20 August 2006

Arthur G. Newcomb

This is a message from Rhonda, who asked me to post her inquiry here.

I'm looking for relations of Arthur G. Newcomb. He was a sailor during WWII and listed his hometown as Los Angeles,CA. He also entered service from CA.


He was aboard the sub the USS Grunion when she disappeared on her maiden voyage in the Aleutians. It was last heard from in July 1942. the families weren't notified for about 2 months (for my own ancestor on the sub it came out in the papers on Sept 30 and Oct 1, 1942). Apparently they weren't declared dead until Aug 2, 1943. 70 men died on the submarine and nothing was ever known of it's possible fate until recently. Now a search is underway to find it by the sons of the commander and is thought to be found as of about 4 days ago. I heard from them 3 weeks ago and have joined the search underway to see if I can find others related to the sailors who died as I think it is exciting! I would also appreciate any leads on relatives of this man.

The government had his mother as Bertha T. Newcomb
US Veterans Administration, Los Angeles, CA, http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/ww2/navy-casualties/
Look for him in California and under "deaths." They aren't indexed but are alphabetical

Another person added this to my post on the rootsweb county board:
"Family members must have arranged a monument at the Los Angeles National Cemetery
Arthur G. Newcomb RM1 U.S. Navy
b. 20 Aug 1918 d. 2 Aug 1943 Interred 2 Aug 1943"

I had a relation that died on the ship also; and my grandmother always wondered what the story was because all they knew was that the Grunion disappeared on it's maiden voyage in the Aleutians. The rumor even went around that it was a cover up because they were sank by friendly fire. A few years ago, a Japanese researcher found in their records where one of their ships sank a sub off the island of Kiska in July 1942 and the only sub lost in the area at the time was the Grunion. There is a website www.ussgrunion.com It has updated info and pics about the search. Also links to many other pics of crewmembers (one pic is of the crewmembers and their wives at a party before they shipped out).

If you know of any close relations of his please contact me and/or give them the website and my email rrrstarATwmconnectDOTcom -replacing "AT" and "DOT" with the appropriate symbols of course.

Bruce Abele's email address can be accessed through the website -he is a son of of the sub's commander Mannart "Jim" Abele.


  1. We now know that Arthur G. Newcomb was actually Arthur Young, son of Arthur Young. His mother, Bertha, remarried to E.B. Newcomb. At some point Arthur took his stepfather's name. (Arthur had a sister, but we do not know if she also took the name Newcomb.) E.B. was Erwin Barrett Newcomb, whose first wife was Charlotte Mann (they were divorced). Erwin and Charlotte had a son, also named Erwin Barrett. Erwin and his second wife had two children that we know of, and at least one of them is still living, so we may get more information at some point. Thanks to Rhonda and Vicki for contributing so much effort to this research.

  2. The Erwin Barrett Newcomb that you refer to as being Arthur's stepfather, was in fact my grandfather. His first wife (Charlotte) passed away around 1965, don't recall the exact date at the moment. According to the research that I have done, my father always called himself Jr., was actually the III, and I am the IV. I am the youngest of three siblings of Erwin Barrett the III, (passed away in 1991). My mother was Ruth Lydick(passed away in 2005) His second wife (still living) had two children prior to the marriage, a daughter and a son. The daughter died at the age of twenty-one giving birth a son.

  3. I'm not a Newcomb, but spent my childhood living next to them in West Los Angeles. Major Newcomb was an extremely fine man. He received a field promotion from Gen Pershing in WWI. I was not aware he had been married before. Bertha and he had two more children, Carol and Fred. Mrs Newcomb already had Ginger and a daughter, Barbara. Carol (Newcomb) Day passed away in 2007, leaving two grown children and their familes. Carol too was a beautiful person in every way. Fred is living in So California. I think he's approx 81 years old. Major Newcomb helped to administer the running of the "Old Soldier's Home", first started in Maine. The facility in West Los Angeles was beautiful with a hospital, barracks, chapel, theater, etc. The large National Veteran's Cemetery adjoins the property. However, I don't think Major Newcomb was interred there. He passed away in the mid-sixties. I think he is in the Westwood Memorial Cemetery. I don't know if Fred is aware he has relatives in Maine, or where you live. It's amazing what's on the internet.


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