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Gilmore

 

Commander Walter William Gilmore, Supply Corp., U.S. Navy, was born 10 February 1895 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; commissioned Ensign 29 June 1917; his duty assignments first taking him to a Naval Air Station in France, followed by alternation of duties at supply stations, air stations, operating bases, and cruisers until 2 September 1940 when he became Supply Officer of Lexington (CV-2). He was serving in the famed aircraft carrier during her Pacific raids on Rabaul, and on Lae and Salamaua, and perished with his ship in the Battle of the Coral Sea (7-8 May 1942). Commander Gilmore was posthumously commended by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox for his superlative leadership and efficiency so vital to the high state of morale of Lexington's crew during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

 

(DE-18: dp. 1140; l. 289'5" ; b. 35'1"; dr. 8'3"; s. 21 k.; cpl. 156; a. 33", 240mm.; 920mm.; 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.),2dct. ;cl. Evarts)

 

Gilmore, originally allocated to England under terms of the Lend-Lease Program, was launched as HMS Halder (BDE-18) on 22 October 1942 by the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California; sponsored by Mrs. Otis J. Boyer, wife of a Quarterman Rigger of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard; reallocated to the United States Navy and named Gilmore (DE-18) on 19 February 1943; commissioned 17 April 1943, Lt. Cmdr. S. C. Small commanding.

 

Gilmore conducted shakedown training at San Diego; escorted troopships from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor and return (28 June-8 July 1943), then departed San Francisco on 20 September in the escort screen of Beaver (AS-5), bound for Attu. A unit of Escort Division 14, she served as escort and control ship for U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship Surveyor (18-29 October) for survey operations east of Attu; completed 11 escort missions between Alaskan and Aleutian ports until 20 January 1944, then took air-sea rescue station off Attu for aircraft of Fleet Air Wing 4 until 1 February. Three days later she departed Attu to escort a merchantman to Adak, thence in the escort screen of Tippecanoe (AO-21) and &S Henry Failing to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., arriving 16 February 1944. She returned to Dutch Harbor on 1 March and completed nine escort missions between that port and Attu by 20 April 1944. She depared Dutch Harbor on 23 April to assist Edward D. Daley (DE-17) in the escort of merchantmen bound for Kodiak. Near midnight of 25 April her radar picked up a surfaced submarine which dived.

 

Gilmore gained underwater sound contact, made two depth charge attacks, then regained contact at 0010, 26 April. She exploded six depth charges near the submarine and 5 minutes later six others were dropped directly over the target. A violent underwater explosion caused minor damage in the after motor room of Gilmore as the 1,630-ton Japanese submarine 1-180 settled to the bottom in latitude 50 10' North; longitude 15540' West.

 

Gilmore arrived at Kodiak on 29 April; returned to Dutch Harbor with Army transport Otsego on 9 May, and made five escort voyages between that port and Adak before serving on air-sea rescue station for pilots of Fleet Air Wing Four (1-4 July 1944). Fourteen more escort missions for troop transports were made to Kodiak, Adak, Attu, Kiska and Amchitka by 8 September 1944, followed by plane guard patrol west of Attu for Fleet Air Wing Four until 1 October. She then resumed escort missions between various Alaskan and Aleutian ports.

 

Gilmore departed Dutch 'Harbor on 13 January 1945 for overhaul in the Mare Island Naval Shipyard until 4 March, then sailed for Hawaii. She entered' Pearl Harbor on 10 March, became flagship of Escort Division 14, and departed Pearl Harbor on 20 March as screen commander for a troopship convoy escorted safely to Eniwetok atoll in the Marshalls on 29 March. After guarding escort aircraft carrier Long Island (CVE-1) to Apra Harbor, Guam, she touched at Saipan on 13 April to act as station guide for a task element of tank landing ships that arrived off Iwo Jima on the 18th. After joining Cassin (DD-372) in the escort of two merchantmen to Guam, she departed Saipan on 1 May 1945 with another convoy of amphibious assault ships that arrived off Iwo Jima on the 4th. Assigned to rescue station, she closed within 12 miles of Mount Suribachi that afternoon to rescue an Army aviator from his crashed plane. On the 10th she sent her medical officer to Jallao (SS-368) for treatment of injured airmen rescued by that submarine. She escorted Jallao into Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, on 12 May and was relieved as division flagship by Doherty (DE-14) 20 July 1945.

 

Gilmore made an escort voyage for troopships to Okinawa and return (22 July-7 August 1945), then joined an antisubmarine warfare task group built around escort carrier Kasaan Bay (CVE-69) for an unrewarded search for enemy submarines in waters extending some 250 miles southwest of Guam. She returned to Saipan from this mission on 17 August 1945, made two escort voyages for troop convoys to Okinawa and return by 11 September, proceeded off Marcus Island for patrol (13-28 September), thence to Apra Harbor, Guam. She sailed for home on 12 October via Pearl Harbor to San Pedro, Calif., arriving 27 October 1945. Gilmore decommissioned 29 December 1945 and remained in the San Diego Group, U.S. Pacific Reserve Fleet, until sold for scrapping on 1 February 1947.

 

Gilmore received one battle star for the sinking of Japanese submarine I-180

 


USS Gilmore (DB-18) in San Francisco Bay 27 February 1945