Last Update: November 10, 2020 November 10, 2020

A Tribute Honoring

Arizona World War II Submarine Veteran

Walter Clauser Bishop, RM2(SS)


Globe, Arizona


    Walter Clauser Bishop is an anomaly of those names listed on the plaque at the Arizona Silent Service Memorial.  He is the only Arizonan who lost his life on a submarine that sank before World War II. The incident happened on 17 December 1927 off of Cape Cod when the submarine, USS S-4 (SS-109) collided with the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, Paulding (CG-17).  Bishop was serving as a Radioman under the command of Lieutenant Commander R.K. Jones, USN. There were a total of 41 crewmembers on the S-4 at the time. The Evening Star newspaper of Washington, D.C. published an article about the incident on 19 December 1927.  That article included the bottom photograph shown and mentioned that Walter was one of six men who were featured in the near-full page article that described the incident.

    Walter Clauser Bishop was born on 18 September 1902 in Globe, Gila County, Arizona to Charles and Margaretta Louise "Gretta" Clouser Bishop.  At the time, Walter's father, Charles, was earning a living working as a miner at the copper mine. According to information posted on, Walter had two older sisters, Ruth Ann and Jeannette Clark.  Another son, Ottey Manley, was born to the couple in 1905.

    On 8 September 1926, Walter (age 24) married Dorothy Thelma Sparshott (age 19) of Washington, D.C.  According to the newspapers, Dorothy was living with her mother and step-father and raising her and Walter's 11 month old daughter, Dorothy Thelma, when the news of Walter's loss was learned. 

       As for Walter's military service, there is a paucity of information as to when he enlisted, where he received training, and how he became a submariner.  If anything, perhaps an inquiry to the Department of the Navy and/or the National  Archives for more information about his service. 

     His obituary reflects his being on the S-4 performing duties as a Radioman and his grave marker at Arlington Cemetery identifies his last rating and rank was Radioman first class petty officer. He was 25 years old at the time of his departure on Eternal Patrol.   

USS S-4 (SS-109)
Walter Bishop Grave Marker at Arlington The hull of the raised S-4 rests in dry dock.  A memorial to the S-4 crew.


     More information about USS S-4 (SS-109) loss and the names of its crewmembers can be found on the following links:

   Bishop's daughter, Dorothy Louise, married Edward John Irvin.  She died on 9 October 2019 while residing in Lexington, South Carolina. 


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Copyright © 2015 through 2020

Website developed and maintained by Ray Olszewski USS TUNNY (SSG-282) 1958-1962 Boat Yeoman YN1(SS) and IS1(SS) USSVI Life Member and Author of USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute and Memoir.