RADIOMAN FIRST CLASS KENNETH SAVILLE CAMPBELL was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Edward Hall Campbell of 26 Cambridge Road, Westmont NJ, and was a 1941 graduate of Collingswood (NJ) High School. He enjoyed skating, camping and drawing. Nicknamed "Shark", he enlisted in the Navy in September of 1941, after working for a brief time for the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation in Camden NJ.
first active duty was in the Aleutian Islands aboard a District Patrol
Vessel, which was sunk. He returned to the U.S. mainland, and volunteered for submarine duty. He was assigned to the
submarine USS ESCOLAR, along with Seaman
First Class Benjamin W. Bonk of Camden NJ.
26 Cambridge Road
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USS ESCOLAR (SS-294)
A BALAO class submarine, the ESCOLAR carried a complement of 6 officers and 60 enlisted men. Her keel was laid down by Cramp Shipbuilding Company of Philadelphia PA on June 10, 1942. Launched on April 18, 1943, the ESCOLAR was transferred to Boston Navy Yard and then to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard prior to commissioning, She was commissioned on June 2, 1944 with Commander William J. Millican in command.
USS ESCOLAR (SS-294) had her final training for combat at Pearl Harbor, from which she put out for her first war patrol 18 September and proceeded to Midway to top off with fuel. There she joined USS CROAKER (SS-246) and USS PERCH (SS-313) and left on 23 September to conduct a coordinated patrol in the Yellow Sea north of 30!N. Cdr Millican was in command of this coordinated attack group, which was designated "Millican's Marauders."
On 30 September, when ESCOLAR was estimated to be about north of the Bonin Islands, the following partial message was received from her: "This from ESCOLAR X attacked with deck gun boat similar to ex-Italian Peter George five OTYI ----." Although no further transmissions were ever received by bases from ESCOLAR, who was forced to break off the transmission and the engagement with the gunboat at that time, CROAKER had stated that she suffered no damage and was in frequent communication with PERCH and CROAKER until 17 October 1944.
PERCH reported that on 17 October she had received a message from ESCOLAR stating that she was in position 33!-44'N;127!-33'E, and was heading for 33!-44'N;129!-06'E. Neither PERCH nor CROAKER could raise ESCOLAR by radio after this transmission was received.
Had ESCOLAR left her area on the scheduled date, she would have arrived at Midway about 13 November 1944. All attempts to contact ESCOLAR failed and she was reported on 27 November 1944 as presumed lost. It is assumed that she was lost about 17 October. Information supplied by the Japanese on anti-submarine attacks gives no clue as to the cause of her loss, but the Yellow Sea area is thought to have been mined. A course line plotted between the two positions given above does not cross any known Japanese mine lies, but positions of mines laid before April 1945 are not definitely located. The known minefields in Tsushima Strait were laid in April 1945. However, there were mines in the general area of ESCOLAR's predicted position, and the most likely explanation for her end is that she detonated a mine.
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