A Pearl Harbor Survivor, Elmer Witherow went on to serve aboard the
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.
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
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