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"No man was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave." -- Calvin Coolidge

Squire Boone Zane

Water Tender 1st Class Squire Boone Zane, U.S.N., circa 1941. Courtesy of his nephew, Roland Zane Unangst Squire B. Zane, Water Tender, First Class, U.S. Navy, 03418739, United States Navy. Entered the Service from Kansas. Died: December 29, 1941. Missing in Action or Buried at Sea. Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. Awards: Purple Heart.

Photo at right:

Water Tender 1st Class Squire Boone Zane, U.S.N., circa 1941.

Courtesy of his nephew, Roland Zane Unangst.


USS Canopus (AS-9), with the Asiatic Fleet's Submarine Squadron Five alongside, during the 1930s. 

The submarines present include (from left to right): S-37 (SS-142); S-40 (SS-145); S-36 (SS-141); S-38 (SS-143); S-41 (SS-146); S-39 (SS-144).

US National Archives photo # 80-G-1014615, a US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Squire Boone Zane's ship, the USS Canopus (AS-9), with the Asiatic Fleet's Submarine Squadron Five alongside, during the 1930s. The submarines present include (from left to right): S-37 (SS-142); S-40 (SS-145); S-36 (SS-141); S-38 (SS-143); S-41 (SS-146); S-39 (SS-144). US National Archives photo # 80-G-1014615, a US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Submarines to Corregidor: A history by Edward C. Whitman.

The Western Star, January 16, 1942.


Squire Zane, who formerly lived in Protection and who for several years has been in the U.S. Navy, last week was reported killed in action near the Phillipine Islands. The date was not given. Mrs. Zane and three children recently moved to Protection from California. Mr. Zane was serving on a supply ship. He is the first man from Comanche county in the country's armed forces to be reported killed since war was declared. (sic - Canopus was a submarine tender, not a supply ship.) (SB)

The Western Star , March 20, 1942.

(excerpt): "...Squire Boone Zane of Protection, who was killed in action by the Japs on December 7 while serving on a mine tender off the Philippines." (sic - Canopus was a submarine tender, not a mine tender.) (SB)

Thanks to Everett Perry, who has an excellent website about the USS CANOPUS, for the following information about Squire B. Zane.

Ref: Muster Roll of the Crew, USS CANOPUS, Changes for the month ending December 1941.
Zane, Squire B., SN 341 87 39, WT1c
Date of enlistment: 10/19/39, Kansas City, Mo.
Died December 29, 1941: Killed in action during enemy air attack. Body is interred in Mariveles Bay, Philippine Islands.

USS CANOPUS WAR DIARY, 29 December 1941:
  • 1158 Air raid sirens sounded.
  • 1201 Enemy planes started bombing Corregidor and nearby ships, using loose and irregular formations at high altitudes. Considerable A.A. fire was noted, with some bursts fairly close, but usually slightly behind. About 72 enemy bombers altogether were counted during the day, and numerous fires were seen on Corregidor and nearby ships.
  • 1345 Nine enemy heavy bombers passed over CANOPUS approaching from WSW where camouflage was not effective, and dropping pattern of bombs which straddled the ship. Did not fire A.A. battery because of extreme altitude and previous instructions. Some fragments from near misses landed on the deck, and one armor-piercing bomb made a direct hit aft on the center line, penetrating all decks and exploding on top of shaft alley casing where it opened up after magazines and bulged upward the decks through which it had passed. Shaft alley casing was blown in, and steering engine, steam and hydraulic lines ruptured. One bearing cap was blown off the propeller shaft and flood lines to the magazines were ruptured. Six men were killed and six wounded by fragments; burning or shock in the after dressing station, shaft alley and engine room. Fires were started in or near the powder magazines, sail locker , adjacent store rooms and the supply office on the main deck.
  • 1347 Started flooding all after magazines, but water dropped through damaged areas and flooding was slow. Secured shaft alley watertight doors in order to flood entire section by filling shaft alley. Several minor explosions occurred while fighting fires and it was later found that several rounds of 3" and 4" ammunition had exploded, but these rounds had been thrown clear of the magazines by the bomb explosion, and it is considered probable that a general magazine explosion at this time was prevented by steam which filled the damaged area from the ruptured steering engine lines, and by automatic flooding from ruptured magazine flood lines. Fire fighting was difficult because part of the Rescue Breathing Apparatus was stowed near scene of the explosion, and could not be reached, leaving only two sets available, and boilers were secured until ruptured steam lines could be isolated. Bucket brigades and gasoline handy- billies were used until the fire main was again in service. About four hours were required to completely extinguish all fires.
  • 1540, 1643 Air raid alarms. No attacks.
  • 1715 Fires caused by bomb extinguished.


A former sailor living in Mexico, the Old Gringo was on board CANOPUS during this attack. He had just arrived on CANOPUS the month prior to the bombing but he always wanted to be a submariner, not on a tender taking care of submarines. According to the Old Gringo, when the bomb exploded, it was like the entire ship just raised up out of the water about 10 feet. The explosion destroyed the shipís office as well, so he just went in and filled out the proper paperwork and transfered himself to one of the nearby submarines where he always wanted to be stationed. He spent the rest of the war and an entire Naval career thereafter on submarines.


It was hoped that at Mariveles Bay, on the tip of Bataan, being close to the guns of Corregidor, Canopus would be immune to air attacks, although some misgivings were felt on that score when we found a bombed and burning merchant ship in the harbor, and learned that this was the result of a light hearted Japanese Christmas eve celebration. However, with high hopes , we moored the ship to the shoreline in Lilinbon cove, a protected cove, and again spread our camouflage nets overhead. This time, the object was to make the ship look like part of the jungle foliage ashore, and we succeeded very well by using a mottled green paint, with plenty of tree branches tied to the masts and upper works. Unfortunately, a rock quarry nearby had made a white gash in the cliff, and from one direction, this made a background which it was impossible to match. We could only hope the Jap scouting planes would not happen to snap any candid camera shots from that particular direction.

Disillusionment of both these hopes was not slow in coming. On December 29th, our daily visitors, evidently deciding that Manila had been adequately taken care of, turned their attention toward us. Squadron after endless squadron showed their contempt for the guns of Corregidor by blasting that island from end to end, and the last group of the day, as if by an afterthought, a squadron of nine heavy bombers wheeled in from that fatally exposed direction for a high altitude attack and blanketed the Canopus with a perfectly placed pattern of 36 bombs.

Tied up as she was, and unable to dodge, it seemed a miracle that only one of the closely bunched rain of missiles actually struck the ship, but that one bomb nearly ended our career then and there. It was an armor-piercing type which went through all the shipís decks, and exploded on top of the propeller shaft under the magazines, blowing them open, and starting fires which threatened to explode the ammunition. Six sailors were killed and six more wounded.

Disaster and danger are the great touchstones which bring out the true quality in men, and those sailors never faltered. Hardly had the rain of rocks thrown from craters in the nearby hillside subsided when fire fighting crews had jumped to their work. The Executive Officer, Lt. Cdr. "Hap" Goodall, organized one party on deck, which attacked the blaze from above. They found smoke pouring from ammunition scuttles leading to the magazines below, and directed their hose streams down the hatches, unmindful of ominous detonations below which told them the magazines might blow them up at any moment. Gunnerís Mate Budzaj even climbed down a smoke-filled ammunition trunk with a hose in an effort to get at the bottom of the blaze. When the fire pumps failed for a few minutes, bucket brigades carried on the battle.

In the meantime, below decks, Lt. Cdr. "Al" Hede had organized another fire party which tackled the problem by carrying their hoses through choking smoke in thecompartments near the magazines, pulling wounded and dying men away from the blasted areas where they had fallen. Most of the oxygen type breathing apparatus had been cut off by the explosion, but Shipfitter Cambron donned the one remaining outfit, and carried the hose right down to the magazines, backed up by his shipmates working in relays, each of which stayed as long as men could stand the fumes.

Our fighting Chaplain McManus led a rescue group into the engine room, where fragments and escaping steam had caused the most casualties, administering last rites to dying men and helping to evacuate the injured to makeshift dressing stations.

The officers in charge of the engine room, Machinist Hutchison and Electrician Hall, had both been badly wounded by the first blast, but the Chief Machinistís Mate left in charge shut off the steam at the boilers until severed steam pipes could be isolated, thus saving more of his men from being scalded to death. He then helped the wounded to safety , and was later found wandering around dazed, having no recollection of what happened after the blast!

Four hours the devoted crew fought before all fires were finally out. When the magazines were examined, several crushed and exploded powder charges were found, mute evidence showing how close to complete destruction the ship and all on board had been. Nothing less than a miracle could have prevented a general magazine explosion at the time the bomb set off those powder charges, but miracles do happen. The engine of destruction had carried its own antidote, and its fragments which severed pipes near the magazines had released floods of steam and water at the danger point, automatically keeping fire away from the rest of the powder. Our numbers just werenít quite up that day.

In the months to follow, our crew could never quite believe, until the battered hull finally slipped to its last rest beneath the waves, that somehow the old girl would not manage to pull through, as she had that day, and take them all out to rejoin the Fleet. That same night, up went the "Business as usual" sign, and repairmen went to work binding up the Old Ladyís wounds, at the same time others were busy servicing submarines.

for 29 December 1941, 1600-2000 watch.
1715 The below named men were killed in action and buried at sea this date:
  • CHANEY, G.R., 287 46 13, F3c, USN;
  • CLAFFEY, C.P., 328 77 25, F3c USN;
  • REX, W.H., 243 55 03, F1c USN;
  • SIMPSON, A.K., 261 86 15, PhM1c USN;
  • THUMME, A.J. 385 65 07, CM2c USN;
  • ZANE, S.B. 341 87 39, WT1c, USN.
The Muster Roll of the Crew, notes the burial at sea was in Mariveles Bay, Philippine Islands. (I can tell you the approximate location of the burial at sea. The CANOPUS was moored to the shoreline in Caracol Cove, which is in Lillimbon Cove in Mariveles Bay. Check a detailed map of Mariveles Bay at the tip of Bataan Penninsula.)

The following six men were injured during the bombing attack of 29 December 1941 and were transferred to base hospital (Section Base at Mariveles):

  • V. D. HALL, Electrician, USN, Diagnosis: Burns over face and extremities and wounds of shrapnel in leg.
  • FRANCE, K.C. MM1c, 382 09 15, USN, Diagnosis: burns. Machinist France survived the bombing only to be killed on August 24, 1944, when the unmarked Hell Ship Arisan Maru was torpedoed by an American submarine.
  • HUTCHISON, W.A., Machinist USN, Diagnosis: burns, laceration over left eye.
  • HASKELL, J.P. 201 29 87, MM1c USN, Diagnosis: Burns, lacerations, fracture, compound of left leg. Haskell survived the bombing but died in the Philippines in a Prisoner of War Camp on April 3, 1945.
  • LAFORET, M. J. 201 82 78, F3c, Diagnosis: Burns, laceration over left eye.
  • MELVIN, L.R., F2c, Ser. No. unknown, USN, Diagnosis: Burns.

Evening: Made oral report to Comsubs Asiatic Fleet and Commandant 16th Naval Dist., later supplemented by written report to Com16 (the Action Report for the day). Three officers and two men were later recommended for citations during the response related to the bombing and the resultant fires and damage control activities. Received verbal orders from Com16. to remove all nonessential personnel ashore, but continue manning 3" A.A. battery on board. CANOPUS placed under command of Com16, and commander, Mariveles area (Capt. Dessez) by verbal instructions of Comsubs Asiatic Fleet.

That same night CANOPUS hung out the "Business as Usual" sign, and gutsy commanders of the submarines S-36, S-39, STURGEON, PERMIT and STINGRAY entered Manila Bay, dodging the Japanese destroyers pinging on the surface, carefully maneuvering the mine fields at the entrance to Manila Bay, then enetering Mariveles Bay for fueling and services alongside CANOPUS. When they departed they took out spare submarine personnel and others as passengers when they got underway for safer southern waters. However, as late as January 28, the submarine SEAWOLF delivered mail and some supplies after tying up alongside CANOPUS. On 23 February, the SWORDFISH entered the North Channel of Corregidor delivering mail and took out critical personnel. As late as the 15th of March 1942, the submarine USS PERMIT came in for servicing. That was CANOPUS last sight of any of her brood of submarines.

WAR NEWS BULLETIN: Today, Corregidor, in the Phillipine Islands, was bombed for first time by Japanese aircraft. United States naval vessels damaged: Submarine tender CANOPUS (AS-9), by horizontal bomber, Philippine Islands area, 14 d. 25' N., 120 d. 20' e."

Obituary of Squire Boone Zane, Jr., died 2 July 2003   (excerpt) "Squire Boone Zane, 64, of Fall River, father of Ron Zane of Valley Center, died July 2, 2003. Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and service is at 10 a.m. Saturday, both at Timmons Funeral Home. Burial will be at Whitehall Cemetery. He was born Jan. 24, 1939, in Des Moines, Iowa, the son of Squire Boone Zane Sr. and Aelzene Lawrence. He served in the U.S. Army. He retired in 2001 after 30 years as a heavy equipment operator for local union 101. He married Bernadine Schlicher on Jan. 12, 1968, in Wichita. She survives."

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Thanks to Everett Perry, who has an excellent website about the USS CANOPUS, for the above information about Squire B. Zane.

Thanks also to Shirley Brier for transcribing and contributing the above Comanche County, Kansas, news articles!

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