Title: Navy Chief Warrant Officer 4, World War II, Korean War; police officer
Birthdate: October 1, 1914
Death Date: January 23, 1974
Plot Location: Section B, Range 6, Lot 4

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There were seven boys born to Samuel and Louise McAlpin during the first quarter of the 20th century. Their father was born in Scotland and was a coppersmith at the Navy Yard. That may explain why six of the seven sons served in the military, four of them, including Elmer, in the Navy.

They grew up in the Melrose neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Elmer married Gertrude Kramer in 1935, had two girls and a boy before 1940, then had another girl in 1948. He worked at the Navy Yard as a pipefitter’s helper from 1937-1942, then became a sailor on active duty from July 10, 1942-February 15, 1946. He had a one-year tour of duty on the USS Gear, shown here, a rescue and salvage ship in the Pacific. After Japan’s surrender, he was stationed there with the USS Hooper Island, a repair ship that fixed the engines of the vessels in the Pacific Fleet.

The 1950 census lists Elmer’s job as a city police officer. At the start of the Korean War, he was one of over 100,000 Reserve Sailors who returned to active duty. He left the Reserves in 1957. Some time later, after retiring from the police, he and Gertrude moved to Florida where one of his daughters lived. Just to stay busy, he was a deputy Sheriff there for five years before they moved back to rural Pennsylvania where another daughter lived.

He died there in Mifflinville, in Columbia County at age 59. The funeral was held in Clementon, New Jersey before the burial took place here at Mount Moriah, where a military headstone was ordered for his grave. Elmer was the only one in his entire family brought here, and was survived by his wife and four children, plus 15 grandchildren and all six of the McAlpin brothers.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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