*GILMORE, HOWARD WALTER
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.
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.