Please Report Any Broken Links Or Trouble You Might Come Across To The Webmaster
Please Take A Moment To Let Us Know So That We Can Correct Any Problems And Make Your Visit As Enjoyable And As Informative As Possible.
|Click On Image
For Full Size Image
By And/Or Copyright
|6k||Kenneth Willmarth was born on 13 February 1914 in Cleveland Township, Chippewa, Wis. He graduated from the State Teacher's College at Eau Claire, Wis., with a
BS before he enlisted in the Naval Reserve at Minneapolis, Minn., on 17 June 1941. After receiving instruction as an apprentice seaman in Prairie State, the former battleship
Illinois (BB 7)-from 18 September to 9 October, Willmarth received an honorable discharge on 10 October to accept an appointment as midshipman in the Naval Reserve the following
day. After training again in Prairie State (IX -15) and receiving a commission as ensign on 17 January 1942, Willmarth joined Vincennes (CA 44) while that cruiser
lay alongside the east jetty, Navy Yard annex, South Boston, Mass., on 28 February 1942. Initially a junior watch and division officer in the ship's "M" division, Ens. Willmarth served in
Vincennes until the predawn darkness of 9 August 1942 in the Solomon Islands when an avalanche of steel unleased by Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa's cruiser force smothered
Vincennes, Astoria (CA 34), and Quincy (CA 39) of the northern screening group in some 20 minutes' time. Ens. Willmarth was among those killed in
Vincennes as his ship took at least 57 known shell hits and possibly absorbed two torpedoes; the battered heavy cruiser sank within an hour of the start of the engagement.
USS Willmarth (DE 638) (1944-1946) was the first ship named in his honor.
|21k||undated wartime image (shown in Camouflage Measure 32, pattern 10D)||Jerry Church|
|74k||Undated port quarter view of the USS Willmarth (DE 638). The ship is camouflaged in MS32/10d camouflage scheme. (U.S. Navy Photo)||Mike Green|
|View the USS Willmarth (DE 638) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|Willmarth's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 13 Mar. 1944 - 01 Jun. 1945||Lcdr. James Grieve Thorburn, Jr., USNR (Comm. CO) (Dedham, Mass.)|
|2.) 01 Jun. 1945 – 22 Nov. 1945||Lt. John F. Burditt, USNR|
|3.) 22 Nov. 1945 – 08 Jan. 1946||Lcdr. William T. Clark, USNR|
|4.) 08 Jan. 1946 – 01 Apr. 1946||Lt.(jg) George Xavier Connor, USNR (Decomm. CO)|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists or rosters available. Please see the Frequently Asked
Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.
|To The DE Photo Index Page||Back To The Main Photo Index|