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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Sunday, February 7, 1943
Engagement with Gunboat near Truk
After sinking a passenger-cargo ship Growler sighted nothing more until February 7, when she spotted a small gunboat. LCDR Gilmore brought Growler up for a night surface attack, but the gunboat sighted him and turned to ram. He took the only action possible and swung toward the gunboat, attempting to ram in turn. ... Growler began to receive heavy machine gun fire, so LCDR Gilmore cleared the bridge except for himself. Badly wounded, he realized that he could not get below in time for GROWLER to submerge safely, so he shouted “Take her down!” to the crew in the conning tower. She submerged with Gilmore still on the bridge and successfully evaded the following counterattack. ... LCDR Gilmore was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving his ship and crew at the cost of his own life.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 3

Namesort descending Service Branch
Cdr Howard Gilmore USN
F 3c Wilbert Kelley USN
Lt(jg) William Williams USN
Prepared by: J.P.O’Hara, CDR, USN (Ret.)