Walter S. Hite, Jr. is a hero to his family and country who served during WWII on the USS. Elmore (APA 42). He received the following commendations: Pacific Theatre Ribbon (5 stars), Good Conduct Ribbon, Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation (2 stars) and the Purple Heart Medal.
Walter recently turned 94 years old and is still going strong!
Quartermaster. 2nd Class, Walter Hite, steered USS Elmore.
The pilot house or steering station is located on the navigating bridge or 02 level and is the control center of the ship. The captain's bridge is the open area or flying bridge above the pilothouse on the 03 level. Orders to the pilothouse were sent by the Officer of the Deck (OOD) or Captain from the flying bridge above.
In the pilothouse or steering station, the ship was steered by the helmsman who kept the ship on course by watching the gyro compass repeater. A magnetic compass is located in a binnacle for use in emergencies. The Lee Helmsman sent orders to the engine rooms by means of the mechanical engine order telegraph which included knobs to indicate the exact number of revolutions per minute desired from the engine room.
Other equipment located in the pilothouse includes the clinometer, radar indicator PPI repeater, chart table, control panels for the ship's navigational lights, alarms, and communication equipment (ie: speakers and sound powered phones).
Approximately fourteen men manned the bridge and pilothouse during normal condition II war cruising.