The nieces and nephews of Michael Paul Wiegenstein gathered Friday for a remembrance ceremony.
October 3, 1944, the USS Seawolf (SS-197) was lost at sea. Eighty-three U.S. Navy submariners and 17 U.S. Army Alamo Scouts (being transported to a mission) died. One of those lost was Chief Motor Machinist’s Mate Michael Paul Wiegenstein. The family remembrance was held on the 70th anniversary of the loss of the Seawolf.
John Brewen, one of Wiegenstein’s nephews, said in a letter to many of the other relatives: “The loss of Mike left a void in our family and a wound that never healed for our parents and aunts and uncles. With all of his siblings gone, it is now up to us, his nieces and nephews, to remember the brother our parents and aunts and uncles loved and the sailor who served his country.
“As the greatest generation fades, we should remember the sacrifice made by Mike and the service of all who served during World War II.”
A book about the USS Seawolf, “War of the Wolf,” by Stephen L. Moore was published in 2008. Wiegenstein served on the final six of the Seawolf’s 15 patrols. He is pictured and mentioned often in the book. Friday afternoon, Brewen presented Bill Knight at the Fredericktown branch of the Ozark Regional Library with two copies of “War of the Wolf.” One was for the Fredericktown branch and one for the Annapolis branch.
Next, the family members joined members of local VFW Post 4320 at the courthouse for a brief ceremony. Wreaths were placed beside the Madison County Veteran’s Memorial for Michael Wiegenstein and his cousin, Linus Wiegenstein. Both men’s names are on the memorial.
The family members laid flowers at the graves of Wiegenstein’s parents at St. Michael’s Cemetery. A remembrance dinner was held Friday, at Follis Place.