A submarine veteran of two wars, World War II and Korea, Bill Hagendorn was born in ____. Following in his father's footsteps, Bill joined the U.S. Navy in 1940 at the age of 17 years old (his dad's "kid cruise" was in 1909). He received basic recruit training in Newport, and went to new construction (first and only opportunity), reporting aboard the USS LONG ISLAND (CVE-1) as part of Squadron VS-201. He broke in on "neutrality patrol" until December 7, 1941, at which time they left for the west coast. He never had an opportunity to leave the ship until September of 1942, when he put in for submarines. Bill flashed through Spritz's Navy, Submarine School and Torpedo School, and by Christmas of 1942, reported aboard the USS DOLPHIN (SS-169). This ship was originally built as the V-7 (SC-3) and was redesignated the DOLPHIN (SS-169). He served aboard the DOLPHIN until the old "D" was declared unsafe at any speed and was ordered to New London, Conn. Bill stayed on at Pearl Harbor where he found that the submarine USS GROWLER (SS-215) was in need of a good lookout. Luckily, he was hired, and even luckier, got off in time as the GROWLER was lost with all hands. In 1946, he was discharged from the Navy, but was recalled in 1949 (Korea) and was again discharged in 1951.
Bill married Rosa Fonseca in 1959 and in 1985 retired from the jewelery business. He is an active member of the Los Angeles Area "Diesel Boaters" Chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II.
Copyright (c)(c) 2003-4
The World War II
Submarine Veterans History Project
Coming Soon on Video
"The purpose and objective of the United States Submarine Service, known as the Silent Service, as to cut off all supplies to Japan, oil, rubber, tin and it was our purpose to cut that supply off."