Elmer H. Witherow

USS West Virginia

A Pearl Harbor Survivor, Elmer Witherow went on to serve aboard the USS Salt Lake City (CA-25).


Elmer H. Witherow passed away at the age of 69 at the VA Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska on Sept. 13, 1991

He served in the US Navy during WWII, where he was a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Korean War & Vietnam War.
He married Louella Lundberg on April 18, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is survived by a daughter, two sons and numerous other family members.

He retired from the US Navy in 1970 as a Chief Warrant Officer with 30 years of service. He was a life member of Pearl Harbor Survivor Association, American Legion Post No. 235-Union, Veterans of Foreign Wars & Masonic Western Lodge No. 2, Nebraska City.

He was also a lifetime member of Royal Arch Masons Florence Post No. 61 in Omaha, Tangier Shrine Temple of Omaha, Mobile Nobles of Tangier Temple, Omaha, Council No. 1 Cryptic Masons, and Mt. Calvary Commandery No. 1, K. T.

Elmer graduated from Union High School in 1939. he entered the Navy on Sept. 19, 1940, and departed early in Jan. of 1941 for Pearl harbor, Hawaii. He survived the sinking of the USS West Virginia on the day of infamy; Dec. 7, 1941.

He served in the Korean War aboard the USS Carpenter and was aboard the USS Surfbird during the Vietnam War. The USS Surfbird was a converted mine sweeper, which participated at DeNang, CamRan Bay, Vung Tau & surrounding water.

In civilia life, Witherow pursued a career in line with his military training as a technical representative for several insurance companies inspecting boilers and machinery. He fully retired in 1984.

Ships he served on during his 30 year career.

USS WEST VIRGINIA BB-48, Nov. 1940 - Dec. 1941
USS SALT LAKE CITY CA25, Dec. 1941 - Aug. 1946
USS MATTAPONI, AO-41, May 1947 - Aug. 1949
USS GEN. G. M. RANDALL, TAP-115 - Sept. 1949 - Jul. 1950
Pacific Reserve Fleet, Astoria, Oregon - Aug. 1950 - Sept. 1952
USS CARPENTER, DD-825 - Sept. 1952 - Jun. 1955
Pacific Reserve Fleet, Astoria, Oregon - Jun. 1955 - Dec. 1955
USS F. D. ROOSEVELT, CVA-41 - Jan. 1956 - Jun. 1957
USS KENNETH WHITING, AV-14 - Jun. 1957 - July, 1958
N. R. S. Omaha, Nebraska - Jul. 1958 - Aug. 1960
USS CHIPOLA, AO-63 - Sept. 1960 - Jul. 1964
N. R. S., Omaha, Nebraska - Jul. 1964 - Jul. 1966
USS SURFBIRD, ADG-383 - Aug., 1966 - Aug. 1968
USS PIEDMONT, AD-17 - Sept. 1968 - Dec. 1969

Campaign & Service Medals:

Navy Achievement Medal
Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
Good Conduct Medal ( 4 star )
American Defense Service Medal ( 1 star )
American Area Campaign Medal
Asiatic - Pacific Medal ( 12 stars )
WWII Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal (Asia)
China Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal ( 1 star )
Korean Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal ( 1 star )
United Nations Service Medal
Philippine Liberation Ribbon ( 1 star )
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Korean Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Click here to go back to the previous page
Click here to go to the main USS West Virginia page

Copyright ©2000-2024 USSWestVirginia.org. All rights reserved.