Edward Addis Lemerise
Born: August 11, 1923
Hometown: Fall River, MA
Position / Rank: Ensign /
Assistant Engineering Officer
Date / Place of death: October 10, 1944 /
Date / Place of burial: October 1944 /
St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Fall River, MA
Ensign Edward Lemerise graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on May 22, 1943. As a Cadet-Midshipman he sailed as Engine Cadet aboard the SS Exanthia. He was sworn into the U.S. Naval Reserve as an Ensign on June 5, 1943. After initial training Ensign Lemerise reported to the pre-commissioning detail for the USS Rutland (APA 192) at Astoria, Oregon. Upon the Rutland’s commissioning on September 29, 1944, Ensign Lemerise was assigned to duty as the ship’s Auxiliary Machinery or “A” Division Officer and Assistant Engineering Officer.
On October 9, 1944, the USS Rutland was moored at U.S. Naval Station Astoria, Oregon taking on supplies for her shakedown cruise off the West Coast. Ensign Lemerise left the ship but was due back aboard the ship by 1645 that afternoon. However, he did not return and was listed as Absent Without Leave at the 0710 crew muster on October 10. Less than an hour later, the ship sailed from Astoria for Bremerton, Washington. Two days later, at 1036 on October 12, 1944, the Rutland received a message from the Officer-in-Charge of the Receiving Barracks in Portland saying that they had positively identified a deceased person as Ensign Lemerise.
Edward Lemerise’ Death Certificate indicates that he may not have intended to return from Liberty when he left the USS Rutland on October 9. His body was found on October 10 in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland, dead of a self inflicted gun shot wound to his right temple. The Death Certificate indicates that he used a .45 caliber pistol, possibly his service pistol or one he borrowed from the ship before he left.
Ensign Lemerise’ remains were returned to his wife, Elizabeth L. Lemerise, in Fall River, Massachusetts where he is buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Edward A. Lemerise was the oldest of Edward Lemerise and Elizabeth C. Lemerise’ three children. According to the 1940 U.S. Census, the elder Lemerise worked as a mechanic in a garage.