they had fired at had sunk.

The story of his captivity is much the same as the stories of survivors of GRENADIER, SCULPIN, TANG, PERCH and other U.S. submarines. He was questioned assiduously by English speaking officers, and beaten when he refused to give any more information than international law required. In April 1944, he was taken to Ofuna Naval Interrogation Camp, where he stayed until September 30th. From that date until rescue on September 4, 1945, he was forced to work in the copper mines of Ashio.

This submarine began her career in the Submarine Force in July 1943, with a patrol in the western Caroline Islands. In this patrol she sank one freighter and damaged another. Her second patrol was in the area south of Formosa off the China coast; here she sank a transport ship and damaged a large tanker and another transport. Son her third patrol, in the Marianas area, TULLIBEE sank a small freighter. This gave TULLIBEE a total of three ships sunk, totaling 15,500 tons, and three damaged for 22,000 tons.