Selma in Dallas County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Take Her Down
Gilmore, Howard Walter - Commander, U.S.N.
— Born 29 September 1902, Selma, Ala. —
For distinguished gallantry and valor above and beyond
the call of duty as Commanding Officer of U. S. submarine
GROWLER (SS-215) 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 anti-submarine patrols, Commander 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 GROWLER. Commander Gilmore daringly maneuvered
to avoid the crash and rammed the attacker instead
ripping into her port side at 17 knots and bursting wide
her plates. In the terrific fire of the sinking gunboat’s
heavy machine guns, Commander Gilmore calmly gave
the order, “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
living moments. Commander Gilmore gave his last order
to the officer of the deck: “Take her down.” 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.
Other Navy awards conferred on Commander Gilmore for
submarine exploits against the enemy before his loss
on GROWLER: Navy Cross with one gold star, Purple Heart
Medal, American Defense Medal with Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-
Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal;
Submarine Combat insignia with three stars.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Heroes • Patriots & Patriotism • War, World II. In addition, it is included in the Distinguished Service Cross/Navy Cross/Air Force Cross Recipients, and the Medal of Honor Recipients series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is February 7, 1943.
Location. 32° 24.333′ N, 87° 2.503′ W. Marker is in Selma, Alabama, in Dallas County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Rowell Drive and West Dallas Avenue (Alabama Route 22). Located next to Gate 1 of Memorial Stadium. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 102 Rowell Drive, Selma AL 36701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of Dallas County World Wars Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Dallas County Korean War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Dallas County Vietnam Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Memorial Stadium (within shouting distance of this marker); Redoubt No. 24 (approx. half a mile away); Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument (approx. half a mile away); William Rufus de Vane King (approx. 0.6 miles away); Live Oak Cemetery (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Selma.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on Howard W. Gilmore. (Submitted on March 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 816 times since then and 69 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week February 9, 2020. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. 4, 5. submitted on September 14, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 6. submitted on March 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. 7. submitted on February 8, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.