The USS SC-1048 was a SC-497 Class Submarine Chaser like the SC-654. I have already covered many of the particulars about this type on SC-654’s page and so won’t go into them here.
According to Navsource.org, the SC-1048 was “laid down on April 28th, 1942 as PC-1048 by Ventnor Boat Works Inc., West Atlantic City, NJ, launched December 12th, 1942, and reclassified SC-1048 and commissioned 9 April 1943”. Her crew rosters, however, show that her crew were assigned as early as December 10th at which time she was already designated as SC-1048.
It’s not clear exactly what SC-1048 was doing between the time she was commissioned and the time she reached the area. It is known that on October 3rd, SC-1048, under the command of Lieutenant (USNR) Joseph L. Hoguet (profiled below), sailed from Pago Pago, American Samoa for Noumea, New Caledonia in the company of SC-1047, LST-206 and LST-207 and arrived October 10th, 1943.
They departed Noumea on October 18th, sailing independently for Suva, Fiji, arriving the afternoon of October 22nd, 1943, and then heading out for Nandi the same day and arriving on the 23rd.
She spent the next few weeks escorting various vessels into and out of Suva and Nandi, and even back over to Noumea.
They had only arrived back in Suva at 1708 on November 11th and the following morning were ordered to proceed from Suva to assist in the search for the survivors of the Cape San Juan.
SC-1048's crew of 21 at the time of the incident consisted of:
In addition to Captain Hoguet, SC-1048's officers included Lieutenant J.H. Meister as Executive Officer and Ensign E.F. Kulakowski, both USNR.
Unlike the SC-654 and YMS-241, there was at least a war diary for the SC-1048 on Fold3.com, and although hand-written, it describes their part in the events in fairly good detail. Note that due to the Cape San Juan getting torpedoed so close to the International Dateline, to those on the Cape they considered the ship was hit on the 11th, but the naval forces based around Fiji considered it the 12th.
Friday 12 November, 1943
00-04 Moored portside to USS YMS 196 Kings Wharf, Suva Viti Levu Fiji Is. Main engines secured – generator furnishing ships power. - J.H. Meister, Lieut. USNR
04-08 Moored as before. 0725 underway in accordance with CNAS Fiji secret orders 11845/Nov 43 to position 22° 11’ S x 178° 03’ W. 0735 cleared nets. 0750 Set course 127°Rel, speed 1100 RPM. - J.H. Meister, Lieut. USNR
Position at 0800: 178° E, 18° S
08-12 Steaming as before on course 127° psc at 1100 RPM’s. - C.W. Sprague, CBM USNR
Position at 1200: 178° E, 19° S
12-16 Steaming as before on course 127° psc at 1100 RPM’s. - J.H. Meister, Lieut. USNR
16-20 Steaming as before on base course 127° psc at 1100 RPM’s.1637 Commenced drills. 1644 Secured from drills. - E.F. Kulakowski, Ensign USNR
Position at 2000: 179° E, 20° S
20-24 Steaming as before on base course 127° psc at 1100 RPM’s. 2015 c/c to 134° psc. 2025 c/c to 138° psc. - C.W. Sprague, CBM USNR
Saturday 13 November, 1943
00-04 Steaming as before on course 138° psc at 1100 RPM’s. Independently enroute Suva to position 22° 11’ S x 178° 03’ W. 0140 c/c to 120° psc. 0320 Sound contact 000° Rel. 0325 Contact false 125° psc at 1100 yds. - J.H. Meister, Lieut. USNR
04-08 Steaming as before on base course 120° psc at 1100 RPM’s. 0555 c/c to 144° psc. 0630 Sighted smoke c/c to 165° psc. 0727 Sighted mast bearing 280° T. 0732 c/c to 150° psc. 0735 Torpedoed ship abeam to stb’d 500 yards. 0738 Aircraft bearing 270° T. 0755 Put boarding party aboard ship. - E.F. Kulakowski, Ensign USNR
Position at 0800: 178° W, 22° S
08-12 Patrolling around torpedoed ship SS Cape San Juan. 0830 Put second boarding party aboard ship. - J. L. Hoguet, Lieutenant, USNR
Position at 1200: 178° W, 22° S
12-16 Steaming on various courses and speeds standing by wreck. 1300 tow line aboard. 1325 Commenced towing at 400 RPM’s. 1345 tow line parted. 1400 Patrolling as before at 850 RPM’s. - J.H. Meister, Lieut. USNR
Note that this would indicate SC-1048 was the vessel that attempted to tow the Cape San Juan.
16-20 On various courses and speeds patrolling about wreck. 1605 Put burial party aboard SS Cape San Juan. 1700 left wreck on course 140° T 800 RPM’s. - E.F. Kulakowski, Ensign USNR
Position at 2000: 178° W, 23° S
According to the Fiji Base War Diary; “Officers and crew members of the U.S.S. SC 1048, who boarded the ship the day after the torpedoing, reported finding six bodies laid out on starboard side near No. 2 hatch, who appear to have suffered violent deaths. The bodies were weighted, funeral services were held by commanding officer, U.S.S. SC 1048 [Hoguet], and burial at sea accomplished. They also reported that No. 2 and No. 3 holds were flooded and No. 4 and No. 5 holds on fire. Also reported a number of bullet and shrapnel holes in smoke stack and bridge superstructure. The holes ranged in size from one-half inch to four inches in diameter and were jagged.”
The six casualties were all from the 855th and the details are provided in that section.
20-24 Steaming as before. 2000 c/c to 180° T. 2130 c/c to 256° Psc. 2230 c/c to 286° Psc. - J.H. Meister, Lieut. USNR
Sunday 14 November, 1943
00-04 Steaming on course 286° psc all engines ahead 800 RPM patrolling & looking for survivors of SS Cape San Juan. - J. L. Hoguet, Lieutenant, USNR
04-08 Changed base course to 290° psc 800 RPM’s. 0500 c/c to 268° psc. 0507 c/c to 308° psc. 0525 c/c to 351° psc c/s to 1000 RPM’s. 0530 Sighted ships bearing 045° 060° 000° Relative. 0605 SS Cape San Juan sank L 22° S Longitude, 178° 19’ W. 0630 c/s to 800 RPM’s c/c to 298° psc. 0635 c/s to 950 RPM’s. 0643 c/s to 1000 RPM’s. 0645 c/s to 1100 RPM’s c/c to 312° psc. 0655 c/s to 1082 RPM’s. 0705 c/s to 1020 RPM’s. 0715 c/s 880 RPM’s. 0750 c/s to 820 RPM’s. - E.F. Kulakowski, Ensign USNR
Position at 0800: 178° W, 22° S
08-12 Steaming as before on course 312° Psc at 820 RPM’s. 0940 c/s to 810 RPM’s. 1000 c/s to 800 RPM’s. 1015 c/c 250° PSC c/s to 1150 RPM’s returning to area to continue search for survivors. 1045 c/c to 140°(T) c/s to 1020 RPM’s. - J.H. Meister, Lieut. USNR
Position at 1200: 178° W, 21° S
According to the Fiji Base War Diary; “1055. USS SC 1048 was ordered to assist in hunter killer operations in cooperation with Catalina aircraft.”
SC 1048 spent Monday November 15th steaming amongst the wreckage looking for any remaining survivors (apparently they found none) and trying to collect lifesaving equipment. I found it interesting that even though McCalla, Dempsey, YMS-241 and SC-654 had picked up all the survivors the day before, the area was still swept several times to make sure no one was left behind.
They took several lifeboats in tow, but then one capsized. They expended two magazines of 20mm ammunition to sink it (indicating they had the upgrade from .50cal to 20mm). They cast off the remaining three boats. They later found one of the motor whale boats, but do not specify what they did with it. After midnight, they started their return to Suva.
According to the Fiji Base War Diary, on Tuesday November 16th; “1725. USS SC 1048 returned to Suva from rescue work in connection with the sinking of SS Cape San Juan.”
Also, at “2018. All ships engaged in search for survivors of SS Cape San Juan were ordered to return to respective bases. Hunter-killer operations are still in effect.”
As detailed below, Hoguet left the SC-1048 soon thereafter. SC-1048 continued to operate in the area under the command of her former XO, J.H. Meister, followed by a series of other men. Her exact fate is not known, although Navsource.org states that she was “struck from the Naval Register on January 3rd, 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission on November 10th, 1946”.
He was one of eight children from a large Roman Catholic family. He had four brothers; Robert Louis Hoguet Jr. (1908-1993), Henry Louis Hoguet (1910-1980), and twins James Dominic Hoguet (1914-1937) and Peter W Hoguet (1914-1996). He had three sisters; Louise Lynch McKeon (1917-1993), Eleanor de Give (1918-2009) and Marie Lynch Khatami (1923 – 2008).
He went to Middlesex Preparatory School in Concord, MA and then on to Harvard University (his father’s alma mater) in Cambridge, MA, graduating in 1935. While at Harvard he was on the Red Book Business Board, Squash Squad and was Rugby Club Manager. At the time his family lived on East 92nd Street, Manhattan.
It is unclear what he did between the time graduated Harvard and when he enlisted for the war. As a Navy Reserve officer he would have entered the Navy V-7 program, most likely in New York.
He appears to have first been assigned to the SC-701 on December 10th, 1942 as her Executive Officer (XO) and was already a Lieutenant (j.g.) at this time. On January 18th, 1943 he transferred off the SC-701 and was sent to the U. S. Navy's Sub Chaser Training Center (SCTC) at Pier 2 at the Port of Miami.
SC-1048 was commissioned in Philadelphia on April 9th, 1943 by Lieutenant O.L. Ottarson, with Hoguet, now as a Lieutenant himself, as XO, but Hoguet replaced Ottarson as commander by May 26th, 1943.
Hoguet left SC-1048 on December 12th, 1943 and was sent back to the U. S. Navy's Sub Chaser Training Center (SCTC) at Pier 2 at the Port of Miami. The rest of his wartime experience is not known at this time.
What is known is that Joseph did not stay in the Navy and appears to have become a stock broker after the war, living in Stamford, CT.
He married Diana Wood Dilworth November 21st, 1942, and had two children, Diana Logan Hoguet (1946-Living) and David Dilworth Hoguet (1951-Living).
Joseph L. Hoguet passed away on May 22nd, 1964 in New York at the early age of 51 and was buried at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in New York.
Return to Home page.
Ancestry.com for biographical information on Joseph L. Hoguet.
Fold3.com for military reports relating to this story, including SC-1048 Crew Rosters, SC-1048 War Diary and Fiji Naval Base War Diary.
Navsource.org for information on SC-1048.
Wikipedia free on-line encyclopedia for summaries on miscellaneous topics related to this story.