Download FREE briefings. Have an account? Please log in. Text Size: A A A

Howard W. Gilmore and the USS Growler: Making the Ultimate Sacrifice

Military History

Howard W. Gilmore and the USS Growler: Making the Ultimate Sacrifice

A vast Persian host stood aside Alexander the Great's supply line. Anything short of complete victory for the Macedonians meant certain annihilation.

The U.S. Navy called the incident involving Howard W. Gilmore and the USS Growler 'the most famous act of self-sacrifice known to the U.S. submarine service.'

On February 7, 1943, while on patrol in the South Pacific, U.S .Navy Commander Howard W. Gilmore, commander of the USS Growler and his crew carved out a place for themselves in navy legend, and set a standard of duty that is remembered in the submarine service today.

Growler had departed Brisbane, Australia, on January 1, 1943, to partrol shipping lanes between Truk and Rabaul in the Bismarck Islands, off the northeastern coast of New Guinea, an area that was bristling with Japanese aircraft and armament.

On the night of February 4, Growler spotted a Japanese convoy of merchant ships with two patrol boats as escort. Opting for a surface attack, Growler slipped through the darkness to get a head of the Japanese ships.

What happened next made submarine and military history.

The U.S. Navy called the incident involving Howard W. Gilmore and the USS Growler 'the most famous act of self-sacrifice known to the U.S. submarine service.'

Growler would receive eight battle stars for her role in the Pacific War, sinking 17 enemy ships and 74,900 tons of enemy shipping.

As for Gilmore, he remains her most decorated crew member. He received the Medal of Honor ‘for distinguished gallantry and valor above and beyond the call of duty,” according to the citation. The U.S. Navy called what happened during the encounter in early February 1943 “one of the most gallant actions in naval history” and “the most famous act of self-sacrifice known to the U.S. submarine service.”

These and Other Stories Inside

You can read all about it in our very special Soldiers department in the September issue of Military Heritage magazine. But of course, there are many other stories you’ll find inside this 72-page issue. Stories like:

“Unstoppable God of War: Alexander at Issus”
A vast Persian host arrayed on the banks of the River Pinarus in 333 BC stood astride Alexander the Great’s supply line. Anything short of a complete victory for the Macedonians meant certain annihilation.

“Showdown in the Aleutians”
When Japanese forces gained a foothold in the Aleutian Islands in June 1942, a major commitment of U.S. forces was needed to oust the invaders.

“Many Gallant Men Were Lost”
General Richard Ewell’s troops tried repeatedly to drive resilient Yankees from the high ground at Culp’s Hill on the Union right flank at the Battle of Gettysburg, but failed each time.

“Cannonballs, Grapeshot and Profanity”
In 1745, a rowdy army of New England militia set its sights on the French-held Louisbourg, the most forbidding stone fortress in North America.

“Victory at a Dreadful Cost”
On August 18, 1870, the Prussians fought a savage battle with the French at Gravelotte-Saint-Privat. Despite a series of blunders, the Prussians’ superior numbers and artillery enabled them to carry the day.

As always, please let us know what you think about these and other stories inside the September issue in our comments section. If there are any events or battles you’d like to see in the coming issues, we’d love to hear about them.

Add Your Comments

One Comment

  1. Posted February 21, 2015 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to
    be exactly what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a
    number of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome website!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *



Issue Previews

Medal of Honor Recipient: Henry “Red” Erwin

Medal of Honor Recipient: Henry “Red” Erwin

Sergeant Red Erwin’s courage in a burning B-29 over Japan saved the lives of his crewmen and earned him the Medal of Honor.

One Gallant Rush: Black Soldiers at Fort Wagner

One Gallant Rush: Black Soldiers at Fort Wagner

The African Americans of the 54th Massachusetts stood up to the guns of Charleston’s Fort Wagner in a bloody assault in 1863. In so doing, they proved themselves worthy Union soldiers.

Behind  Enemy Lines: Escape at the Bulge

Behind Enemy Lines: Escape at the Bulge

An American infantry sergeant survived three days behind enemy lines during the opening chapter of the Battle of the Bulge.

Could the United States Have Gone to War With France Over Mexico?

Could the United States Have Gone to War With France Over Mexico?

Continued French meddling in Mexico almost led to a post-Civil War confrontation with the United States.

facebook gplus twitter youtube rss

Enter Your Log In Credentials

Forgot your Password?

×
.