Mobile in Mobile County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
“Take Her Down!”
Howard Walter Gilmore, Commander, U.S.N.
—Born 29 September 1902, Selma, Ala. —
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 the enemy in his final
living moments. Commander Gilmore gave his last order
to the officer of the deck: “Take her down.” GROWLER dived,
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.
[Renderings of: Commander Gilmore, the USS Growler, and the submariner’s dolphin insignia]
U.S. Submarine Veterans, World War II - Alabama Chapter
[Stone tablet on the ground in front of the upright "Take Her Down" Monument] :
Erected by U.S. Submarine Veterans, World War II - Alabama Chapter.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
Location. 30° 40.898′ N, 88° 0.91′ W. Marker is in Mobile, Alabama, in Mobile County. Marker can be reached from Battleship Parkway (U.S. 90). Touch for map. "Take Her Down" is one of three monuments on display in Battleship Park on the grass near the entrance to the Park's Aviation Pavilion - and
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Submarine Lookout Memorial (here, next to this marker); Memorial to USS Herring (SS-233) (here, next to this marker); United States Ship Alabama (BB-60) (within shouting distance of this marker); Horace O. Davis (within shouting distance of this marker); B-52D "Stratofortress" (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Lower Alabama Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); An Unheralded Breed of Soldier (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vickery's Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mobile.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Categories. • Heroes • War, World II • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 13, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 581 times since then and 54 times this year. Last updated on June 25, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 13, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.