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Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Medal of Honor was given posthumously. Gilmore, Howard Walter

Gilmore, Howard WalterRank 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.

See video, "The Growler Story", about Commander Howard Gilmore's heroism

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Information provided by Center of Military History
Photo of MOH recipient courtesy of HomeOfHeroes.com with size modification by USA Patriotism!

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