U.S.S. Elmore (APA-42)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.
27 September 1945
History of U.S.S Elmore (APA-42)
The U.S.S. ELMORE was formerly the “S.S. SEA PANTHER” of the U.S. Maritime Commission, Hull Number 390 (Builders' Hull Number 327) and was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula, Mississippi. The keel was laid on 19 June 1942 and launched on 29 January 1943. The vessel was christened by Mrs. Walter F. George, wife of Senator George of Georgia.
The “SEA PANTHER” was accepted by the Maritime Commission on 30 March and acquired by the Navy on the state date. She was renamed “U.S.S. ELMORE” honor of all the counties of that name in the United States. The ship left Pascagoula, Mississippi, on 1 April 1943, manned by Navy Ferrying Crew Number FOUR. She arrived at the yard of Maryland Dry-dock Company on 25 April 1943 for conversion into an attack transport.
The “U.S.S. ELMORE (APA-42)” was placed in full commission on 24 August 1943, by Captain B.N. Ward, USN, Assistant Industrial Manager at Baltimore and under the command of Commander Drayton Harrison, USN, Ship's Company consisted of 42 officers and 326 enlisted personnel.
On 2 September 1943 the ELMORE left Baltimore for Norfolk Navy Yard, and after a ten -day availability went through the process of getting degaussed, depermed, having her compasses adjusted, and receiving her ammunition. On 16 September she began a rigid training period, indoctrinating her officers and men in the art of amphibious warfare. Her boats which consisted of 2 LCM (3)'s, 2 LCPL's and 24 LCVP's were put over, exercised, and retrieved under all conditions imaginable.
On 13 October, her preliminary training completed, the ELMORE got underway enroute to the West Coast via the Panama Canal and on 1 November 1943 arrived in San Diego, California. From this date until 13 January, training programs were conducted with the elements of the 4th Marine Division off San Clemente Island and Aliso Canyon, Oceanside, California. Her compliment now consisted of 53 officers and 496 enlisted men inclusive of the boat group and beach platoon. On 13 January, a taut and well-trained ship, the ELMORE departed from San Diego for the assault of Kwajalein Atoll, in the Japanese held Marshall Islands with 82 officers and 1443 enlisted men of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment, 4 Marine Division aboard and as part of Task Force 53, under command of Rear Admiral Connally, Commander Northern Attack Force.
On 31 January, approximately 300 troops were transferred to LST's for the attack on islands at the entrance to the lagoon and on 1 February the ELMORE entered the transport area and commenced debarking troops and cargo for the initial assault of Namur Island.
During the assault, the ship lost two men, one from multiple wounds received on the beach while serving as a member of the beach platoon, the other from a fall at #1 hatch. Both were buried at sea that night. Twenty-three casualties were received from the beach for treatment, of whom one died and was buried at sea. The others were transferred to U.S.S. SOLACE on 4 February 1944. Lieutenant Donald E. Kidston, USNR, file 169417 and Boatswain John C. Woodbury, USN, file 326821 received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement while serving as Beachmaster and Assistant Beachmaster respectively during this operation.
On 4 February, her job completed, the ELMORE left Kwajalein in company with Task Unit 15.13.1 and proceeded to Funafuti, Ellice Islands, crossing the equator on 7 February, for the first of many times. On 10 February, she was assigned duty with the 3rd Fleet by Command in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and proceeded to Havannah Harbor, Efate, New Hebrides in company with Task Unit 34.6.4.
From 17-25 February the ship was readied for another operation while moored in the quiet waters of Havannah Harbor.
On 25 February, the ship was underway for Guadalcanal where she anchored off Kukum Beach on the 27th. During the period of 28 February to 17 March, the 3rd Battalion, 160 Regiment of the 40th Infantry Division, U.S. Army was trained in amphibious warfare. On 18 March, she departed for Noumea, New Caledonia in company with Task Unit 32.4.5 arriving on 21 March. During her stay at Noumea, she received a new camouflage and departed for Guadalcanal, 4 April, with 31 officers and 634 enlisted men and equipment of the 147th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army and 35 officers and 391 enlisted casuals aboard. The casuals were debarked at Guadalcanal and the ship proceeded to Emirau Island in company with Task Unit 32.4.5.
All hands were at General Quarters passing off New Ireland due to the presence of enemy aircraft. None attacked the convoy however and on 11 April the 147th Regiment was debarked, with cargo and the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment was embarked with equipment for Guadalcanal. After debarkation at Guadalcanal and a brief logistics period, troops and cargo of the 40th Infantry Division, U.S. Army were loaded. On 20 April, the ELMORE was underway for Cape Gloucester, New Britain with Task Unit 34.9.5.
From 22-25 April, while anchored in Borgen Bay, Cape Gloucester, troops and cargo of the 40th Division were discharged and 67 officers and 1431 enlisted men of the 1st Marine Division were embarked for the Russel Islands. While the last of the Army were debarking over the starboard side, the first Marines embarked over the port side and their cargo was loaded in record time.
In rapid succession followed the unloading of the 1st Marine Division at the Russells on 28 April and the loading of 80 officers and 488 men of the 40th Infantry Division, U.S. Army with equipment at Guadalcanal on the 29th. May 1st found the ship bound for Cape Gloucester again. From 3-5 May, the elements of the 40th Infantry Division were discharged and 61 officers and 1341 enlisted men of the 1st Marine Division with cargo were loaded for the Russells debarking at their destination on 7 May, after an uneventful passage.
On 9 May, the ELMORE reported to Commander Group 3, FIFTH Amphibious Force for duty at Guadalcanal and from 11 May to 4 June, conducted training exercises with the 2nd Battalion, 21st Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, operating under orders of Commander Task Force 53, Rear Admiral R. L. Connally, in preparation for the assault on Guam. On 4 June, as a unit of Commander Task Force 53, the ship got underway for Kwajalein with the 2nd Battalion, 21st Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division and anchored in the lagoon on 8 June.
Kwajalein was left behind on the 12th and the ship, although destined for Guam, was designated a floating reserve for the invasion of Saipan. For ten days Task Force 53 maneuvered off Saipan. Enemy aircraft were almost constantly in the vicinity but did not attack the convoy. Two destroyers (DD-658) and (DD-555) were fueled at sea and the ship in turn fueled from an oiler underway at night.
On 28 June, the ship returned to Eniwetok for logistics until 17 July. One man of the ship's company drowned while swimming off Bijuri Island and was buried at the cemetery on Japtan Island.
On 17 July, the ELMORE, with units of Task Group 53.3 was underway for Guam again. From 21-25 July, the ship was in the transport area. The 2nd Battalion was debarked for the assault, followed by their cargo. While in the area the U.S.S. WITCHITA came alongside for 5” and 8” ammunition which the ELMORE was carrying for her. One-hundred-sixty-nine Marine casualties were received from the beach, twelve of whom died and were buried at sea, and ninety-two of whom were later transferred to U.S.S. RIXIE and U.S.S. SOLACE.
Two members of ship's company in the initial assault on Guam were wounded and received the Purple Heart: Tillman Calvin DAVIS, S1c USN, 556-36-90 a member of the beach Platoon and Robert Rawles NANCE, S1c, 659-60-47, V-6, USNR, a crew member of an LCVP. Both received shrapnel wounds as a result of enemy mortar fire.
For their performance as LVT Wave Commanders in the face of heavy enemy fire during this operation, Lieutenant (JG) Lawrence Lee WARREN, USNR, file 224189, and Lieutenant (JG) Charles Robert AUCHMUTEY Jr., USNR, file 189944, were awarded the Commendation Ribbon.
On the 25th with 65 Marine casualties still aboard the ship got underway for Espiritu Santo via Eniwetok, with Commander Task Unit 57.18.14, arriving on 5 August. Escorts were fueled underway while enroute. Availability was granted from 5-21 August for conversion into a Relief AGC.
The period of 23-31 August, was spent in the Russells and off Guadalcanal Training Headquarters and other units of the 1st Marine Division for the invasion of Peleliu, operating with units of Task Force 32.17.
From 8-15 August, as a unit of Transport Division TWENTY-FOUR and part of Task Group 32.1, the ship was underway for Peleliu in the Southern Palau Islands. The various elements of the 1st Marine Division aboard were landed with their cargo and equipment and for seven days the ship was held in the transport area. Heavy mortar fire was encountered all along the reef which constantly hampered the unloading phase. At night enemy aircraft were present to some extent but did no damage other than to further tire an already weary crew. Three hundred thirty casualties were received from the beach for treatment, sixteen of whom died as a result of their wounds and were buried at sea. One member of ship's company lost his life when a mortar shell hit the boat in which he was present. Lieutenant (JG) Victor Laverne CHAMBERS, USNR, file 226326 and Lieutenant (JG) Edward Joseph ROTHWELL, USNR, file 187485, received the Bronze Star Medal for distinguishing themselves by meritorious achievement as Boat Group Commander and Salvage Officer respectively during this operation. Stephen M. NEUBERGER, Coxswain, USNR, 722-52-01, received the Commendation Ribbon for distinguishing himself as coxswain of a landing craft after his boat was hit by mortar fire. After what seemed an interminable period, the ELMORE got underway with Task Unit 32.19.6 on 22 August for Humboldt Bay, Hollandia, New Guinea, arriving on the 25th. On the 26th the ship reported to Commander Task Force 31 for duty. From 1-13 October 1944, training exercises were conducted off new Guinea with Transport Division TWENTY-FOUR and units of Task Force 78, Commander Task Force, Rear Admiral Barbey, USN, with the 3rd Battalion, 19th Regiment 24th Division, U.S. Army on board in preparation for the invasion of Leyte, Philippine Islands.
On 20 October 1944, at daylight, troops and cargo were boated from the initial assault on Leyte. At 0620 one lone enemy aircraft came over. Gunfire was ineffective, and he escaped apparently without damage. Three LCVP's from this vessel were hit by mortar fire when approaching the beach in the 4th wave. One coxswain and two Army enlisted men were killed, four Navy enlisted from the ship were wounded. All three boats were badly damaged, but two were able to beach with their wave. The three killed in action were buried at sea the same night. The four wounded personnel from the ship were: Clifford Walker PARRISH, BM2c, USN, 556-68-73, John Robert Dennington, S1c, USNR, 850-02-08, Carl Lee MOORE, Cox, USNR, 755-69-95 and Julius Claude TULLIER MoMM3c, USNR, 253-08-46, all of whom received the Purple Heart. Carl Lee MOORE, Cox USNR, 755-69-95, and James Edward GLASSCOCK, MoMM2c, USNR, 855-44-65, also received the Bronze Star Medal for distinguishing themselves in action against the enemy.
At 1817 on the 20th, her mission completed, the ELMORE departed for Kossel Passage, Palau Islands with Transport Division THIRTY-TWO, anchoring in the passage on the 23rd where she stayed during the Second Battle of the Philippines. On the 28th, with various units of Task Unit 78.2.1 she proceeded to Apra Harbor, Guam, arriving on the 31st.
Various elements of the 77th Infantry Division were landed with their cargo and on 3 November, with Task Unit 78.13 the ship sailed for Noumea. A change of orders however, found her anchored in San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on the 23rd where the elements of the 77th were discharged. Enemy aircraft were almost constantly in the air, and at 1114 on the 24th, a Japanese single engine plane set afire by a P-38 dived on the U.S.S. JAMES O'HARA (APA-90) anchored 800 yards from this vessel causing very minor damage. An LCVP from the ELMORE rescued two men over the side from the O'HARA. At 1423, another enemy single-engine plane was shot down over the Task Group and crashed harmlessly into the sea.
During the period from 1-27 December, while at Hollandia, New Guinea, preparations were made for the amphibious operation to be conducted in Lingayen Gulf. Elements for the 1st Corps, U.S. Army were loaded with their cargo. On the 28th the ELMORE joined up with units of Task Force 78 at Aitape and proceeded to Lingayen Gulf via Surigao Straits. At 2300 on 7 December, just south of the approaches to Manila Bay a Japanese DD was sunk after a running battle by gunfire from escorts within plain sight of the ELMORE.
At 0620 on 8 January, while at General Quarters for dawn alert, enemy aircraft attacked. One enemy plane crashed the U.S.S. CALLAWAY in the Task Group astern. Another crashed an LST. Both ships were able to continue. Several enemy aircraft were shot down, some after dropping their bombs.
On the 9th the ELMORE anchored in the outer transport area off San Fabian. Boats from the ELMORE were assigned to other ships for the assault waves and no troops or cargo were put ashore on “S” day. The ship was at General Quarters most of the day to repel enemy air attacks. Anti-Aircraft fire from this vessel did not account for any enemy planes. Suicide boats and swimmers were present in the transport area at night causing damage to our ships. Small arms fire from other ships and craft at floating objects was almost continuous.
Moving into the inner transport area on S-1 Day, (the 10th), troops and cargo were put ashore without casualties. Enemy air attacks were numerous throughout the day, but all were out of range. In the evening twilight while retiring in company with ships of Task Unit 18.104.22.168 an enemy plane crashed the U.S.S. DUPAGE, flagship of Transport division THIRTY-EIGHT about 3,000 yards ahead of the ELMORE, causing a large explosion followed by fire over a relatively large area on her port side. She was able to maintain station and the unit proceeded to Leyte, arriving on 13 January.
During the period 13-26 January, logistics were completed and troops of the 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry, 38th Infantry Division, were loaded with their cargo in preparation for assault landings south of Lingayen.
On 18 January, Captain John L. Reynolds, USN, reported aboard as the relief for Captain Drayton Harrison, USN.
After training exercises were completed, the ELMORE proceeded in company with various units of Task Group 78.3, Rear Admiral Struble in U.S.S. MT. McKINLEY (AGC-7) for San Felipe-San Narcisoco, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Upon the arrival in the transport area at dawn on 29th February, troops of the 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry, 38th Infantry Division, U.S. Army were put ashore with their cargo. There was no opposition on the beaches and all support gunfire was cancelled. No casualties were reported nor were any returned to the ship. Upon completion of unloading, the ELMORE got underway with ships of Task Unit 78.3.20, Officer in Tactical Command in U.S.S. CAVALIER enroute to Leyte.
At 0140 on the 30th, there was an underwater explosion off the port bow, 3,000 yards from the ship and the U.S.S. CAVALIER dropped out of formation reporting that she was hit port side aft by a torpedo or mine. U.S.S. WINGED ARROW was ordered to stand by to assist.
Leyte Gulf was reached without further incident and from 1-28 February, boats, boats crews, beach parties and hatch working details were provided for the unloading of Merchant Shipping which contained urgently needed cargo and equipment for the forth coming operation of the 24th Army Corps.
At 1300 on 8 February, Captain John L. Reynolds, USN, relieved Captain Drayton Harrison, USN, as Commanding Officer, U.S.S. ELMORE. At 1400 the same date, Captain Philip P. Welch, Commander Transport Division THIRTY-EIGHT, transferred his flag and staff from U.S.S. DUPAGE (APA-41) to U.S.S. ELMORE, remaining aboard until 22 February, at which time he transferred his flag and staff to U.S.S. BARNS-TABLE (APA-93). On 23 February, a material inspection of the ELMORE was conducted by a board from U.S.S. BARNSTABLE of which Captain H.O. Walsh, USN, was senior member.
From 1-27 March, troops and cargo of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry Division, U.S. Army were loaded and training exercises conducted as ordered by Command Amphibious Group 12, Rear Admiral J.L. Hall in U.S.S. TETON, in preparation for the assault landing on Okinawa Shima.
Underway on the 27th, the ELMORE proceeded in company with Commander Task Force 55, Rear Admiral Hall to Okinawa, entering the transport area before dawn on 1 April 1945. Several enemy aircraft in vicinity were observed shot down with apparently no damage to our own forces. From 1-4 April, troops and cargo were put ashore. The ELMORE retired each night except on 4 April when she remained in the transport area. Enemy air attacks were numerous at dawn and dusk. While effecting night retirement on the 1st, six enemy planes came over the transport area, and all transport were ordered to make smoke. Retirement was slowed considerably, and while forming up, U.S.S. ALPINE (APA-92) , 800 yards on ELMORE's port beam was hit by a “suicider” and remained in the transport area for the night. During this attack, one man from the ELMORE was wounded by falling shrapnel, ANDERSON, Floyd Max, CM1c USNR, 852-78-25.
While at dawn alert on the 5th in a rough sea and strong wind, the port anchor cable parted at the 45-fathom shot. The ship got underway immediately and avoided collision with other ships immediately astern.
Twenty-eight casualties were received from the beach at Okinawa, one of whom died and was buried ashore, seven of whom were returned ashore after treatment and 20 of whom remained aboard to be later transferred to Guam.
While getting underway with Transport Division THIRTY-EIGHT and units of Task Unit 51.29.5, the ELMORE received orders by dispatch to proceed to Pearl Harbor via Guam for onward routing and overhaul.
A brief stop at Guam on 9 April, where the remaining casualties aboard were transferred, a brief stop at Pearl Harbor on the 22, and then the ELMORE was underway independently for Portland, Oregon for overhaul. On the 25th orders from the Navy Yard, Puget Sound, changed the destination to Seattle.
On 30 April, 1945, the shores of Washington and British Columbia were a beautiful sight to all hands, even though shrouded in fog with overcast skies. Sixteen months had passed since the ELMORE had been in continental waters. After removing ammunition at Pier 90, Naval Supply Depot, Seattle, the ELMORE shifted to the yards of Everett Pacific Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Everett, Washington, for overhaul.
During availability there were two leave periods of 22 days each, fifty percent of ship's company going during each period.
During the month of June and part of July, every advantage was taken of training schools and refresher courses in tactics, ammunition handling, CIC, fire-fighting, fire control damage control, anti-aircraft-aircraft firing, LORAN navigation, refrigeration, communications, night lookout, shallow water diving and quartermaster.
On 16 July, the ELMORE was underway and conducted speed trials, ran the degausing range, and compensated compasses prior to mooring at Pier 91, Naval Supply Depot, Seattle, for ammunition, stores and provisions, etc. On the 20th, pursuant to orders from Commander Western Sea Frontier, the ship got underway for San Diego via San Francisco where Captain Stanley M. Haight, USN, Commander Transport Division THIRTY-THREE, transferred his flag and staff from U.S.S. CALLOWAY to U.S.S. ELMORE.
Upon arrival in San Diego on the 25th, the ship underwent inspection by inspection boards from Commander Amphibious Training Command, Pacific and Commander, Operational Training Command, Pacific. From 26-28 July, refresher training was held off Coronado under Commander, Amphibious Training Command, Pacific and on the 28th the ship entered the U.S. Naval Repair Base, San Diego, for emergency repairs to the 30-ton boom at #3 hatch. On 1 August, emergency repairs completed, the ELMORE departed for San Pedro, conducting firing practice under Commander, Operational Training Command, Pacific enroute.
From 1-5 August, while moored at Terminal Island, San Pedro, California, 39 officers 692 men of the 28th Tank Battalion, U.S. Army and 40 officers and 642 enlisted Army casuals were taken aboard with their cargo for Batangas, Philippine Islands and Manila respectively.
Underway on the 5th, the ship proceeded to Batangas via Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Leyte. At Ulithi, the first transfers were effected of all personnel eligible for discharge or release to inactive duty under ALNAV 196-45. On 3 September 1945, V-J Day, the ELMORE dropped anchor in Manila Bay for a logistic period until the 9th, when she departed for Lingayen Gulf as flagship of Transport Division THIRTY-THREE, (temporary) and unit of Transport Squadron FOURTEEN. A brief stop was effected at Subic Bay to transfer temporarily all LCM's to Commander Naval Base, Subic for retention until after the forth coming operation.
At meritorious mast on 19 September, the following named men received letters of commendation from Admiral Turner for outstanding achievement in all of the operations in which the ELMORE had participated: HUGES, John Campbell, Jr., QM2c, USNR, 836-36-43; RUNGE, Glen Burton, RM1c(T), USNR, 306-07-58; HOEY, Thomas Charles, PhM1c(T), USN, 224-38-39; HOGAN; Charles Clarence, Cox(T), USNR, 636-50-70; DEMBOWICZ, Stanley (n), SM2c(T), USNR, 756-48-41; KEALEY, Charles Vincent, SF2c(T), USNR, 244-90-19; CARSON, Harold Kenneth, BM1c, USNR, 381-10-61; CONSENTINO, Ciro Gerald, PhM2c, USNR, 225-25-73; MORAN, James Joseph, PhM2c(T), USNR, 259-08-46.
From the 10-20 September, troops of the 130th Regimental Headquarters and attached units of the 130th Regiment of the 33rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army consisting of 65 officers and 1289 enlisted with their cargo and equipment were loaded and after training exercises off Aringay Point, the ELMORE as flagship of Transport Division THIRTY-THREE departed for Wakayama, Honshu, Japan with units of Task Unit 54.5, Rear Admiral Noble in U.S.S. WASATCH (AGC-9). Although opposition was not expected, the ship was combat loaded and prepared for an assault landing. Running lights were burned and the ship was not darkened between sunset and sunrise.
At daylight on the 25th the hills of Honshu lay ahead. The ship was at General Quarters for half an hour until the transport area was entered and then went into condition 1-ABLE. Assault troops were boated for the 7th, 8th and 11th waves with their equipment, but the landing was unopposed. The inner transport area was entered, and general unloading begun about 1000.
At 0655 on the 26th, all cargo was boated. 2 LSM's and a PC were fueled and provisioned during the day and at 1700 with units of Transport Squadron FOURTEEN, the ELMORE got underway for Leyte.
All hands were gratified that once again the ELMORE had done her job.
As she steamed in formation out of the enemy's home waters, once again as in every other operation in which she had participated the message was received from her division and squadron commanders “Well Done”.
Enroute to Leyte, heavy weather was experienced as the squadron skirted a typhoon. A brief stop was effected at Subic Bay to pick up LCM's and their crews left behind at the beginning of the voyage. Passing through San Bernardino Straits, the squadron arrived at Leyte on 3 October. Underway again on the 7th, the ship proceeded with units of Transport Squadron FOURTEEN to Davao Gulf, Mindanao, anchoring in Pakiputan Straits.
On 8 October, the ELMORE commenced loading troops and cargo of the 3rd Battalion, 19 RCT, 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Army for the occupation of Matsuyama, Shikoku, Japan. On 15 October, with a total of 61 officers and 920 enlisted Army aboard the ship was underway with various units of Transport Squadron FOURTEEN. The trip was uneventful and on the 21st the squadron anchored off Mitsugahama, Hakushi, Shikoku, Japan. The landing commenced on the morning of 22 October and was unopposed. By the afternoon of the 23rd the unloading of troops and cargo was completed. Liberty parties were sent ashore to the town of Gunshu on the 24th, 25th and 26th of October giving all hands a chance to see Japan.
Before sailing on 27 October, Transport Squadron FOURTEEN was disbanded and all ships were assigned to the Magic Carpet Operation for capacity lifts to the United States. The ELMORE arrived in Buckner Bay, Okinawa on the 29th. After a brief logistic period, 1642 naval enlisted and 100 naval officers embarked on 1 November to be returned to the United States for discharge, and the ship get underway for San Francisco. She was now assigned to Commander Task Group 16.12, Rear Admiral Kendall.
On 2 November, two horned typed mines were sighted and sunk by gunfire. On 7 November the destination was changed to Seattle, Washington. On the night of 14 November, the ship anchored in Elliot Bay, Seattle, shifting to the dock on the 15th. All passengers were discharged and once again the ship went to the Everett Pacific Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at Everett, Washington for urgent voyage repairs.
During the stay at Everett, Captain Stanley M. Haight, USN, Commander Transport Division THIRTY-THREE, deactivated his staff and hauled down his flag. The Bronze Star medal awarded by Commander SEVENTH Fleet, Admiral Kinkaid, was presented to Lieut. (jg) Arthur L. Alexander, D, USNR, file 225494 of Burlington, North Carolina; William C. Pate, BM1c 657-31-84, USNR of Mt. Olive, North Carolina and James F. Peterman, Cox, 637-82-11, USNR of Winterville, Georgia for meritorious and outstanding service in each invasion in which the ELMORE participated. The following received the Commendation Ribbon and Letters of Commendation. Harry W. Jacob, CCM, 652-19-26, USNR of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and William G. Lyons, BM2c 608-51-08, USNR of Buffalo, New York.
After a ten-day availability and a three-day logistics period at Seattle, the ELMORE got underway singly for Tacloban, Leyte Philippine Islands for a second load of “magic carpet” personnel. Heavy weather was experienced all the trip and the ship frequently changed course in an attempt to avoid storms on her track. Rolls of 32° on each side were experienced and she arrived three days behind schedule. Enroute, Meritorious mast was held and the Bronze Star medal awarded by Commander, SEVENTH Fleet, Admiral Kinkaid was presented to Harold T. Lowery BM1c, 575-23-06, USNR of Kershaw, North Carolina; Thomas B. Mitchell, BM1c, 256-50-85, USN of Hyattsville, Maryland; James C. Pappas, BM2c 266-73-16, USN of Newport News, Virginia; Wade D. Phillips, BM1c, 556-73-07, USN of Lakeland, Florida; Lawrence E. Winstead, BM1c, 834-78-01, USNR of Weems, Virginia; Frank M. Perez, BM2c, 709-63-09, USNR of New York, N.Y. for outstanding and meritorious service under enemy fire while serving in the boat, group or beach party in every operation in which the ELMORE participated. Bronze Star medals were awarded to Lieutenant John E. Gudgel, CD, USNR, file 237664 of Boonville, Indiana and Joseph J. Moran RM2c, 202-57-95, USNR of Lawrence, Massachusetts, who were transferred on a previous date and these medals were forwarded to their home addresses.
After a three-day availability at Guiuan, Samar from 20-23 December 1564 Army enlisted, 45 Army Officers, 28 Navy enlisted men and 1 Naval Officer were embarked at Tacloban on the 24th. Christmas Eve found the ELMORE bound out of Leyte Gulf for San Francisco.
Christmas festivities included carol singing, church services, Christmas Dinner and the presentation of gifts to all hands with Christmas trees decorating the mess hall and wardrooms.