Hammill, Don, SoM1c

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
152 kb
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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
SO-0000-Sonarman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Sonarman
Primary Unit
1943-1945, SO-0000, USS Crosby (APD-17)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Voice Edition
SO-Sonarman (1943-1964)

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

21 kb

Home Country
United States
United States
Year of Birth
1923
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Diane Short (TWS Chief Admin), SA to remember Hammill, Don (Salty Sam), SoM1c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Dec 21, 2012
 
Location of Interment
Utah State Veterans Cemetery - Bluffdale, Utah
Wall/Plot Coordinates
SECTION A-1 ROW D SITE 1

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Order of the Golden Shellback Order of the Emerald Shellback


 Military Association Memberships
Navy League of the United StatesNational Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors)
  1997, Navy League of the United States [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2005, National Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2005, National Association of Destroyer Veterans (Tin Can Sailors) [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
I AM NOW VICE PRESIDENT OF MEMBERSHIP & DEVELOPMENT,
UTAH COUNCIL NAVY LEAGUE OF THE UNITED STATES

Unofficial US NAVY CERTIFICATES
COLD WAR CERTIFICATE
GOLDEN DRAGON CERTIFICATE


Per the National Cemetery Administration........
 
HAMMILL, DON E  
  SO1   US NAVY
  WORLD WAR II
  DATE OF BIRTH: 02/04/1923
  DATE OF DEATH: 12/21/2012
  BURIED AT: SECTION A-1  ROW D  SITE 1
  UTAH STATE VETERANS CEMETERY
   
Other Comments:
Hammill, a native of Salt Lake City, enlisted into the U.S. Navy in January, 1942, at the age of 18. After basic training and sonar school he was assigned to the crew of the APD-17 U.S.S. Crosby. Converted into a swift, amphibious attack vessel designed to deliver shock troops into battle, the Crosby was an old World War I destroyer brought out of mothballs. Painted in garish green-splotched camouflage, it joined 4 other ships of its class to create an amphibious warfare task force called TRANSDIV 22, "The Green Dragons." Hammill and his crewmates saw tremendous action during 17 amphibious landings in the South Pacific that included the islands of Guadalcanal, New Guinea, New Georgia, New Britian, Bouganville, Hollandia, Leyte, Luzon, Manila Bay, Corregidor and Okinawa. Their duties ranged from landing Army Rangers and Marines ashore, anti-submarine patrol, radar picket duty, recovering shipwrecked sailors, to shore bombardment and fire support. It was during operations off of Bouganville Island on November 17, 1943 that Hammill survived through one of his most memorable days of combat. Hammill was manning his battle-stations post at an anti-aircraft gun on the bridge. The Crosby was under a vicious strafing and dive-bombing by two Japanese aircraft. Witnesses report that Hammill fired with deadly accuracy at a low-flying bomber that was starting a Kamikazi attack on his vessel. Sonarman Hammill opened up his 20mm gun emptying a full magazine into the enemy plane. His shells tore apart the enemy's cockpit causing the aircraft to veer up radically barely missing the ship?s bridge before plunging into the sea. Hammill sailed and fought on his ship for 23 consecutive months. At war's end, he came home to Salt Lake City and earned a Law Degree from the University of Utah.
   
 Photo Album   (More...



Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Kula Gulf
Start Year
1943
End Year
1943

Description
The naval Battle of Kula Gulf took place in the early hours of 6 July 1943 during World War II and was between United States and Japanese ships off the coast of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.
Background
On 5 July, United States Navy Task Group 36.1 (TG 36.1)—commanded by Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth and consisting of the light cruisers USS Honolulu (CL-48), USS St. Louis (CL-49), and USS Helena (CL-50), plus four destroyers, had received word of another "Tokyo Express" mission down "the Slot" in the Solomon Islands, and the task group proceeded northwest past New Georgia Island.

The Allies were in the process of launching their next offensive in the Solomon Islands, having just landed troops on the island of Rendova as a preliminary step to seizing the major Japanese airstrip at Munda on New Georgia Island. In support of this landing, which was to set up an initial beachhead for moving U.S. troops across Blanche Channel to New Georgia, Admiral Ainsworth had the night before conducted a cruiser bombardment of Vila on Kolombangara Island and Bairoko on New Georgia and, short of fuel and ammunition, was in the process of retiring to the Coral Sea to replenish. A U.S. Marine landing was scheduled on the northern shore of New Georgia on 10 July, that would require further naval support.

Battle
At 01:06 off Kolombangara, the task group came into contact with a Japanese reinforcement group commanded by Admiral Teruo Akiyama which consisted of ten destroyers loaded with 2,600 combat troops that were bound for Vila, which they used as a staging point for moving into Munda. The Japanese were divided into two forces, a formation of three escorts trailing the main column first came under attack.

The U.S. ships opened fire at 01:57, firing 612 shells in 21 minutes and six seconds, quickly sinking the destroyer Niizuki and killing Admiral Akiyama. However, Helena had expended all of her flashless powder the previous night, she was forced to use smokeless powder, thus illuminating herself to the Japanese ships with every salvo. Two of the Japanese destroyers launched their Long Lance torpedoes and hit Helena, fatally damaging her. The main Japanese force, which had countermarched away from Vila with the first contact, then broke away, having landed only 850 of the 2,600 troops. The Japanese destroyer Nagatsuki ran aground, while Hatsuyuki was damaged.

Both forces began to withdraw from the area, but one Japanese and two American destroyers remained to rescue survivors. At about 05:00, the destroyers Amagiri and USS Nicholas exchanged torpedoes and gunfire. Amagiri was hit and retired. The beached Nagatsuki was abandoned by her crew in the morning, she was bombed and destroyed by American aircraft.

Aftermath
The destroyers USS Radford and Nicholas both stayed behind to rescue survivors from Helena. While rescuing over 750 men, Radford and Nicholas had to reengage the enemy three times, they were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their rescue. Amagiri escaped and later rammed and cut in half the motor torpedo boat USS PT-109, captained by future President of the United States John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), in Blackett Strait southwest of Kolombangara on August 2.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1943
To Year
1943
 
Last Updated:
May 25, 2018
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  71 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Brosnan, Ryan
  • Garrett, Earl, PO2, (1941-1953)
  • Street, William, CPO, (1940-1946)
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