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
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.
[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 Distinguished Service Cross/Navy Cross/Air Force Cross Recipients, and the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
Location. 30° 40.898′ N, 88° 0.91′ W. Marker is in Mobile Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile AL 36601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); Tristan de Luna y Arellano (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Fallen Guardians Monument (about 500 feet away); B-52D "Stratofortress" (about 600 feet away); The Five Crommelin Brothers of Alabama (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 •
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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 650 times since then and 32 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.