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Remembrance

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Forged by the sea and held in our hearts, this page honors the family members who served on USS Elmore or had a connection with the ship. Our goal is to collect photographs of as many of the crew as possible and attach a brief biography of each man. Thus we honor them and make certain that they will never be forgotten.

Yielding to the inalterable process of aging, the men and women who fought and won the great conflict are now in their late 80s and 90s. They are dying quickly—according to US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, 496,777 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are alive as of October, 2018. The VA estimates 348 of them die each day.

Above photo: World War II Memorial (Pacific), The Mall, Washington, D.C.

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Auchmutey, Charles R., Jr.
Lieutenant
    Service

    Charles Robert Auchmutey, Jr.
    • Service Number: 189944
    • Enlistment: Rome, GA in May, 1942.
    • Receiving station: Naval Operations Base Norfolk
    • Elmore start date: 7 Sept. 1943
    • Elmore end date: 8 June 1945
    • Total days on Elmore: 640
    • Initial rank: Lieutenant (jg)
    • Final rank: Lieutenant
    • Primary duties : Boat Gunnery Officer

    person Biography

    Charles Robert Auchmutey, Jr. March 13, 1921 – May 8, 2007

    Charles Robert Auchmutey, Jr. was born on March 13, 1921, in Bartow County, Georgia. He grew up during the Depression on a farm outside Euharlee, GA., in the Etowah River Valley. He left home to work his way through Berry College in Mt. Berry, GA, where he starred on the basketball team and met his future wife, Janey Estelle Yarbrough of Washington County, GA.

    After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy and went to midshipman school at Columbia University in New York. He served a 23-month tour of duty in the Pacific during World War II, leading amphibious landing assaults and taking part in eight major battles from Guam to Okinawa.

    After the war, Mr. Auchmutey married and settled in Atlanta, where he and his wife raised four children. He worked for 36 years as an auditor at the General Motors plant in Lakewood. He was active in his sons' Little League, in his daughters' softball league, in Junior Achievement and other civic organizations. He was a member of Midway Presbyterian Church in Decatur for more than half a century, serving as elder and clerk of session and as a commissioner to the denomination's General Assembly. He was an accomplished gardener who fussed over his tomatoes and an avid cook who enjoyed organizing Fourth of July barbecues at his last home in the Williamsburg Apartments. His recipe for authentic Georgia Brunswick stew was published several times in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and in cookbooks.

    Mr. Auchmutey is survived by his children, Charles Robert Auchmutey, III of Acworth, Jim Auchmutey of Atlanta, Dawn Brooks of Columbus and Susan Auchmutey of Stone Mountain; by three grandchildren, Benjamin Brooks, Simon Brooks and Marisa Nease; and by his sister, Margaret Kilpatrick of Jacksonville, Fla.

    His wife of 54 years, Janey Estelle Yarborough Auchmutey, died on April 30, 2001 at the age of 77. She was born on July 26, 1923 in Washington County, GA.

    Charles Robert Auchmutey of Decatur died Tuesday, May 8, 2007 of complications from emphysema at Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods. He was 86 years old. Mr. Auchmutey is buried at Midway Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia.

    Photos
    Lt Charles R Archmutey Jr
    Click on any photo. Scroll to zoom. Click the "X" at top right to exit photo mode.
    Source

    Public documents and an interview conducted by the Veterans History Project. A video interview was conducted with Mr. Auchmutey by the Atlanta History Center on August 25, 2004. Ironically, USS Elmore had been commissioned on that same date in 1943, 61 years earlier.

Ermer, Joseph Nicholas
Yeoman, 1st Class
    Service

    Joseph N. Ermer
    • Service Number: 6278880
    • Enlistment: New York, NY on 24 April 1942
    • Receiving station: Philadelphia, PA
    • Elmore start date: 25 Aug. 1943 (Plankowner)
    • Elmore end date: 25 May 1945
    • Total days on Elmore: 639
    • Initial rating: Yeoman, 2nd Class
    • Final rating: Yeoman, 1st Class
    • Departed Elmore: Bremerton, WA

    person Biography

    Joseph N. Ermer
    December 26, 1918 – March 28, 2012

    Joseph Nicholas Ermer was born on December 26, 1918, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Joseph and Christine (Karstens) Ermer, the parents of both Joe and his brother Robert "Bob" Ermer.

    Like many children growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Joe turned to sports as a way to bond, advance and stay out of trouble. Sandlot baseball and football were popular pastimes. Growing up, Joe was very active in scouting, and as an Eagle Scout, once served as honor guard to President Franklin Roosevelt. After high school, Joe worked at the Guaranty Trust Company of New York, while also attending night classes at the Community College of New York.

    Mr. Ermer was inducted into the Navy in March, 1942. While stationed in Washington, D.C., Joe married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Augustsen. on August 23, 1942. One year later, Joe was assigned to the USS Elmore (APA-42), and was a part of the original crew when the ship was commissioned on August 25, 1943. Joe served as a yeoman and stayed with the ship until May 25, 1945 (a total of 639 days). After being discharged from the Navy, Joe began working for Horn, Ogilvie and Company, an insurance company in New York City, where he remained until his retirement.

    Joe and Ruth lived for over 25 years in Bethpage, N.Y., where Joe was active in several organizations, including as the leader of his daughter’s Girl Scout troop. After being seasonal residents of Ruth’s family home in Tunbridge, Vermont for many years, they moved there full-time in 1976. Joe was a member of the Tunbridge Volunteer Fire Department, and attended the Tunbridge Church, where he sang in the choir. Joe remained married to Ruth for more than 40 years, until her death in 1982.

    Joe married Marjorie (Marge) Stockwell Nelson in 1984. The couple lived first in Tunbridge, VT, later retiring to warmer winters in Modesto, CA. At the age of 90, Joe bought his first computer, and enjoyed keeping in touch with his extended family and friends through email and Facebook. He was a multitalented artist, a competitive pool player, and is remembered by many for intense games of Parcheesi. His artistic career spanned more than five decades and includes wood work carvings, oil paintings, essays and drawings.

    Joseph Ermer passed away on March 28, 2012 at the age of 93. He was predeceased by a brother, Robert (Bob). Joe was survived by his second wife Marjorie, daughters Susan Ermer (Walt) Locke of Washington State, and Eve-Lynne Ermer (Scott Russell) of Tunbridge; grandchildren: Er­ik Russell of Underhill, Andrea Russell of Rhode Island, Scott Locke of Washington, and Justin Lacche of Oregon, and their families: stepdaughters Kathy (Tony) Rabbiosi and Joyce Nelson (James Petty, Jr.), and stepson Michael (Annie) Nelson, all of California; and six step-grand­children and their families.

    Joe Ermer represented the very best of the Greatest Generation and, after his military career, dedicated each day to bringing joy and laughter to his family and many, many friends.

    Photos
    Navy Photo
    Pacific © 1943
    Ruth A Ermer, wife
    Click on any photo. Scroll to zoom. Click the "X" at top right to exit photo mode.
    Source
Mullen, Carl James
Motor Machinist's Mate, 2nd Class
    Service

    Carl J. Mullen
    • Service Number: 6278880
    • Enlistment: Indianapolis, IN on 15 Dec. 1942
    • Receiving station: Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, VA
    • Elmore start date: 7 Sept. 1943
    • Elmore end date: 6 Oct. 1945
    • Total days on Elmore: 760
    • Initial rating: Fireman, 1st Class
    • Final rating: Motor Machinist's Mate, 2nd Class
    • Departed Elmore: Leyte, Philippine Islands
    .

    person Biography

    Carl J. Mullen
    December 24, 1912 – July 4, 1989

    Carl James Mullen was born on December 24, 1912 on the family farm in Fountain Country, about 2 miles outside of
    Veedersburg, Indiana. He was the third of six children of Luther E. Mullen and Kate Eunice Songer. Carl always said he had a hard but happy childhood. He would hunt squirrels, rabbits and turkeys. He would walk the woods in the spring in search of mushrooms. He also swam and fished in the clear, cold waters of Coal Creek, bring home sunfish, blue gills and snapping turtles. He spoke of plowing behind a big gray horse named 'Barney'. Carl attended the local schools. In high school he became a very good basketball player. Being six feet two at the time, when the average height was 5 feet 8 inches, gave him a great advantage.

    Carl came of age just as the Great Depression was under way. He took whatever work he could find, at one point riding the trains to Texas to harvest wheat. In the late 1930s, he found work in the steel mills outside of Chicago. When the war broke out, Carl could have used the deferment attached to his job. But he did not do so. In late 1942, Carl went back to Veedersburg and met with his mother (his father had died in 1940) and told her he was going to enlist. He told her that he wouldn’t feel right if he failed to do what he felt his country needed.

    His initial job on USS
    Elmore was operating the desalinization tanks, converting sea water to drinking water. He later became a Motor Machinist’s Mate, requiring him to operate, maintain, and repair the propulsion and steering machinery on the nineteen landing craft carried by the ship.

    In one of those unanticipated moments in life, Carl was crewing one of
    Elmore’s landing craft, just offshore of Red (Palo) Beach at Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. In the early afternoon of 20 October 1944, Carl was a witness to one of the most famous events in WWII history. This was the day that General Douglas MacArthur made his promised return to the Philippines. There is a picture of the General wading ashore along with his entourage. In the background of this famous photograph [located in the Photos Tab above], a tall and slender Carl Mullen, wearing an open shirt, can be seen standing on the left side of his landing craft. From his vantage point, Carl watched General MacArthur make good on his promise to return to liberate the Philippine Islands.

    When the war was over, Carl came back to Veedersburg and married Genieve Stuart in 1947. After 9 years and two children, they divorced. He would work a few different jobs until he became an electrician's helper at the Veterans Hospital in Danville, IL. He worked there until retirement. During this time, Carl was a member of New Century Church and the America Legion Post 228, both in Veedersburg. He was also a member of the VFW in Covington, the Low 12 Club in Wallace, Park County, and the Veedersburg Masonic Lodge. He also tended bar in two different towns. On Tuesday and Thursday nights, he worked at Red’s in Veedersburg. On Friday and Saturday nights he worked at Clair’s in Covington a town about 7 miles from Veedersburg.

    In 1966, he married Vivnia Carr. They would winter in Florida and travel back to Veedersburg during the warmer months. In 1982, he had the first of many strokes which would keep them in Veedersburg year-round. Carl passed away on July 4, 1989 at the same VA hospital where he had worked. He is buried in the Waynetown (Indiana) Masonic Cemetery. He was 76 years old when he passed away.

    Photos
    Navy Portrait 1
    Navy Portrait 2
    Carl and his father
    Memorabilia
    Honorable Discharge
    MacArthur at Leyte
    Click on any photo. Scroll to zoom. Click the "X" at top right to exit photo mode.
    Source

    Courtesy of his son, Carl R. "Dick" Mullen [May 22, 2019].

Annunziato, Michael
Quartermaster, 1st Class
    Service

    Michael Annunziato
    • Service Number: 8076342
    • Enlistment: New Haven, CT on 23 June 1943
    • Receiving station: Philadelphia, PA
    • Elmore start date: 31 Aug. 1943
    • Elmore end date: 15 Feb. 1946
    • Total days on Elmore: 899
    • Initial rating: Seaman, 2nd Class
    • Final rating: Quartermaster, 1st Class
    • Departed Elmore: New Orleans, LA

    person Biography

    Michael Annunziato
    December 21, 1924 – February 18 2017

    Michael Annunziato was born on December 22, 1924, in New Haven, CT, to Phillip and Christine (née Luciano) Annunziato. He was the youngest of three siblings.

    Immediately upon his graduation from high school, Michael was drafted into the service and was inducted at New Haven, CT on June 23, 1943. Soon after completing basic training, he was assigned to a newly-commissioned attack transport,
    USS Elmore (APA-42). Michael became a Quartermaster, steering the ship, and was part of the ship’s crew until a few weeks before Elmore was decommissioned on March 13, 1946. He achieved the rank of Quartermaster 1st class and was a member of Elmore's crew for 899 of the ship's 931 days in commission.

    After the battle of Okinawa in June 1945,
    Elmore was ordered to Bremerton, WA for repairs and refitting in preparation for the anticipated invasion of the Japanese home islands. It was there that Michael met his future wife, Margaret Elizabeth Taft, the queen of the local USO. After Michael and Margaret married in 1946, they moved to New Haven, where he started his education degree at the University of Bridgeport. However, his education was interpreted in the 1950s as he was called to serve in the Korean conflict. In a 2015 interview, he recalled: “That was quite an experience. I had started school and was called to reenlist. I had to leave everything, say goodbye and out the door I went.

    Michael moved to Norwalk in 1954 to begin a 31-year career teaching middle-school science for Norwalk Public Schools. He was a founding member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, his church family for nearly six decades. A mentor to students and friend to everyone he met, Michael made people smile with his easy ways and humor. After retiring in 1986, he and Margaret took extended trips across the USA in their beloved motor home to visit family. Michael and Margaret remained married for 64 years, until her death in 2011. She was the love of his life, as he was for her.

    Mr. Annunziato was consummately proud of his military service and loved his country with a passion. Aside from family, one of his proudest moments came in 2015 with a one-day VIP Day of Honor monument tour of Washington, D.C. conducted by the American Warrior initiative. This trip was the chance of a lifetime for Michael to revisit Washington landmarks and spend time with 70 other vets on the Flight who shared his wartime experiences.

    Michael died on February 18, 2017 at the age of 92.
    "How lucky I am to have all of you, and I would do it all over again," he said to his family gathered round him on his last day on this earth.

    Photos
    Navy Portrait
    Looking Back
    Honor Flight 2015
    Click on any photo. Scroll to zoom. Click the "X" at top right to exit photo mode.
    Source

    Courtesy of his daughter, Catherine "Cat" Michaels from her website and from public documents.

    A short audio interview with Mr. Annunziaton (at age 91), at the WWII Memorial on the Day of Honor event in Washington, DC (29 May 2004), can be found here. Click on the link below.

Hert, Robert William
Electrician's Mate, 1st Class
    Service

    Robert W. Hert
    • Service Number: 8638468
    • Enlistment: Evansville, IN on 10 May 1943
    • Receiving station: Philadelphia, PA
    • Elmore start date: 25 Aug. 1943 (Plankowner)
    • Elmore end date: 15 November 1945
    • Total days on Elmore: 813
    • Initial rating: Electrician's Mate, 3rd Class
    • Final rating: Electrician's Mate, 1st Class
    • Departed Elmore: Receiving Station on West Coast

    person Biography

    Robert W. Hert
    March 2, 1919 – May 31, 2009

    Robert William Hert was born on March 2, 1919 in Jasonville, IN to Kiah and Ruth (Westner) Hert. Bob grew up in Indiana and attended Indiana State University from 1937 to 1940. He married Mildred "Mickie" (Atkinson) in 1940. He enlisted in the Navy on 10 May 1943 and joined USS Elmore immediate prior to her commissioning on 25 August 1943. He stayed with the crew throughout the war and departed the ship on 15 November 1945, after the surrender of Japan.

    Mr. Hert lived in Richmond, IN since 1954. He retired from Wabash Fiber Box Company where he worked in sales. Bob was a member of Central United Methodist Church. He was also a member of the Jasonville Lodge F&AM, and Elks Lodge BPOE #649. Bob enjoyed piano, woodworking, fishing and golf. He also enjoyed his yard and gardening, and his dogs.

    Bob's wife of 59 years Mildred "Mickie" (Atkinson) Hert died June 18, 1999. Bob passed away on Sunday May 31, 2009 at the age of 90.

    Survivors included two children, Becky and husband Chuck Low of Indianapolis, and Mike and wife Debbie Hert of Columbus, four grandchildren Stacey Green, Rob Low, Kimberly Stewart, and David Hert, nine great grandchildren, his brother Richard and wife Helen Hert of Richmond, three nieces and one nephew.

    Photos
    Navy Portrait
    After the War
    Golden Years
    Click on any photo. Scroll to zoom. Click the "X" at top right to exit photo mode.
    Source

    Courtesy of his daughter, Becky Low, and various public sources.

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