Camarillo woman remembers uncle after WWII submarine, missing for 75 years, found off coast of Japan

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Camarillo woman remembers uncle after missing WWII submarine found
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Kathy Taylor of Camarillo never stopped looking for her uncle, who went missing in action decades ago during World War II.

CAMARILLO, Calif. (KABC) -- The USS Grayback was one of the most successful American attack submarines in the Pacific Theater in World War II.

When it sailed out of Pearl Harbor on it's 10th combat patrol in January 1944, it never returned.

Now 75 years later, a deep water search team has found the submarine and the crew of 80 it carried.

Among the first people to hear the news and see footage of the undersea wreckage was Kathy Taylor of Camarillo.

For 75 years, Taylor hasn't stopped looking for John Patrick King.

"I didn't want him to be forgotten," she said. "He was my uncle, he was my godfather. He was there for me."

Her uncle and godfather was an electrician's mate, third class, when his submarine, the USS Grayback, went missing during WWII.

Taylor's family received a telegram when he went missing in action decades ago.

Decades later, private explorers set out to find it.

"It was just exciting to know that somebody was looking for it," Taylor said.

This past week, Taylor flew to the East Coast to meet with members of the Lost 52 project.

But she wasn't expecting they'd find her uncle's missing vessel so soon.

The submarine was likely bombed when it left Pearl Harbor. The USS Grayback now sits somewhere south of Okinawa, Japan.

Taylor says the coordinates won't be released and there are no plans to excavate the boat, but the warship is still intact. Its namesake plaque still shines on the bow.

"You know I came in here after I got home and said 'We know where you are.' And that's some bit of closure," Taylor said. "But at the same time it's also a sad reckoning because now I'm an adult and I understand the meaning of being lost."

The Lost 52 Project has now found five of the 52 missing vessels of WWII.

"It's very vital that we remember them and that they feel that they haven't been forgotten," said Christine Dennison of the Lost 52 project. "That their sacrifice wasn't in vain."