Robert Wilson Helmes
QMC Robert W. Helmes, USN (ret), was born in St. Louis,
Missouri, on 21 December 1923. Chief Helmes enlisted in the Navy in March 1941
and retired in December 1960. He was a Powderman on Mount 4 (5" gun) on the USS
St. Louis CL-49 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
He participated in the Battle of Kulu Gulf and Kolombangara while on the St.
Louis. Chief Helmes completed four war patrols on the USS Boarfish SS327 during
World War II, served on the China Station on the USS Sea Devil SS400 from May
1947 through June 1949, completed Korean War patrols on the USS Besugo SS321
from June 1949 to January 1952. He served on USS Tiru SS416 as Chief of the Boat
from 6 February 1956 until 5 March 1957. Chief Helmes received the Navy Unit
Commendation Medal, Submarine Combat Pin, and the Pearl Harbor Survivor Medal.
Chief Helmes died on 30 March 2006 in Honolulu and was interned at the National
Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).