Two members of the Submarine Community, with special places from the history of the Submarine Force, passed away earlier this year. THE SUBMARINE REVIEW is privileged to offer here the obituaries of Mrs. Martha Greenfield and Captain Harry Caldwell both to honor them individually and also as representatives of several groups within the heart of the community. Martha Grenfell was a Navy Wife in the finest sense of the title, and for the longest portion of her married life she was a caring and committed Submarine Wife. She represented all the women who work so hard to maintain their families and their communities while their husbands man the submarines so vital to our nation’s security. She knew of the burdens faced at every level; her husband was a wartime skipper and later, as an Admiral, he became the Commander of both the Pacific and Atlantic Submarine Forces. She is remembered especially as a Founder of the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation.
Captain Harry H. Caldwell represented the professional submariners of the World War II and post- War years. As with most of that generation, his sea stories were genuine legends, and as plentiful as one could want. He was in DACE for the action with DARTER (SS 227) off Palawan in the lead up to the Battle leukocyte Gulf when the two boats caught the Japanese main battle Oeet heading for the site of the US landings. They sank two cruisers and heavily damaged a third. DARTER ran hard aground trying an end around to catch more of the enemy force and DACE came in to pick up the entire DARTER crew in the midst of the action. Harry served on several submarines after the war, and was Repair Officer at Subase, New London and all those tours provided more stories. Just a few years ago he was an Editor of the book United States Submarines, published by the Naval Submarine League. In that book he wrote the story of his father, who was the US Navy’s first submarine skipper. Twenty seven year old Lt Harry H. Caldwell took command of HOLLAND when it was taken into the Navy. That was just one of the truly unique aspects of Harry’s association with the Submarine Force.
Martha Fronk Lindsey Grenfell, 92, passed away peacefully on July 26, 2008, in Virginia Beach, VA. Mrs. Grenfell founded the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation in 1960 when her husband, VADM Elton W. (Joe) Grenfell was COMPLAISANT.
She was born in 1915 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, a state so new to statehood that her birth certificate still read “Territory of Oklahoma”. In 1920 her family moved to Honolulu, where her father, Dr. Clarence Fronk, an Army surgeon, was stationed at Tripler Army Hospital.
Mrs. Grenfell’s first husband, Eugene E. Lindsey, was a Lt(jg) when they married. He later was the Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron Six from USS ENTERPRISE against the Japanese fleet at Mid way and was lost on June 4, 1942. The young widow then met and married Commander Joe Grenfell, who had commanded USS GUDGEON (SS 211 ), the first submarine to leave on combat patrol after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mrs. Grenfell took a lifelong active interest in the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation and watched it grow from one $350 scholarship in 1961 to the current 137 awards of $3,400 each per year. Her family requested that memorial donations be made to the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation, www.dolphin scholarship.org. Obituary by Mrs. Randi Klein, Exec. Dir. , DSF Captain Harry H. Caldwell USN (Ret.)
Harry H. Caldwell, 86, passed away on July 8, 2008. His home al the time was in Saga more, Massachusetts. Harry was born in Hemp stead, NY on April 11, 1922 and was raised in New York City. His father was a retired naval officer who had graduated from the Naval Academy in 1891. Harry worked for Electric Boat Company for a year before entering Annapolis himself in 1940. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1943 with the Class of ’44 and went directly to Submarine School thence to the Pacific in DACE (SS 247). He married Mary Deane Hilliker in 1948.
In 1946 and 47 Harry was assigned to USS RENNET (SS 408) for Operation High Jump in the Antarctic. He went on to command USS SPIKEFISH (SS 404), SubDiv 22 and a fleet oiler. He served with the US Naval Forces, Europe and commanded the Fleet Training Center in Newport, R.L Harry retired from the Navy in 1973 and worked for General Dynamics in Groton for several years. He was also active in municipal affairs at his home in East Lyme, CT.
Harry is survived by his wife of 60 years, two daughters, a son and seven grandchildren. The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Submarine Force Library and Museum Association.