MoMM3c Malcolm Anthony Peppo, who was born December 24, 1926, was awarded the Silver Star May 4, 1945. The picture shows the award being pinned on Peppo. The back of the photo is inscribed “Admiral Glover awarding Silver Star to M.A. Peppo, 113 N.C.B. D2, May 4, 1945 at Philippine Islands, for gallantry in action 1944 at Philippine Islands”. The admiral is Rear Admiral R.O. Glover, commander of the 7th Fleet Forces. Peppo won the award for an action when he was at an advance PT Boat base. Motor Torpedo Boat Advanced Base Construction Detachment of the 113th Bn. was attached to PT Boats and the Seabees used to go out with them on occasion. The Wilhelmsen roster of WW2 Navy Silver Stars, and OMSA Medal Notes No. 8 on WW2 PT Boat awards both list him as such.
The Motor Torpedo Boat Advanced Base Construction Detachment of the 113th Bn. , that Peppo was in, was called the "Forgotton 55" and is written about on the web:
Through the generosity of a family member, from whom copies of Navy correspondence have been obtained, included below is the redacted silver star citation for Peppo's actions on the morning of December 15, 1944 on Mindoro in the Phillippines:
"For distinguishing himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action… Peppo was unloading stores from his vessel, based on an island in the Southwest Pacific Area, when that ship was attacked by a Japanese plane… He and several other men of his party requested permission from a ship's officer to go topside and pass ammunition to the gunners… As the plane made the attack, he took the first loader's place and during the ensuing action loaded several magazines into the gun. When the plane approached… he slipped into the gunner's place and fired one full magazine… scoring several hits at point blank range. He continued to fire until the plane crashed… Peppo suffered schrapnel wounds and burns on the arms and legs, but after his wounds had been treated, he returned to the gun and stood by until relived by a ship's gun crew. His courageous action in the face of danger, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States." The LST being unloaded was LST 605 on Mindoro. Two other LST's were sunk nearby that morning.
The medal group includes Peppo's Silver Star number 55347, Victory Medal. Asiatic Pacific Campaign, and American Campaign Medals.
The 113th NCB was formed at Camp Peary in July 1943, moved to Endicott on Aug. 6 to Gulfport on Sept. 17 and to Hueneme on Dec. 5. Sailing from Hueneme on Feb. 21, 1944, they arrived at Hollandia via Finschaven, New Guinea, May 9. On June 3, 1944, Detachment A left Hollandia and two days later Landed on an island near Biak. This turned out to be the wrong island and the detachment was landed at Mios Woendi on June 8 to construct a PT base. Completing the base on July 2, the unit returned to Hollandia. Detachment A left Hollandia on July 25 for Amsterdam Island to build another PT base and returned Aug. 28. The same detachment built PT bases on Soemesoeme Island, near Morotai in September, and on Samar, in the Philippines, in November. MMM3C Peppo was part of Detachment A. Detachment B joined Detachment A at Leyte Gull early in December. On Dec. 12, both units left Leyte, with Detachment A arriving at Mindoro to build a PT base Dec. 15, 1944. On the same date the LST carrying Detachment B was sunk by enemy action off Mindoro Island. The survivors arrived at Hollandia on Dec. 23, and were transferred to the receiving barracks for survivors leave. On Jan. 12, 1945, Detachment C arrived at Mindoro for construction of NABU Seven. On Feb. 7, Detachment D landed on Mindoro to assist in the construction of the naval base. At war’s end the outfit was still based there.