A TRIBUTE TO BILL HAGENDORN
Many dedicated US Submarine men have contributed their time, skills and talents to enhance our meetings and conventions. Bill Hagendorn produced a series of very colorful banners and it was deemed appropriate that his efforts should be recorded and displayed on this website. He took a photograph of each one of his banners and offered them for conversion and display.
I thought they were great. Hope you do too.
ABOUT BILL HAGENDORN
Following in his father's footsteps, Bill "Radar" Hagendorn joined the Navy in 1940 at 17 years of age. He took his boot training at Newport, Rhode Island and went to the new USS LONG ISLAND (CVE-1) squadron VS-201. His initial experience was on the "neutrality patrol" until December 7, 1941. At that time they sailed for the West Coast. He never had an opportunity to leave the ship until September of 1942. It was then; he volunteered for submarine duty.
Bill attended Sub School, Torpedo School and Spritz's Navy, and by Christmas of 1942, reported aboard the USS DOLPHIN.
Later while at Pearl Harbor, Bill found the USS GROWLER was in need of a good lookout. Luckily, he was hired, and even luckier, got off before the GROWLER was lost.
In 1946, he was discharged, but was recalled in 1949 and again discharged in 1951.
He has been active in the US Submarine Veterans of WWII for many years.
THE STORY BEHIND THE 52 BANNERS
By: Bill Hagendorn, ex Torpedoman, Growler and Dolphin
It began when I attended the National Convention of US Submarine Veterans of WW II in Hartford, Connecticut in 1982. At any convention there is always a very large hospitality room where everyone can socialize. There are dozens of round tables with room for eight or more men. Each boat stakes out a table by placing a sign in the center; usually the sign is a replica of their Battle Flag, all very colorful.
When I found the table where former shipmates were sitting, I was surprises that the GROWLER sign was nothing more than a piece of manila folder paper with the name "GROWLER" written on it and done with a ball-point pen, not very classy.
I thought that we could do much better so I painted a banner for the next convention. However a close friend and Past National President asked if I would paint one for him with the name of his boat, USS GRENADIER (SS-210). Sure, why not? Then another close friend asked if I would make one for the USS TANG (SS-306), what could I say, of course!
However the requests kept coming. I decided that I would make one for each lost boat, 52 banners in all.
Since then the banners have been displayed at all the conventions that I have attended and at most all GROWLER reunions all over the USA. They have been in parades and in newspaper stories. They were painted with ordinary paint that I had in my garage and not special artists paint. They have been painted on light canvas then backed with black cloth to give them a professional look.
Up to that time I had never painted anything at all except navy painting aboard ship, nor have I painted anything since.
Each banner is one foot wide by three feet long.