“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Clermont in Lake County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Dean R. Gilmore

Dean R. Gilmore Marker at Lake Lousia image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Patricia Strat, December 9, 2012
1. Dean R. Gilmore Marker at Lake Lousia
Inscription.  Lt. Gilmore's P-51B Propeller Tip. In honor of Dean R. Gilmore, 1st LT USAAF, 14 Nov 21 - 14 Nov 44. Winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Italy, 1944. Killed in a training crash in Lake Louisa on November 14, 1944. Lt. Gilmore and thousands of other military aviators trained throughout central Florida during World War II. Though many were taken from us in combat and in training, we do not mourn them as they now fly with one more divine. Wreckage cleared by Lake County Sheriff's Office dive team, George E. Knupp, Jr. Sheriff. Dedicated November 12, 2001 with Lt. Gilmore's family present.
Erected 2001.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Valor in Aerial Operations series list. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1847.
Location. 28° 27.71′ N, 81° 44.888′ W. Marker is near Clermont, Florida, in Lake County. Marker is located on the beach of Lake Louisa, in Lake Louisa State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clermont FL 34714, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10
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miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. William Alfred Suggs (approx. 6˝ miles away); Jess Thomas (approx. 6.6 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 6.6 miles away); a different marker also named William Alfred Suggs (approx. 6.6 miles away); Clermont High School Sign (approx. 6.7 miles away); The History of Groveland High School (approx. 9.3 miles away); Korean War Memorial (approx. 9.4 miles away); Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. 9.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clermont.
More about this marker. The access road to Lake Louisa State Park is 2 miles south of the intersection of Lake Louisa Road and US 27. Marker is about 3 miles west of US 27.
Regarding Dean R. Gilmore.
Text from a nearby marker seen in photo #3

A Fallen Hero
Late in the afternoon of November 14, 1944, Army First Lieutenant Dean R. Gilmore took off from Bartow Army Air Field with a flight of five P-51 Mustangs. As flight instructor, he was leading the group on a low-altitude training exercise. His plane crashed into the lake, killing him instantly. It was his twenty-third birthday.

Wreckage from the plane was discovered in June, 2001, when the lake level was low. Through markings on his plane, military records, and local witnesses it was
Dean R. Gilmore Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Patricia Strat, December 9, 2012
2. Dean R. Gilmore Marker
confirmed that the aircraft was Lt. Gilmore's.

A member of the 111th Reconnaissance Squadron, Lt. Gilmore was a veteran of ninety-one World War II missions in Africa, Sicily, and Italy. On March 15, 1944, he flew through anti-aircraft fire and tracking planes to direct artillery fire on enemy positions. For this action Lt. Gilmore was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Lt. Gilmore stands proudly in front of his P-51 Mustang, “Super Snooper.” A red and white octopus is painted on the plane’s nose.

Dean Gilmore was always fascinated with flight. While training at Marianna Army Field in northwest Florida, he described a plane as…the sweetest flying airplane in the world…and we all loved to fly it. You can do slow rolls, loops, or anything, and continue until you are bored.
Dean R. Gilmore Story image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Patricia Strat, December 9, 2012
3. Dean R. Gilmore Story
The Palatlakaha Chain of Lakes image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Patricia Strat, December 9, 2012
4. The Palatlakaha Chain of Lakes
The Palatlakaha Chain of Lakes image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Patricia Strat, December 9, 2012
5. The Palatlakaha Chain of Lakes
Lake Louisa, from which the park gets its name is the southernmost lake in the Palatlakaha chain of lakes. These lakes and their connecting waterways are known for their quality and are considered outstanding Florida waters.
The Green Swamp, which lies to the southwest of the park, is the primary source of water for these lakes. As water flows slowly north through the wetlands of Green Swamp, decaying vegetation dissolves in the water and forms a mild acid, tannic acid, which gives these waters their tea color. It is not harmful to humans or to the fish and wildlife which make these waters their home.
The hills which surround Lake Louisa were formed thousands of years ago when they were sand dunes along what we now know as the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Although far inland now, at one time the ocean waves broke on these hills. A refreshing swim or other water activity will help you appreciate one of Florida’s most valued resources – water.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 20, 2012, by Patricia Strat of Oakton, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,173 times since then and 80 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 20, 2012, by Patricia Strat of Oakton, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 17, 2024