Walter Paul Schoeni, USN

Born  17 Mar 1908


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Ranks

1 Sep 1938 Lt.
15 Jun 1942 T/Lt.Cdr.
1 Nov 1942 T/Cdr.

Decorations

1 Feb 1944 Navy Cross (1)

Warship Commands listed for Walter Paul Schoeni, USN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
USS Bancroft (i) (DD 256)Lt.Destroyer31 May 19406 Jul 1940
USS S-33 (138)Lt.Submarinemid 194123 Jan 1943
USS Apogon (308)T/Cdr.Submarine16 Jul 194329 Aug 1944

Career information

Promoted to temporary rank of Commander ca. 1 November 1943 but seniority backdated to 1 November 1942.

Events related to this officer

Submarine USS S-33 (138)


7 Jul 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) departed from Dutch Harbour for her 1st offensive war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the western Aleutians.

S-33 had already made several defensive patrols in the Panama Canal Zone.

11 Aug 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) ended her 1st offensive war patrol at Dutch Harbour.

24 Aug 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) departed from Dutch Harbour for her 2nd offensive war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Adak and Kiska.

26 Sep 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) ended her 2nd offensive war patrol at Dutch Harbour.

15 Oct 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) departed from Dutch Harbour for her 3rd offensive war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Kiska.

11 Nov 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) ended her 3rd offensive war patrol at Dutch Harbour.

23 Nov 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) departed from Dutch Harbour for her 4th offensive war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Attu.

9 Dec 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) ended her 4th offensive war patrol at Dutch Harbour.

11 Dec 1942
USS S-33 (Lt. W.P. Schoeni) departed from Dutch Harbour bound for San Diego for an overhaul.


Submarine USS Apogon (308)


9 Aug 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) begins a period of trials and training off Portsmouth.

27 Aug 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed Portsmouth for Newport for torpedo trials.

30 Aug 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her torpedo trials completed USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed Newport for New London.

13 Sep 1943
With her initial trials and training completed USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from New London bound for the Panama Canal Zone.

21 Sep 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) arrived at Coco Solo.

25 Sep 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) transits the Panama Canal.

26 Sep 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from Balboa bound for Pearl Harbour.

11 Oct 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour. Voyage repairs were made during 11 to 15 October. On 16 October she commenced final training lasting till 31 October.

18 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed Pearl Harbour for exercises.

20 Oct 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. After a few hours in port she departed again for the exercise area.

22 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour.

23 Oct 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed Pearl Harbour for the exercise area.

24 Oct 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

25 Oct 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

27 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

28 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

30 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

31 Oct 1943
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. She then underwent a short repair period before proceeding on her 1st war patrol.

3 Nov 1943
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol the shipping lanes between Truk and Kwajalein.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Apogon during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

5 Nov 1943
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) refuels at Johnston Island.

13 Nov 1943
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) enters her patrol area.

14 Nov 1943 (position 8.12, 154.10)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) makes a torpedo attack on a Japanese convoy North-East of Truk in position 08°12'N, 154°10'E. All torpedoes fired missed their targets.

(All times zone L, -11)
1004 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 058°. Commenced approach.

1032 hours - Identified the targets as two merchant vessels. The were zig zagging on courses between 180 and 260°.

1059 hours - Sighted a Fubuki-class destroyer patrolling astern and on the quarters of the two merchant vessels.

1127 hours - Fired 6 torpedoes, three at each of the merchant vessels, thought to be of 7000 and 5200 tons. Range was 2100 and 2800 yards. Shortly after firing the leading merchant vessel (7000 tons) was seen to turn away and the destroyer closed so the torpedo wakes must have been sighted. Went deep.

1130 hours - Heard a torpedo explosion, possibly a hit on the second, smaller, merchant vessel.

1131 hours - The destroyer dropped the first pattern of depth charges (7 or 8). It was not close.

1140 hours - The destroyer dropped the second pattern of depth charges (8). They were closer than the first pattern.

1148 hours - The destroyer dropped the third pattern of depth charges, this pattern was even closer. The destroyer continued to make runs overhead but did not drop more depth charges.

1428 hours - Came to periscope depth. Sighted the destroyer bearing 180°, range about 6 nautical miles.

1455 hours - The destroyer was now out of sight.

1903 hours - Surfaced and sent a contact report.

25 Nov 1943 (position 7.38, 152.39)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) attacks a Japanese merchant vessel with 3 torpedoes about 30 nautical miles East-North-East of Truk in position 07°38'N, 152°39'E. A hit is claimed.

(All times zone L, -11)
0407 hours - SJ Radar contact bearing 054°, range 20300 yards. From range and size of the pip concluded that this must be a large target. Commenced approach.

0430 hours - Picked up the sound of heavy screws and one set of light fast screws. Target was now bearing 044°, range 8500 yards, speed 9.5 knots. Course was between 250 and 300° and the target was zig zagging.

0435 hours - Sighted smoke and then the target.

0450 hours - Fired 3 torpedoes at the target, now seen to be a 2500 tons merchant vessel. Range was 1800 yards.

0452 hours - Saw one of the torpedoes hit about 40 feet inside the bow of the target. Saw a red glow followed by a large cloud of grey smoke. The target was seen to swing about 100° to starboard. The sound picked up high speed screws verified by radar at a range of 3000 yards. The escort had evidently been on the opposite side of the target. Turned away and made off at speed on all 4 engines.

0455 hours - Heard 6 explosions, most likely depth charges.

0506 hours - Target was now at 9000 yards bearing 310°. She was still smoking but another attack was not possible due to the proximity of Truk and approaching daylight.

4 Dec 1943 (position 8.15, 159.06)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) torpedoed and sank the Japanese auxiliary gunboat Daido Maru (2962 GRT, built 1935) about 90 nautical miles north-east of Ponape in position 08°15'N, 159°06'E.

(All times zone L, -11)
1611 hours - SJ radar picked up a ship in the middle of a rain squall. Range 18200 yards, bearing 255°.

1613 hours - Sighted a ship in the rain squall.

1615 hours - Dived and commenced approach.

1630 hours - Sighted masts bearing 260°.

1650 hours - Sighted 2 merchant vessels both of about 3000 tons.

1722 hours - Sighted escort vessel patrolling astern and on quarters of the merchants.

1745 hours - Fired 3 torpedoes at the leading merchant vessel thought to be a naval auxiliary. Range was 1150 yards. Heard and saw 2 hits. The first hit seemed to blow off the stern, the second hit was near the foremast. Heard the escort speed up so went deep. The target was heard to sink.

1751 hours - Heard the first of a series of 16 depth charges being dropped. None were close.

1827 hours - The last depth charge was dropped.

1920 hours - Returned to 35 feet and did a radar sweep. Nothing in sight. Stayed submerged while reloading the torpedo tubes.

2100 hours - Surfaced.

In the patrol report of Apogon Lt.Cdr. Schoeni identifies this target as Daido Maru in which he was quite correct.

13 Dec 1943
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from her patrol area for Midway.

18 Dec 1943
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) ended her 1st war patrol at Midway. She commenced refit by USS Bushnell.

24 Dec 1943
While refitting at Midway after her 1st was patrol USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) is damaged when another vessel came alongside in rough weather. She had to be docked to repair damage to her port propeller, therefore she had to proceed to Pearl Harbour.

26 Dec 1943
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from Midway for Pearl Harbour.

31 Dec 1943
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) arrived at Pearl Harbour.

1 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) is docked at Pearl Harbour.

5 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) is undocked.

10 Jan 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed Pearl Harbour for the exercise area.

11 Jan 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

15 Jan 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 2nd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Mariana Islands area.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Apogon during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

19 Jan 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) arrived off Midway. Due to the rough weather she is unable to enter the harbour. The next day shows no improvement in the weather so Lt.Cdr. Schoeni decided to proceed to the patrol area without topping off with fuel and provisions.

30 Jan 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) arrived in her patrol area off Saipan.

1 Feb 1944 (position 14.40, 146.42)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) attacks a Japanese convoy about 60 nautical miles East-South-East of Saipan in position 14°40'N, 146°42'E. Two ships are claimed sunk. Nothing can be found in Japanese records substantiating this claim.

(All times are zone K, -10)
1907 hours (31 January) - SJ Radar contact bearing 317°, range 28000 yards. It was first thought to be land but it developed into a 6 ship convoy on a base course of 115°. As the moon was bright decided to track the convoy from about 16000 yards.

0005 hours (1 February) - The moon had set now and rain squalls made a dark night. Went to battle stations and commenced approach. The convoy was observed to be made up of 2 columns of 3 ships each. There were 3 escorts present.

0120 hours - Commenced approach from the port bow. The leading ship of the port column was observed to be a large ship. It was the plan to fire 3 torpedoes at the leading ship, 3 at the second, then swing round and fire 2 stern torpedoes at any target available.

0146 hours - In position 14°40'N, 146°42'E fired 3 torpedoes at the leading ship of the port column. Range was 2600 yards. Shortly before firing the convoy had zigged towards so Apogon had to retire at speed as not to be sighted.

0147 hours - The first torpedo was seen to hit the target resulting in a tremendous explosion. Apogon meanwhile passed 1000 yards ahead of the port escort. Swung around to put the second target astern.

0153 hours - Fired 4 stern torpedoes at the second ship of the port column. Range was 2700 yards. Apogon now went to flank speed to clear the area. One of the escorts dropped 14 depth charges in Apogons wake. 3 Minutes after firing the target fired a red flare. About 20 minutes later a tremendous explosion was seen in the area of this target.

0200 hours - One of the lookouts reported that the stern of the first target was sticking out of the water at a sharp angle. Lt.Cdr. Schoeni decided to track the convoy for a while and to attack submerged at dawn.

0530 hours - Dived and commenced approach.

0620 hours - Sighted smoke bearing 277°.

0644 hours - Sighted 3 merchant vessels and 3 escorts.

0730 hours - The leading escort was seen to hoist a 2 letter signal and gave zero angle on the bow. It appeared we had been sighted. Range was 2000 yards. Prepared 3 torpedoes for a down the throat shot on this escort, thought to be an Otori class torpedo boat.

0732 hours - Raised the periscope to find out that nothing could be seen due to the rain. When the rain cleared 10 minutes later it was seen that the convoy had turned away. The escort was seen 4000 yards away and was no longer in contact.

29 Feb 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from her patrol area.

9 Mar 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was escorted in by USS PC-578.

15 Mar 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) is docked at Pearl Harbour.

19 Mar 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) is undocked.

26 Mar 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed Pearl Harbour for the exercise area.

27 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

29 Mar 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. Later the same day she departed again for the exercise area.

31 Mar 1944
USS Apogon (Lt.Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returned to Pearl Harbour. She then underwent a short repair period before proceeding on her 3rd war patrol.

2 Apr 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 3rd war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Japanese home waters.

For the daily and attack positions of USS Apogon during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

4 Apr 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W. P. Schoeni, USN) refuels at Johnston Island.

4 Apr 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) topped up with fuel and provisions at Johnston Island.

5 Apr 1944
On board USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) a member of the crew is injured. Cdr. Schoeni decided to return to Johnston Island for medical treatment.

6 Apr 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) returns to Johnston Island to land the injured crewmember. A replacement is taken on board and Apogon is topped off with fuel again. She departed from after only 2.5 hours.

16 Apr 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) arrived in her patrol area.

15 May 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from her patrol area.

21 May 1944
At 1600 hours (zone -11), USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN), made rendez-vous with USS Burden R. Hastings (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Fay, USNR) that escorted her towards Majuro.

22 May 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Majuro.

8 Jun 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) conducted post refit trials of Majuro. Her port shaft showed excessive vibration. Inspection by divers showed one bent blade and one blade badly nicked. No drydock was available and the propeller was replaced while waterborne.

14 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) conducted exercises off Majuro.

15 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) conducted exercises off Majuro.

18 Jun 1944 (position 0.00, 0.00)
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) conducted exercises off Majuro.

19 Jun 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) departed from Majoro for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in Luzon Strait together with USS Thresher (Cdr. D.C. MacMillan, USN), USS Guardfish (Cdr. N.G. Ward, USN) and USS Piranha (Lt.Cdr. H.E. Ruble, USN).

Apogon was escorted out until 0300/20 by USS Cloues (Lt.Cdr. T.K. Dunstan, USNR).

For the daily and attack positions of USS Apogon during this patrol see the map below. As no deck log is available (for the moment) positions were taken from the patrol report. Unfortunately the patrol report does not give daily noon positions.

12 Jul 1944 (position 19.51, 123.04)
While attacking a Japanese convoy off the north coast of Luzon, Philippines, USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) is damaged when she is rammed by (most likely) the Japanese merchant Mayasan Maru in position 19°11'N, 122°38'E. Apogon is forced to terminate her patrol.

The convoy attacked was made up of the landing craft depot and repair ship Tamatsu Maru (9589 GRT, built 1943), the army cargo ships / merchants Kashii Maru (6825 GRT, built 1936), Tozan Maru (6500 GRT, built 1938), Nissho Maru (6526 GRT, built 1939), Mayasan Maru (9433 GRT, built 1942), Mizuho Maru (8506 GRT, built 1912), Arabia Maru (9480 GRT, built 1918) and the tanker Nichiran Maru (6503 GRT, built 1939). They were escorted by the corvettes Kaibokan 11, Kaibokan 20, Kaibokan 26 and Kaibokan 28 and submarine chaser Ch-28 (all offsite links).

(All times are zone I, -9)
11 July 1944
2239 hours - Received a convoy report from USS Thresher. Set course to intercept.

2314 hours - In position 19°51'N, 123°04'E made SJ contact bearing 273°, range 29800 yards. Went to full speed on all four engines to get ahead and cross to the starboard flank.

2345 hours - Guardfish reported she was also in contact.

12 July 1944
0046 hours - Sighted ship bearing 270°, range 8500 yards. This ship was about 5 nautical miles ahead of the convoy and was first thought to be Thresher. When range was closed to 6900 yards it was seen to be an escort vessel. Opened out the range.

0207 hours - Received orders for a coordinated attack on the convoy.

0227 hours - Reversed course for an approach on the convoy. Dived 17000 yards ahead of the convoy as there were two escorts.

0240 hours - Passed submerged between the two escorts that were heard pinging. The convoy could now be seen to be in three columns. The port column was seen to contain three merchant vessels as was the centre column. Apogon was dead ahead of the starboard column that contained two merchants. Planned to fire 6 bow torpedoes at the leading ship in the centre column and then fire the stern tubes at the starboard column.

0255 hours - Swung right for the attack on the centre column.

0304 hours - In position 19°11'N, 122°38'E commenced firing 6 bow torpedoes from 2000 yards. No explosions were heard after the expected running range. Shortly afterwards 3 explosions were heard with 8 to 10 second intervals. It was thought possible that hits were obtained in the far port column.

One of the merchants in the centre column must have seen the periscope as he had turned towards and was now very close. Apogon went deep but none the less she was rammed. Water entered the conning tower through the periscope and the SJ mast fitting. A few seconds later the first of seven depth charges went off. The first two were very close. Apogon went as deep as 430 feet. Despite 4 escorts in the area she managed to slip away.

Repairs were done during the day and Apogon surfaced at 2042 hours when it was found that all periscopes and the radar mast were bent at an angle of 47°. Patrol had to be abandoned and coourse was set towards Pearl Harbour.

19 Jul 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) set course towards Midway as one of her crew suffered from appendicitis.

22 Jul 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) makes a short call at Midway for some minor repairs and medical examination of a crewmember.

26 Jul 1944
USS Apogon (Cdr. W.P. Schoeni, USN) ended her 4th war patrol at Pearl Harbor. She was escorted in by USS PC 1080. She then underwent battle damage repairs at the Pearl Harbour Navy Yard as of July 30th.


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