HERBERT S. FULMER, JR., CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33

Date of birth: June 14, 1912

Date of death: January 21, 1945

Age: 32

Lucky Bag

From the 1933 Lucky Bag:


Biography

1933 Fulmer 1.jpg

From the 1953 edition of the book "Double Three Roundup," published by the class of 1933:

When Herb graduated he was right on the dividing line between '33A and '33B, and although he was pretty sure he would get a commission because of the resignation of one of those in '33A, he had to return home and wait for further word. Sure enough, two weeks later he received his commission, and he proceeded to the West Coast to join the TENNESSEE. In 1936 he transferred to the old fourstacker CROWINSHIELD and continued on as her Chief Engineer until she was decommissioned in April 1937. He then had two years as Gunnery Officer of the LONG, followed by 6 months each in the UTAH, KILTY and FANNING.

In May 1941 Herb was assigned to the Naval Mission, Caracas, Venezuela, and he was stationed there when we entered World War II. In February 1944 he put the TICONDEROGA in commission at Newport News, Virginia, as Gunnery Officer. He was in that ship during the Palau, Luzon, Formosa and China Coast operations. On 21 January 1945 an enemy suicide plane got through the ship's antiaircraft battery and crashed into Herb's battle station. He was first reported "missing in action" but later declared dead.

Herb was awarded the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart Medal for his action in that attack. The Navy Cross citation states: "When the ship was under a heavy enemy air attack, Commander Fulmer left the protection of his battle station and, accompanied by two CIC phone talkers, went to an exposed position forward where he directed effective counterfire which resulted in the shooting down of three hostile aircraft. As the second suicide plane bore down on the ship, he still refused to seek the comparative safety of his battle station in order to fight his guns. Bravely remaining at his dangerous post, he maintained fire from the ship's guns until thrown overboard by the explosion when the Kamikaze crashed his station. By his fortitude and indomitable spirit, he inspired others to heroic effort in defending the TICONDEROGA. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Herb was married to Laura Virginia Clarke of Centralia, Virginia. Laura has since remarried, -- on 26 January, 1952, to Captain William O. Burch, class of '27. They are living at 4201 Massachusetts Avenue, N. W. in Washington, D. C.

Loss

Herb was lost when USS Ticonderoga (CV 14) was struck by a kamikaze on January 21, 1945 while operating off Formosa. He was the ship's gunnery officer and earned a Navy Cross (below) for this action.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Herbert Samuel Fulmer, Jr. (NSN: 0-72576), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism as Gunnery Officer of the U.S.S. TICONDEROGA (CV-14), in action against enemy Japanese forces at Formosa on 21 January 1945. When the ship was under a heavy enemy air attack, Commander Fulmer left the protection of his battle station and, accompanied by two CIC phone talkers, went to an exposed position forward on a catwalk which nearly surrounded the island where he directed effective counterfire which resulted in the shooting down of three hostile aircraft. As the second suicide plane bore down on the ship, he still refused to seek the comparative safety of his battle station in order to fight his guns. Bravely remaining at his dangerous post, he maintained fire from the ship's guns until thrown overboard by the explosion when the Kamikaze crashed his station. By his fortitude and indomitable spirit, he inspired others to heroic effort in defending the TICONDEROGA. His courageous devotion to duty throughout this perilous action reflects the highest credit on Commander Fulmer and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Board Serial 2649 (September 20, 1948)
Action Date: January 21, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander
Division: U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CV-14)

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1933

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Edwin Hurst '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1933

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Edwin Hurst '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1934

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Edwin Hurst '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

July 1934

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24.

October 1934

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24.

January 1935

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24.

April 1935

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24.

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Crowninshield

Others at this command: LTjg Winsor Gale '31 and ENS Frank Whitaker '34.

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Crowninshield

Others at this command: LTjg Winsor Gale '31.

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Crowninshield

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Long

Others at this command: LCDR John Jones '21.

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Long

Others at this command: LCDR John Jones '21.

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Long

Others at this command: LCDR John Jones '21.

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Long

Others at this command: LCDR John Jones '21.

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Utah

Others at this command: LTjg John Powers '35.

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Kilty

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Fanning


Class of 1933

Herbert is one of 38 members of the Class of 1933 on Virtual Memorial Hall.