Sunday, March 1, 2009

Take her down - USS GROWLER

The Growler's story is the story of Commander Howard W. Gilmore. From the bridge one black night, he spotted an enemy gunboat. He swung the Growler away to ready his torpedoes, swung back to attack. In the darkness he did not see that the enemy had reversed course and was bearing down on him. Too close to use torpedoes, and directing from the bridge, he rammed the Growler into the gunboat at 17 knots.

A moment after collision the sub-was raked with machine-gun fire. "Clear the bridge," Gilmore ordered. Four men, two of them hurt, slid down the hatch, but not Gilmore, who was helplessly wounded. His last order, in a crisp voice, was "Take her down." He had to say it once more before his executive officer closed the hatch, took her down, leaving his skipper to drown. The Growler made it home, to fight again.

From TIME Magazine, March 1951

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The official patrol report of this incident is available online here:

(go to page 78)