Gilmore, Howard Walter

Date of birth:
September 29th, 1902 (Selma/Alabama, United States)
Date of death:
February 7th, 1943 (Between Truk and Rabaul, Pacific)
Mentioned on:
American Cemetery and Memorial Manila
Service number:
0-060210
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

Commanding officer on the USS Growler (SS-215).Killed during engagement with Japanese gunboat. To save the boat He gave the order, "Take her down!" while he lay wounded on deck.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Growler (SS-215), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
1942
Action:
Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism and outstanding devotion to duty as Commanding Officer of a U. S. submarine on offensive war patrol. During nine days in enemy controlled waters, Lieutenant Commander Gilmore, by expert maneuvering, boldly brought his submarine into an enemy-controlled harbor where men of war had been sighted and, in rapid succession, attacked three anchored 1700-ton Japanese destroyers with the result that the submarine sank two of these and seriously damaged the third. By skillful handling of his ship he was able to bring his ship home with only minor damages. Lieutenant Commander Gilmore's courage, determination and fine seamanship throughout these operations were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Navy Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Growler (SS-215), U.S. Navy
Action:
Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of a U. S. Submarine during aggressive and successful submarine war patrol. Taking advantage of every favorable attack with alert skill and courageous efficiency, Commander Gilmore succeeded in sinking a total of 25,946 tons of enemy merchant shipping. By expert maneuvering he brought his boat safely through without material damage and his crew home without injury or loss of life. His gallant leadership and resourceful command were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Details:
Second Navy Cross received as a golden star to be worn on the ribbon of the first Navy Cross.
Navy Cross
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Growler (SS-215), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
1943
Medal of Honor - Navy/Marine Corps (MoH)
Action:
Citation
"For distinguished gallantry and valor above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Growler during her Fourth War Patrol in the Southwest Pacific from 10 January to 7 February 1943. Boldly striking at the enemy in spite of continuous hostile air and antisubmarine patrols, Comdr. Gilmore sank one Japanese freighter and damaged another by torpedo fire, successfully evading severe depth charges following each attack. In the darkness of night on 7 February, an enemy gunboat closed range and prepared to ram the Growler. Comdr. Gilmore daringly maneuvered to avoid the crash and rammed the attacker instead, ripping into her port side at 11 knots and bursting wide her plates. In the terrific fire of the sinking gunboat's heavy machineguns, Comdr. Gilmore calmly gave the order to clear the bridge, and refusing safety for himself, remained on deck while his men preceded him below. Struck down by the fusillade of bullets and having done his utmost against the enemy, in his final living moments, Comdr. Gilmore gave his last order to the officer of the deck, "Take her down." The Growler dived; seriously damaged but under control, she was brought safely to port by her well-trained crew inspired by the courageous fighting spirit of their dead captain."
Details:
Awarded posthumously
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Commander
Unit:
U.S.S. Growler (SS-215), U.S. Navy
Awarded on:
1943
Purple Heart
Details:
Posthumously awarded
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
With 1 campaign star
American Defence Service Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
With 1 campaign star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
5 patrols
Submarine Combat Patrol Insignia

Sources