Tom McCabe's Genealogy

Pete Gann about 1960

Howard James “Pete” GANNAge: 74 years19231997

Name
Howard James “Pete” GANN
Birth 1923 33 31
Education
Militaryyes

Note: Pete's unit was awarded a citation for its actions at Tarawa. Pete once said that this was a difficult landing due to the shallow reefs far from the shore.
Militaryyes


Birth of a brotherRobert Wilton GANN
January 1, 1926 (Age 3 years)
Birth of a sisterAlta Ruth GANN
April 2, 1929 (Age 6 years)
Death of a paternal grandfatherWilliam Allen GANN
December 21, 1937 (Age 14 years)
Death of a sisterOpal Mae GANN
July 23, 1939 (Age 16 years)
Military
US Navy
1941 (Age 18 years)
Note: Pete was a sailor on the USN APA-6 (USS Heywood). He was a crew member of the landing craft that dr…

Death of a maternal grandfatherWilliam Joseph MAGEE
May 14, 1941 (Age 18 years)
Military August 7, 1942 (Age 19 years)
Note: The National Archives houses the "After Action" Reports for the USS Heywood for 1942. A detailed report on the Guadalcanal Landings and incoming aircraft attacks was included. I've included a map that describes the date and positions for some of the aircraft attacks.
Death of a brotherHerman Taft GANN
December 26, 1965 (Age 42 years)
Death of a maternal grandmotherMary Melisse Caroline BENNETT
May 25, 1967 (Age 44 years)

Death of a fatherThomas Floyd GANN
August 26, 1970 (Age 47 years)
Death of a motherAlta MAGEE
August 15, 1973 (Age 50 years)
Death of a brotherFloyd William GANN
April 9, 1976 (Age 53 years)
Death of a sisterAlta Ruth GANN
June 16, 1993 (Age 70 years)
Cause: Complications after several operations following car wreck
Death July 14, 1997 (Age 74 years)
Note: Obituary from findagrave:
Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
elder brother
20 months
elder sister
22 months
elder sister
19 months
elder brother
2 years
elder sister
6 years
himself
3 years
younger brother
3 years
younger sister
brother
Private
Family with Helen GRAVES - View this family
himself
wife
son
Private
daughter
Private
Private + Helen GRAVES - View this family
wife’s husband
Private
wife
son
Private
daughter
Private

Military

Pete was a sailor on the USN APA-6 (USS Heywood). He was a crew member of the landing craft that drove Marines and supplies to the beaches.

For photos of USS Heywood see http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/03/03006.htm

Photos of the landing at Attu in Alaska remind me that Pete said that action was the \"scariest\" landing because of the long trip through fog and anticipation of Japanese opposition.

Military

The National Archives houses the "After Action" Reports for the USS Heywood for 1942. A detailed report on the Guadalcanal Landings and incoming aircraft attacks was included. I've included a map that describes the date and positions for some of the aircraft attacks.

Military

Pete's unit was awarded a citation for its actions at Tarawa. Pete once said that this was a difficult landing due to the shallow reefs far from the shore.

Death

Obituary from findagrave:

Birth: Jan. 10, 1921 Glen Flora Wharton County Texas, USA Death: Jul. 14, 1997 Harlingen Cameron County Texas, USA

Howard James Gann

HARLINGEN - Howard James Gann passed away at Valley Baptist Hospital on July 14, 1997.

Mr. Gann was born in Glen Flora, Texas, on Jan. 19, 1921, to Tom and Alma [sic] Gann.

He was married to Helen Mae Lewis on Aug. 13, 1950, at the First Methodist Church at McAllen and has resided ever since in Harlingen.

Mr. Gann is survived by his wife, Helen; stepson, Glynn Lewis of Gaithersburg, Md.; stepdaughter, Sandra Hein of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two sisters, Mary Farrar and Edna McCabe; and two brothers, Bob Gann and Jim Gann.

Pete served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on board the U.S.S. Heywood, APA-6 in the Atlantic and Pacific theatres; in the Pacific he participated in many of the island invasions beginning with Tarawa on Nov. 20, 1943.

Medals earned included American Area, Victory World War II, Philippine Liberation and two stars, Asiatic Pacific Area plus eight stars, European African Area and Unit Commendation (Tarawa). He received an honorable discharge on the 16th of December in 1946 as a boatswain mate first class.

After returning to the Valley, he raised cattle and farmed in Lantana and Harlingen.

Note

Pete entered the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor. He did his basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training base and then shipped out with the USS Heywood for the duration of WW2.

The following history of the USS Heywood is taken from the Dictionary of the American Naval Fighting Ships web site.

USS Heywood

Heywood (AP-12) was built in 1919 as Steadfast by the Bethlehem Steel Corp., Alameda, Calif. As SS City of Baltimore she made New York-San Francisco passenger runs for the Panama Pacific Lines throughout the 1930's. She was acquired by the Navy 26October 1940, renamed Hey wood, (AP-12), and fitted out as a troop transport at Portland, Oreg., where she commissioned 7 November 1940, Captain Herbert B. Knowles in command.

Heywood cruised as far west as Hawaii before transiting the Panama Canal for Charleston, S.C., arriving 14 June 1941. She carried garrison forces for the defense of Iceland and performed neutrality patrol in waters of the West Indies until the infamous raid on Pearl Harbor. She departed Norfolk 10 April 1942 with reinforcements for the Soman Islands, then replenished at San Pedro before sailing for Wellington, New Zealand. She embarked Marines for amphibious warfare training, then sailed toland them in the amphibious assault in the Tulagi-Guadalcanal area 7 August 1942. She shot down an enemy plane 8 August and frequently repelled air attacks as she shuttled desperately needed supplies and troops into Guadalcanal from the New Hebrides, New Caledonia and ports of Australia. Outbound from the besieged Solomons, she evacuated wounded Americans and Japanese captives.

Heywood returned to San Pedro, Calif., 16 January 1943 for repairs. She sailed north 24 April, carrying fighting men who landed 11 May in an amphibious assault on Attu, Aleutian Islands. She returned nearly 500 wounded veterans of the campaign forAttu to San Francisco 6 June, then put to sea with occupation troops landed to occupy Kiska 15 August 1943.

Heywood returned to Wellington, New Zealand, 1 October 1943 to train and embark fighting men landed in amphibious assault on bloody Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands 20 November. She returned to Pearl Harbor 3 December for amphibious warfare training culminating in the amphibious assault for the capture of the Marshall Islands which commenced 31 January 1944. She put garrison troops ashore at Kwajalein and Majuro, then landed assault units as Americans swiftly swept on to Eniwetok. With the Marshalls secured, the transport overhauled in San Pedro, Calif., then returned to the Marshalls 11 May to prepare for the invasion of the Marianas Islands. She landed assault troops at Saipan 16 June and on nearby Tinian 24 July as America took a giant sea step toward Japan herself.

Heywood participated in the long overseas sweep to Leyte in the Philippines, landing assault troops in the initial invasion of 20 October 1944. She had a brief rest at Manus in the Admiralties where she embarked assault troops landed on the shoresof Lingayen Gulf 9 January 1945. She landed reinforcements to assist in securing Mindoro 9 February 1945. then returned to the States for overhaul before embarking reinforcements for the capture of Okinawa, the last stepping stone to Japan.

The close of hostilities with Japan 15 August 1945 found Heywood in the Philippine Islands. She carried occupation troops into Tokyo Bay 8 September 1945 and continued trooplift operations between Japan and the Philippines until 25 October 1945 when she set course for the western seaboard. After setting veterans ashore at San Diego and at Philadelphia, she arrived in Boston 3 February 1946. She decommissioned there 12 April 1946 and transferred 2 July 1946 to the custody of the Maritime Administration. She was subsequently renamed City of Baltimore.

Heywood received seven battle stars for service in World War II.

EducationPete Gann in Cap and GownPete Gann in Cap and Gown
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MilitaryPete Gann with Younger brother JimPete Gann with Younger brother Jim
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MilitaryUSS Heywood and Some of It's Landing Craft, Attu 1943.USS Heywood and Some of It's Landing Craft, Attu 1943.
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MilitaryUSS Heywood Captain's Map of Landing and Air AttacksUSS Heywood Captain's Map of Landing and Air Attacks
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MilitaryNewspaper article in Valley Morning Star, Oct 5 1944Newspaper article in Valley Morning Star, Oct 5 1944
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MilitaryMuster Record for Pete Gann in 1942Muster Record for Pete Gann in 1942
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MilitaryMuster record for Pete Gann in 1946Muster record for Pete Gann in 1946
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Media objectPete's ObituaryPete's Obituary
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Media objectService flag for WWII familiesService flag for WWII families
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Media objectPete Gann about 1960Pete Gann about 1960
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Media objectPete in Full Sailor UniformPete in Full Sailor Uniform
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