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)


Class of 1933

Herbert is one of 37 members of the Class of 1933 in Memorial Hall.