Branch: U. S. Navy
Status: Deceased Veteran
Date of Service: WWII
Home Town: Alida
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Elmer Flaws was born November 30. 1911 in Clare City, South Dakota to John and Margret Tisch Flaws. He spent his first eight years in the Sisseton area then his family moved to the Alida, Minnesota area. He attended Bear Creek school before taking over the farm.
Elmer enlisted in the Navy Reserves on January 21, 1938 and was sent to Great Lakes Naval Training Center for boot camp. He attended advanced training for coxswains. He was called to active duty in March of 1942 and spent his enlistment aboard the SS Reuben Tipton, the SS Georgina and the SS Thomas Wolfe, in that order. He served as a gunner aboard those ships. On October 23, 1942 the Reuben Tipton was torpedoed by a German U-boat about 400 miles northeast of Trinidad. One torpedo struck the starboard side in the #1 hold, blew off the hatch covers and buckled the deck. There were three deaths and 51 survivors. While aboard the Thomas Wolfe, he and its crew played a vital role in the D-Day Invasion of Europe. Elmer received an honorable discharge in March of 1945.
Elmer passed away on March 22, 2002 and is buried in Alida Cemetery.
Plot: 5 Side: West Row from Bottom: 3
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