Last Update: November 19, 2020

A Tribute Honoring

Arizona World War II Submarine Veteran

Walter Frederick Miller, Jr., SN


Tucson, Arizona

    Walter Fred Miller, Jr. was born on 13 October 1921 in Tucson, Arizona to Walter Frederick and Sibyl Mary Norvell Miller.  Walter Senior was earning a living as an Immigration Inspector for the U.S. Government at the time.  Walter Junior was the youngest and only son that was born. He had two older sisters, Marilyn Olive and Dorothy Lorraine.



   Navy Muster Reports show that Walter Junior enlisted in the Navy as a Reservist on 5 January 1942 in Los Angeles, California. On 14 March 1942, he was received on board the minelaying submarine USS Argonaut (SM-1). The Argonaut had earlier returned to Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii from its 1st war patrol on 22 January 1942 and was preparing to depart on a special mission carrying over 100 marines along with her sister submarine, USS Nautilus (SS-168). On 17 August 1942, the two sister submarines delivered a total of 252 marines on Makin Island on 17 August 1942 and returned with those who survived the mission to Pearl Harbor. Argonaut was redesignated from an SM-1 to an APS-1 (Troop Transport) and was reassigned to Brisbane, Australia. Sometime in December 1942, Argonaut with a crew of 102 men departed Brisbane on its 3rd combat war patrol under the command of Lieutenant Commander John Reeves Pierce, USN. On or about 10 January 1943, the Argonaut and its crew were lost resulting from a surface and depth charge attack by Japanese Navy ships near Bougainville Island.


Ship's Patch USS Argonaut (SM-1/APS-1) Argonaut Crew Argonaut Loss Location


  More information about Argonaut and the names of its crewmembers, go to the following link:


     At the time this photograph was taken, Seaman First Class Walter Frederick Miller, Jr. was on board the Argonaut which had made the successful delivery of marines on Makin Island.  This rare photograph was provided by Captain John Taylor Pierce, USN (Retired), son of John Reeves Pierce published in USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute, and Memoir authored by former USS Tunny (SSG-282) crewmember, Raymond Vance Olszewski.

  The source of the above plaque is
   Of further note, the USS Argonaut was never officially assigned the hull number designation SS-166.  See:


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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.