I've just received word that today sadly we have lost a fine
Shipmate. Shipmate Howard McPherson.
He enlisted at the age of 18 in July 1934. He advanced through the
ranks to Chief Engineman. He later advanced to Warrant Officer and was
commissioned in July 1944. Shipmate McPherson served on seven
Submarines, which included USS S-28, USS S-21, USS S-24, USS SEAL (SS
183) where he made all 12 of her War Patrols.
Additional commands included USS IREX (SS 482) USS TOWALIGA
(AOG-42), USS BOARFISH (SS 327) USS DIODON (SS 349), USS CHANTICLEER(
ASR-7). He was division engineer for ComSubDiv71 at Pearl Harbor, 1st
Lt at SUBASE Pearl Harbor, and assistant for Material at the Inspector
of Naval Material Office in Fort Wayne In, retiring as a LCDR with 28
years service in 1961.
Howard was hired by the SUBVETS WWII in SEP 1961 as the permanent
manger of the National U.S. SUBMARINE MEMORIAL in Groton CT, When it
became apparent that the original plans would not be realized, he
accepted a position with Electric Boat for 16 years as a nuclear
quality control analyst and techwriter.
Howard was involved with Joe Negri and USSVI from the very
beginning. For many years, Howard was the only officer who was a
member of this organization. In those early years, Howard was very
involved with various fund raisers for both USSVI, and SV WWII,
including a fund raiser for the present National Submarine Memorial,
and fund raising for the Lost Boat Flags, that only the Thames River
Chapter of SV WWII has.
Howard also served for many years on the Board of Trustees for the
clubhouse at 40 School Street.
Later Howard would become the first HOLLAND CLUB members here at
Groton Base in 1987.
Last year at our SUBVETS ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Banquet, I
recognized Howard in front of all who were there for all his
contributions. His wife Connie, told me later that he was very deeply
moved by this public recognition.
SUBVETS Groton Base has lost an important part of it's heritage,
and I have lost another friend.
Sail Easy Shipmate, may the sun be warm in your face, and the winds
blow gently from astern.
There is a port of no return where ship's may ride at anchor
for a little space. And then some starless night the cable slips
leaving only an eddy at the mooring place. Gulls vear no longer,
Sailor rest your oars, no tangeled wreckage will be washed ashore.
SHIPMATE MCPHERSON REST YOUR OARS, AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR
I have just learned that my former shipmate and longtime friend,
LCDR Howard McPherson just passed away in Mystic,CT. Gumba posted the
news on Martini's BBS.
Howard was a mustang and rose from Fireman 3rd to Lt. Commander in
a career that included TWELVE WAR PATROLS on Seal, SS-183 during WWII.
I made four of those runs with "Mac". He was a true
"Role Model" Submariner. His awards include the Bronze Star
and the Submarine Combat Insignia with one diamond and two gold stars.
If you read my book TORPEDOMAN, you may remember Mac. He was a
Chief Warrant when his long time buddy, MM 1/c "Dead Eye Dedrick,
hit him square in the mouth in an attempt to get transferred off Seal
(Striking a Commissioned Officer).
A few years ago at a SubVets Convention, Mac and I were having
lunch. I was kinda embarrassed to say it so I kinda whispered to Mac
that during the horrendous depth charging we took on the Seventh Run,
I thought sure we had "Bought the Farm". Big Mac turned,
looked straight at me and said. "Shit Smitty. I thought we'd
Bought the Farm several times". I swallowed real hard.
He wasn't as famous as Capt. Beach but he was every inch the
He was MY HERO.