Last Update: November 14, 2020

A Tribute Honoring

Arizona World War II Submarine Veteran

Erminio Gonzales, SC3


Winslow, Arizona

    Erminio Gonzales was born on 22 October 1922 in Winslow, Arizona to Jose "Joe" Fimbres and Mary Martinez Gonzales. When his son was born, Jose was earning a living working on the railroad in Winslow as a "boiler washer."  The couple later raised two girls, Mary Lou who was born in 1932 and Gloria born in 1934.

    There were many spellings of his first name found in various records to include, Herman, Herminio, Ermino, and Erminio. Erminio was most predominate in Navy Muster Reports associated with him during his time in the Navy.  No birth records were uncovered to substantiate otherwise.


 On 20 February 1942, Erminio enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a reservist in San Diego, California where he probably received his basic training.  Navy muster reports reflect he was on the troop transport named, USS Henderson (AP-1) on 22 April 1942 heading to Pearl Harbor as a passenger.  On 31 May 1942, Erminio was transferred from the submarine tender, USS Fulton (AS-11) to the Pacific Fleet Service School located at the Pearl Harbor submarine base where he probably received training to become a Ship's Cook. After that, he was assigned to the USS Guardfish (SS-217) as part of the submarine fleet's relief crew.  On 11 December 1942, now a Ship's Cook Petty Officer Third Class, Erminio reported to the Tambor Class diesel electric submarine USS Grampus (SS-207) The Grampus had arrived in Brisbane from its 4th combat war patrol on 23 November 1942. On 14 December 1942, the Grampus conducted its 5th combat war patrol with Ereminio on board as a ship's cook.  Grampus returned to Brisbane from that patrol on 19 January 1943.  On 11 February 1943 with a crew of 71 men that included Erminio under the command of Lieutenant Commander J.R. Craig, USN, Grampus departed on its 6th and last combat war patrol.  The Grampus was lost at sea, on or about 5 March 1943.  Cause of the loss is reported as unknown. 

  Although he made two combat war patrols which earned him the combat war patrol pin, Erminio was on board Grampus a short 3 months and may have not had sufficient time to become a qualified submariner and receive his dolphins.  Other awards include:  Purple Heart, and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal.

Grampus Ship's Patch USS Grampus (SS-207) Lost Location


  More information about Grampus and the names of its crewmembers, go to the following link:


Click here to join the ASSM email list. 

Like what you see here, tell us about it! Click here.


Copyright © 2015 through 2020

Website developed and maintained by Ray Olszewski USS TUNNY (SSG-282) 1958-1962 Boat Yeoman YN1(SS) and IS1(SS) USSVI Life Member and Author of USS TUNNY: A History, Tribute and Memoir.