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World War II Honor Roll

Joseph E. Halpin

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

02439472

United States Navy

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: November 16, 1943
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial
Honolulu, Hawaii
Awards: Purple Heart

ELECTRICIAN'S MATE THIRD CLASS JOSEPH EDWARD HALPIN JR. was born in New Jersey around 1924. He was the son of Joseph and Ruth Halpin. His father worked as a clerk in the Camden County clerk's office at the Camden County Courthouse in Camden.

By 1926 the Halpins had moved to Pennsauken, New Jersey. The 1930 Census has the family living in a rented home at 1742 Merchantville Avenue. The 1940 Census shows the family, which by then included younger sisters Mary and Ruth, at 1708 Hollingshead Avenue in Pennsauken, New Jersey. They later moved to 1918 West River Drive in Pennsauken. 

After joining the United States Navy on July 9, 1941, Joseph E. Halpin qualified for submarine duty. After being promoted to Seaman Second Class, he was assigned to USS Haddock SS-231, a new Gato-class submarine, and was a member of Haddock's crew when she was commissioned on March 14, 1942. He sailed with Haddock on four different war patrols. 

Haddock's first patrol began in July of 1942. After shakedown and training cruises off New England, Haddock sailed for the Pacific on June 19, 1942 and arrived Pearl Harbor July 16. She departed on her first war patrol on July 28, the first submarine to do so with the new SJ radar. This equipment added greatly to her power in seeking out and destroying enemy ships in darkness or reduced visibility.

Penetrating into the Bonin Islands–East China Sea area, Haddock attacked a freighter on the surface on August 12, damaged her, and next day sank an unidentified transport of about 4,000 tons. In the Formosa Straits on August 26 Haddock fired four stern shots at Teinshum Maru but missed; the submarine swung around to bring her bow tubes to bear and sent the target to the bottom. Haddock patrolled off Okinawa before returning to Midway September 19, 1942.

Haddock's second war patrol, commencing October 11 from Midway, was carried out in the Yellow Sea. After two attacks without hits, the submarine torpedoed Tekkai Maru amidships on November  3, breaking her in two. She was forced to break off another attack on November 6 because of destroyers and search aircraft, but during the night of November 11-12 blew off the stern of cargo ship Venice Maru east of the island of Honshū. Haddock damaged another ship on November 13, only to be prevented from finishing her off by escort craft, and she expended her last torpedo on an empty tanker on November 16. After a brief gunfire duel with her victim, the submarine headed for Pearl Harbor, arriving on December 4, 1942.

Haddock departed Pearl Harbor on December 28 on her third war patrol, this time to the oceans south of Japan. She was attacked by two destroyers raining depth charges, and when she finally surfaced to clear the area, Haddock found herself surrounded by Japanese patrol craft. The submarine sped out of the trap just in time to avoid destruction.

A few days later, January 17, 1943,
Haddock sank an unidentified freighter of 4,000 tons, and on January 19 Haddock detected six cargo vessels steaming in double column. Gaining attack position on the last ship, she scored two hits and sent her to the bottom. Aerial attack and depth charges kept her from bagging the other members of the convoy and bad weather forced Haddock to return to Midway on February 17.

Haddock cleared Midway on March 11 for her fourth war patrol, and saw her first action on April 3 off Palau, when she encountered a transport protected by a corvette. The submarine launched two "fish" at the corvette, but the torpedoes apparently ran under without exploding. Haddock then turned her attention to the transport and succeeded in sinking her with a spread of torpedoes. Following the torpedo tracks, the persistent corvette dropped 24 depth charges, many directly over Haddock, damaging her conning tower and radar. After spending some time patrolling off Saipan, she returned to Pearl Harbor on April 19, 1943.

Having been promoted to Electrician's Mate Third Class, Joseph E. Halpin Jr. returned to the United States and was assigned to the USS Corvina, another new Gato-class submarine. He was aboard when Coriina was commissioned at New London, Connecticut on August 6, 1943. Joseph E. Halpin Jr. He was aboard when Corvina made her first, and sadly, her last war patrol. After leaving Pearl Harbor on November 4, 1943 Corvina was sighted on the surface by a Japanese submarine on November 16, 1943 and was herself torpedoed and sunk, going down with all hands.

After the war, when new homes were being built in Pennsauken, Halpin Avenue was named in his memory. His family stayed in Pennsauken, mother Ruth S. Halpin passing away in 1994 at the age of 92. 


USS CORVINA
SS-226

Keel laid by the Electric Boat Company., Groton, CT.
21 September 1942;
Launched 9 May 1943; Sponsored by Mrs. Ralph W. Christie;
Commissioned 6 August 1943;


Venturing into enemy waters during WWII for her first time, USS CORVINA (SS226), under the command of Cdr. Roderick S. Rooney, departed from Pearl Harbor on 4 November 1943. The CORVINA was GATO class submarine, carrying a crew of 4 officers and 54 enlisted men. After topping off with fuel at Johnson Island she proceeded to an area south of Truk, there to attack enemy naval forces during our surface operations in the Gilbert Islands. She was to patrol as close to Truk as enemy antisubmarine measures would permit. On 14 December, she was to pass to command of Commander Task Force Seventy-Two and proceed to an eastern Australian port for refit and duty in SubSoWesPac.

When the major surface force operations in the Gilberts were finished, CORVINA was directed by dispatch on 30 November to pass to command of Commander Task Force Seventy-Two on 2 December 1943. The message was repeated three times on each of two successive nights, and an acknowledgment was directed, but none was received. Because of the difficulty being experienced as a result of Japanese interference, CORVINA was considered to have passed to Commander Task Force Seventy-Two, despite her failure to acknowledge. She was directed to proceed to Tulagi and rendezvous with a surface escort, but she did not appear. Again transmissions directing answer were repeatedly sent, but were not fruitful. Since she had not appeared or been heard from since her departure from Johnston Island on 6 November, CORVINA was reported as presumed lost on 23 December 1943.

Enemy records indicate that CORVINA met her doom on 16 November 1943, by enemy action. An enemy submarine reported having sighted a surfaced submarine at 5! -50'N;151!-10'E, and torpedoed her. Three torpedoes were fired and two were reported to have hit, causing a "great explosion sound."


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