Facts and Scuttlebutt about USS Elmore

Claim to Fame
HBO's The Pacific

The Pacific is an American television series produced by HBO that premiered in the United States on March 14, 2010. It is a companion piece to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers and focuses on the United States Marine Corps' actions in the Pacific Theater of Operations within the wider Pacific War. Whereas Band of Brothers followed the men of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment through the European Theater, The Pacific centers on the experiences of three Marines (Robert Leckie, Eugene Sledge, and John Basilone) who were all in different regiments (1st, 5th, and 7th, respectively) of the 1st Marine Division.

The Pacific miniseries features the 1st Marine Division's battles in the Pacific, such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, as well as Basilone's involvement in the Battle of Iwo Jima. It is based primarily on the memoirs of two U.S. Marines: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. It also draws on Islands of the Damned by R. V. Burgin, the leader of Sledge’s mortar squad, and Red Blood, Black Sand, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside Basilone on Iwo Jima.

USS Elmore had a connection to some of the events highlighted in the series. Find out more.

MacArthur's Return
Leyte Gulf

On 20 October 1944, General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return to the Philippines. He stepped ashore on Palo [Red] Beach at Leyte Gulf at approximately 1:30 PM. Following four hours of heavy naval gunfire on A-day, 20 October, Sixth Army forces landed on assigned beaches at 10:00. X Corps pushed across a 4 mi (6.4 km) stretch of beach between Tacloban airfield and the Palo River.

Within an hour of landing, units in most sectors had secured beachheads deep enough to receive heavy vehicles and large amounts of supplies. Only in the 24th Division sector did enemy fire force a diversion of follow-up landing craft. But even that sector was secure enough by 13:30 to allow Gen. MacArthur to make a dramatic entrance through the surf onto Red Beach and announce to the populace the beginning of their liberation: "People of the Philippines, I have returned! By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

USS Elmore
was there and some of her crew had a ringside view of history in the making.

Bob Hope
At Espiritu Santo

American entertainer Bob Hope began his career as an immigrant who came to the United States with his family as a young boy. In the early 1920s, he worked as a newsboy, a butcher’s assistant, a shoe salesman, and an amateur boxer to scrape by. In the decades that followed, Hope shaped his art on the vaudeville stage, and by the start of World War II, he was just emerging as one of America’s most popular radio and film stars.

When America went to war in 1941, Hollywood recognized the need for contributions and responded by entertaining troops, raising funds, and boosting morale. Hope’s work quickly took on new meaning when he was asked to perform his show outside of the studio, in front of a military audience at March Field, California. That day, he discovered what would become his most cherished audience: the armed forces. Hope later flipped the format of the show entirely and took his wartime programs on the road to military camps and bases across the country, inspiring other entertainers to join him. During the war, only nine of Hope’s 144 broadcasts were recorded in the studio—the rest were performed in front of troops.

The story of Hope’s unique place in the history of World War II and beyond, and the contributions he made still reverberate more than 70 years later.

Battle Stars
Keeping Score

By the end of the war, the US Navy possessed nearly 250 attack transports of various classes. If a ship participated in a specified naval engagement, that ship received a battle star.

There were priceless few transports available at the start of the war and those would be split between the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of operation. A few of those older transports scored the most battle stars simply because of their availability throughout the war.

As the American shipbuilding industry geared up for war, designs were developed for building classes of attack transports. The two major classes of attack transports were the Bayfield-class (34 ships in this class) and the Haskell-class (117 ships in this class).

USS Elmore (APA-42) was a Bayfield-class attack transport. It should be noted that of all the Bayfield-class and Haskell-class ships, Elmore received the highest number of battle stars at eight.

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