Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Take Her Down........

As you are no doubt aware, I have a great deal of admiration for the Naval service and those who serve. I guess if I have any regrets about my life, the only one would have been to have not served a hitch in the navy.

I had intended to post this on the 66th anniversary of the event, but missed it. I hope that you will forgive it's lateness and honor the memory of the brave man involved.

February 7th 1943............

Congressional Medal of Honor Citation


Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy.
Born: 29 September 1902, Selma, Ala.
Appointed from: Louisiana.
Other Navy award: Navy Cross with one gold star.

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.


TetVet68 said...

Remember Pearl Harbor!

America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 100th year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, U. S. Navy (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

'Navy Centenarian Sailor', 103 year old, former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Radioman (ACRM, Combat Aircrewman), later wartime commissioned Chief Warrant Officer Julio 'Jay' Ereneta, U. S. Navy (Ret.), is a thirty year career veteran of World War One and World War Two. He first flew aircrewman in August 1922; flew rearseat Radioman/Gunner (1920s/1930s) in the tactical air squadrons of the Navy's first aircraft carriers, USS LANGLEY (CV-1) and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2).

Visit my photo album tribute to these veteran shipmates:

San Diego, California

Brigid said...

My Dad was Air Force. He wanted my brothers to join so from a very early age we were surrounded by aircraft. Aircraft on a string, aircraft on a stick, gas powered aircraft, RC aircraft, airshows. Airports.

My brothers all joined the Navy. I was a commercial pilot at age 19. Go figure. Dad's still shaking his head, but he couldn't be more proud of them.