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Memories

Historians look at artifacts for clues to help in understanding the past. Some of these objects were personal items that held meaning for the individual who owned them. We also uncover group photos, the identity of those in these photos mostly lost to us. All of these items are precious, parts of a puzzle that we are piecing together. With luck, some of these pieces will eventually be identified.

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Address Book of Elmore Shipmates

From the collection of Charles Dahdah, Yeoman (surviving Elmore crew member), given to Gregg Dudash in October, 2018.

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Letters Home

Letters from Robert Ivan Peterson, Hospital Apprentice 2C, to his mother in 1944.

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The State Historical Society of Missouri

C68 World War II, Letters, 1940-1946 Page 206
f. 2318-2319

Peterson, Robert Ivan, Letters, 1944. To his mother, Mrs. C.J. Williams, Oklahoma City, Okla., from aboard the USS Elmore, 1944. Acknowledgement and thanks for two packages received. Comments on need for reading material. Written by a sailor. Donated by Mrs. C.J. Williams on 22 Oct. 1945 (Accession No. 545).
This collection is available at The State Historical Society of Missouri. If you would like more information, please contact us at shsresearch@umsystem.edu.

Team Elmore comment:

As with any resource related to USS Elmore, it is always too short and yet always fascinating. What I found interesting was the reference to a movie that the crew watched that night (9/20/1944). They earned that brief respite. On that day, USS Elmore was participating in the invasion of Peleliu, one of the bloodiest battles that the Marines faced in the Pacific.

Based on the ship’s War Diary, a member of a sister ship, USS Wayne (APA-54), died of wounds suffered on the beach, was taken to Elmore, and then buried at sea later that day. He was running one of the boats to the shore and was hit by a Japanese mortar. The Elmore, which served as a primary medical receiving station, has already received some 200 wounded Marines that day. Two of those Marines died of wounds and were buried at sea. The ship went to General Quarters (air flash RED) for a half-hour in the late afternoon, just to keep things interesting.

These are the things that Robert Ivan Peterson (age 17) saw that day but chose not to comment about and worry his mother. Is there any wonder why those men are called America’s "Greatest Generation”?

A Postcard from Japan

From the collection of Joseph A. Dudash, Chief Yeoman, held by his son, Gregg Dudash.

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Christmas Cheer 1945 (the war is over!)

From the collection of Joseph A. Dudash, Chief Yeoman, held by his son, Gregg Dudash.

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