Today's Reading Assignment
From the Submarine Force Museum webpage, please visit this page honoring the Submarine Force's Medal of Honor awardees, and click on each of their pictures to read their MOH citation. The one that never fails to make my eyes misty (and that I read from at my retirement ceremony) is from the citation for CDR Howard Gilmore:
"...In the darkness of night on 7 February, an enemy gunboat closed range and prepared to ram the 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 to 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 the last order to the deck, 'Take her down.' The 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."
The theme of a well-trained crew bringing their damaged submarine home was played out again 52 weeks ago. It's not too much of a stretch for me to imagine the spirit of Howard Gilmore watching over the crew of USS San Francisco as they made their way home through the same waters he once sailed -- the same way I'm sure he watched over the crew of the Growler as they sailed for home.
You can read more about the action in which CDR Gilmore was lost here.