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Ibea, Artemio Irujo

Name and Rank, Staff Sergeant Artemio Irujo Ibea.

Unit/Placed in, 978th Signal Service Company, United States Army


Ibea was being brought with the submarine USS Seawolf on a mission to drop Army personnel off at the east coast of Samara. The USS Seawolf was reportedly sunk on October 3, 1944, with all hands, by the USS Rowell (DE-403) north of the Philippines. The Rowell had mistook the Seawolf for a Japanese sub.


Artemio was born in The Philippines


And the Philippine Government kept no records, so there is now record of his Parents and Siblings.



Artemio entered  the service from California with service number # 39535788.


Artemio I. Ibea was a Staff Sergeant in the 978th Signal Service Company.


Artemio was KIA when the U.S.S. Seawolf was destroyed by a Depth Charge from the Destroyer USS Rowell who mistakes it for a Japanese Submarine on Oct. 3, 1944, he is honored with the Purple Heart Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal.

Artemio is buried at Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Metro Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines.

Walls of the Missing


Thanks to https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/wm128QD_USS_SEAWOLF_SS_197_Seawolf_Park_Galveston_TX

Jean Louis Vijgen, WW2-Pacific Website.

Air Force Info, Rolland Swank.

ABMC Website, https://abmc.gov

Marines Info, https://missingmarines.com/    Geoffrey Roecker

Seabees History Bob Smith  https://seabeehf.org/

Navy Info, http://navylog.navymemorial.org

POW Info, http://www.mansell.com    Dwight Rider and Wes injerd.

Philippine Info, http://www.philippine-scouts.org/ Robert Capistrano

National Historian

Navy Seal Memorial,  http://www.navysealmemorials.com

Family Info, https://www.familysearch.org

Info, https://www.pacificwrecks.com/

Medals Info, https://www.honorstates.org


Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com

Tank Destroyers, http://www.bensavelkoul.nl/


S/Sgt Ibea and the other men of the 978th Signal Service Company who boarded the USS Seawolf were specially trained in jungle survival and jungle warfare skills in Australia.  They were using the US Navy Submarine base as their departure point for insertion into the Philippines via submarine.

The 978th Signal Services Company was created to handle secret underground radio communication with the Philippines. It functioned as the net control station for all the Philippine traffic, operating both the radio station and message center, and sent secret “Mission Men” into the islands mainly to build and operate radio stations through which military intelligence would be sent into the islands prior to the invasions.  In essence they were a version of the OSS but handled entirely withing the Army.

On September 21, 1944, the Seawolf left Brisbane and arrived at the Manus Island submarine base on September 29, 1944, where she embarked a seventeen-man army reconnaissance party and supplies. After topping off her fuel, she sailed the same day to land them on Samar Island in the Philippines, north of General Douglas MacArthur’s planned invasion site on Leyte Island.

On October 3, 1944, the Seawolf exchanged recognition signals by radar with the USS Narwhal. Both boats were in a safety lane in which American surface forces were prohibited from attacking any submarine unless it was positively identified as an enemy.

Three hours later, one of the USS St. Lo’s aircraft sighted a submarine in the safety lane and dropped two bombs and dye marked its position as the boat submerged. The destroyer escort USS Rowell got to the scene and detected the submarine on sonar. The sonar operator reported his equipment was receiving signals consisting of long dots and dashes from the submarine. The Rowell’s commander dismissed these as an attempt to jam his sonar and pressed on with firing projector mortars. The Rowell reported, “Three explosions heard. Two large bubbles observed off port beam. Debris observed in the bubbels.

Four US submarines were in the safety lane at the time of these events. Urgent calls from the surface forces to the submarines to report their positions brought responses from three of them, but there was only silence from the Seawolf.  At that point it became obvious that the submarine the Rowell had sunk was the Seawolf and not the RO-41.

USS Seawolf (SS-197) Submarine
USS Richard M. Rowell (DE-403) Destroyer
His rank Staff Sergeant
His unit 978th Signal Service Company