Thursday, June 9, 2016

U.S. Navy Commander, Walter Sebastian Kraus (RET.)

Walter Sebastian Kraus
Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Walter (better known as "Gus") was born in
Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany in 1920. He immi­
grated to the United States with his parents at
age 5. They resided in New Port, Kentucky.

ill 1938 WaIter graduated from New Port
Catholic High SchooL A few months later he
enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an Apprentice Seaman.
Following boot camp in Norfolk, VIrginia he was
assigned to the USS SHAW (DD-373) in San
Diego, California. ill May 1939 WaIter was selected
to attend the first Sound School (later designated
as Sonar) at the San Diego destroyer base. He also
volun-teered to receive Passive Search training
aboard the submarines S-27 and S-28. This intro­
duction to submarines led him to a de-sire for this
type of duty.

ill August 1940 WaIter was assigned to the S- 36
(SS-141) (submarine) in Tsingtao, China in the
Asiatic Fleet. He qualified for his enlisted dolphins
in February 1941. At the outbreak of WWII the
SS-36 was in the Phil-ippines near Lingayen Gulf
On her second war patrol, the S- 36 grounded on
Taka- Bakang reef in Makassar Straits; it was 20
January 1942. They had been running southward
toward Surabaya, Java because the Japanese had
rapidly occupied the Philip-pine Islands group.
After unsuccessful at-tempts to free the boat the
Commanding Of-ficer ordered the boat to be
scuttled. A Dutch freighter the HMS SIBEROET
rescued all hands and eventually disembarked the
crew in Surabaya; all were assigned to other sub­
marines. WaIter subsequently served in sub-marines
completed eleven war patrols. At war's end he was
a Chief Machinist's Mate.

Following the war, he remained in submarines
until 1949 when he was selected for duty with the
joint Brazil-US Military Commission in Rio de
Janeiro. ill 1951 he served as Recruiter in Lexington,
Kentucky. An acceptance to Warrant Officer Rank
cut that duty short. As a Warrant Officer-I, Wal-ter
was assigned to the Chesapeake Bay Training
Group as a Liaison Officer for ships being trans­
ferred to NATO countries.

ill 1953 he accepted his selection for Officer
Candidate School in New port, Rhode Island and

was graduated to Ensign with an assignment to
serve in (the submarine) USS SARDA (SS-488).
He earned his Gold Dol-phins as a qualified subma­
rine officer in 1955.

Subsequent assignments were: Assis-tant
Repair Officer in (submarine tender) USS
FULTON (AS-II); Hull Officer, E&R, New
London, (Connecticut); Hull Officer in (sub-marine
tender) USS PROTEUS (AS-19); P&E for subma­
rines at Philadelphia Naval Ship-yard; Engineer,
Submarine Division 81; Engi-neer Submarine
Squadron 8; Planning & Production at Polaris Site
One, Holy Lock, (Scotland) in (submarine tender)
USS HUN-LEY (AS-31); Assistant Production
Officer, Bu-reau of Ships, Washington, DC; Staff,
Com-mander Naval Force, Saigon, Vietnam as
Special Projects Officer for logistics and Staff,
Commander Service Group One, San Diego,

WaIter retired as Commander, USN in February
1969 after more than 30 years of service.

(Walter presently serves as commit-teeman
of "Notice of Death" (SRYO) in the submarine
Polaris magazine of WWIl He al-so serves as the
Ohio State Commander and was the last President
of the Submarine vet-erans ofWWIl Editor.)

Polaris/June 2016

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