The number of Armed Guard veterans who view this website and, in particular, this message board is unfortunately very limited, so the chance of one of your father's old shipmates seeing your message is likewise very limited. But you never know.
The Armed Guard website has the record of two Armed Guard veterans who, sometime in the last 25 years or so, identified themselves as having been on the Edward Bates, Thomas W. Almond and Walter R. McCrickard. McCrickard specifically notes he was on board that ship as of 02/01/44, the date on which she was sunk in the Mediterranean, so very possibly a shipmate of your father. I have no definitive information on whether these men are still living and, if so, how to contact them. I can say the Social Security Death Index (http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/) has a record of a Walter R. McCrickard, originally from West Virginia, who died in Bethesda, Maryland, on Dec 27, 1995. The Index lists 23 men named Thomas Almond, any number of which were of an age to have been in the military in World War II.
Likewise several men identified themselves as being on the John Gorrie at one time or another: Charles F. Heffner (in Feb 1945), Charles Victor Karmendy (Feb-March 1945), Vernon E. Marks (Oct 1943), Kendall E. Niebuhr (Sept 1944-March 1945), James L. Quinn (1945), and Malcolm Wilson (June 1944). Mr. Karmendy has a longer biography at http://www.armed-guard.com/biogk.html; scroll down to second entry. According to the Social Security Death Index, he died in 2002.
There are two men named Kendall Niebuhr listed at www.switchboard, one in Wisconsin, one in Illinois:
5555 Tancho Drive
Madison, WI 53718
6 Deerfield Court
Swansea, IL 62226
You may wish to contact the USN Armed Guard World War II Veterans Association, which is separate from this website, where additional information may be available about shipmates of your father. Contact Charles A. Lloyd, Chairman, U.S.N. Armed Guard WW II Veterans, 115 Wall Creek Dr, Rolesville, NC 27571, phone 919-570-0909, e-mail email@example.com.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster