Altiman, Charles Morris, S2c

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Seaman Second Class
Last Primary NEC
S2c-0000-Seaman 2nd Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman Second Class
Primary Unit
1944-1944, S2c-0000, USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73)
Service Years
1944 - 1944
Seaman Second Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Michigan
Michigan
Year of Birth
1926
 
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Detroit, MI
Last Address
2611 Trumbull Ave
Detroit, MI
(Mother~Blanche Altiman)

Casualty Date
Oct 25, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Location
Pacific Ocean
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Wall of the Missing (Cenotaph)

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial World War II FallenThe National Gold Star Family RegistryWW II Memorial National Registry
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2017, World War II Fallen
  2017, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2017, WW II Memorial National Registry


 Tributes from Members  
Memorial on USS Gambier Bay Website posted by Burgdorf, Tommy (Birddog, TWS Memorial "A" Team), FC2 432
HAND SALUTE, RIP posted by Pinkston, Danielle ("YeoMom" or "Pink"), ET1 35

  1944-1944, S2c-0000, USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73)

Seaman Second Class

From Month/Year
August / 1944

To Month/Year
October / 1944

Unit
USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) Unit Page

Rank
Seaman Second Class

NEC
S2c-0000-Seaman 2nd Class

Location
Not Specified

Country/State
Not Specified
 
 
 Patch
 USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) Details

USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73)

Hull number CVE-73


 
 
USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was sunk
in the Battle off Samar during the battle of Leyte Gulf after helping to turn back a much larger attacking
Japanese surface force. She was the only American aircraft carrier sunk by enemy surface gunfire during
World War II.
Named for Gambier Bay on Admiralty Island in the Alaska Panhandle, she was originally classified AVG-73,
was reclassified ACV-73 on 20 August 1942 and again reclassified CVE-73 on 15 July 1943; launched under
a Maritime Commission contract by the Kaiser Shipbuilding CompanyVancouver, Washington on 22
November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. H. C. Zitzewitz, wife of Lieutenant Commander Zitzewitz, the Senior
Naval Liaison Officer (SNLO) assigned to Kaiser's Vancouver Yard from the Navy's Bureau of Ships; and
commissioned at Astoria, Oregon on 28 December 1943, Captain Hugh H. Goodwin in command.

The ship was referred to as the "Bonus Ship" by yard personnel because she was the 19th carrier delivered
in 1943. The yard had originally projected 16 carriers would be delivered before the end of 1943, however, in
September the Navy asked the yard to increase that number by at least two more. To rally the workers,
Kaiser initiated a campaign called "18 or More by '44" to meet the new challenge. Gambier Bay—being the
19th and last Kaiser-built carrier commissioned in 1943—hence was dubbed the "Bonus Ship". No ships in
her class survive today.
After shakedown out of San Diego, the escort carrier sailed on 7 February 1944 with 400 troops
embarked for Pearl Harbor, thence to rendezvous off the Marshalls, guarded by the destroyer Norman Scott,
where she flew 84 replacement planes to the fleet carrier Enterprise. She returned to San Diego via Pearl
Harbor,
 
     
ferrying aircraft for repairs and qualified carrier pilots off the coast of Southern California. She departed on 1
May to join Rear Admiral H. B. Sallada's Carrier Support Group 2 (TG 52.11), staging in the Marshalls for the
invasion of the Marianas.  Gambier Bay gave close air support to the initial landings of Marines on Saipan 15
June 1944, destroying enemy gun emplacements, troops, tanks, and trucks. On the 17th, her combat air patrol 
(CAP) shot down or turned back  all but a handful of 47 enemy planes headed for her task group and her
gunners shot down two of the three planes that did break through to attack her.  The following day, warning of
another air attack sounded. As her fighters prepared to take off, they found intense antiaircraft fire of the entire
task group covering their flight path. Captain Goodwin called the event "another shining example of the
adaptability and courage of the young men of our country". Eight pilots of Composite Squadron 10 (VC-10)
did take off to help repulse the aerial attack.  Gambier Bay remained off Saipan, repulsing aerial raids and
launching planes which strafed enemy troop concentrations, bombed gun emplacements, and supported
Marines and soldiers fighting ashore. Meanwhile, American carriers slashed the carrier air strength of the
combined Japanese Mobile Fleet and turned it back in defeat in the Battle of the Philippine SeaGambier Bay 
continued close ground support operations at Tinian (19–31 July), then turned her attention to Guam, where
she gave identical aid to invading troops until 11 August. After a respite for logistics in the Marshalls, 
Gambier Bay spent 15–28 September supporting the amphibious attack which drove ashore and captured 
Peleliu and Angaur, Southern Palaus. She then steamed by way of Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura)
New Guinea, to Manus Island, Admiralties, where the
invasion of the Philippines was staged. Screened by four destroyer escorts, Gambier Bay and her sister ship 
Kitkun Bay  escorted transports and amphibious landing ships safely to Leyte Gulf before joining Rear Admiral
 Clifton A. F. Sprague's escort carrier task unit on 19 September off Leyte.  The task unit comprised six escort
carriers, screened by three destroyers and four destroyer escorts, and was known by its radio call sign:
"Taffy 3". Under the command of Rear Admiral Thomas L. Sprague, 18 escort carriers—divided into three,
six-carrier task units ("Taffy"s) maintained air supremacy over Leyte Gulf and eastern Leyte. During the
 invasion their planes destroyed enemy airfields, supply convoys, and troop concentrations; gave troops driving
inland vital close air support; and maintained combat air patrol over ships in Leyte Gulf. While "Taffy 1" and
 "Taffy 2" were respectively stationed off northern Mindanao and off the entrance to Leyte Gulf, "Taffy 3"
steamed off Samar.  Meanwhile, the Japanese threw their entire fleet against American naval power in a
desperate gamble to destroy the large concentration of American shipping in Leyte Gulf.  Powerful Japanese
forces—composed of carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers—attempted to converge on the
Philippines in a three-pronged attack to the south, center, and north. The Japanese Southern Force met disaster
before dawn on 25 October as it tried to drive through Surigao Strait to join the Center Force off Leyte Gulf.
While steaming through the Sibuyan Sea en route to the San Bernardino Strait on 24 October, the Center Force
was hit hard by hundreds of planes from the carriers of Admiral William "Bull" Halsey′s 3rd Fleet. After the 
Battle of Sibuyan Sea, Admiral Halsey no longer considered the Center Force a serious threat, and he sent the
carriers north to intercept decoy carriers of the Japanese Northern Force off Cape Engaño.


Battle off Samar
Gambier Bay under Japanese fire during the Battle off Samar. The smudge in the upper right corner is a

Japanese heavy cruiser, likely Chikuma.


The departure of Halsey's carriers left the escort carriers of "Taffy 3" as the only ships guarding the area

around Samar. American commanders were unaware of night-time movement of the Japanese Center Force
toward Samar. However, shortly after sunrise on 25 October, a gap in the morning mist disclosed the
pagoda-like masts of enemy battleships and cruisers on the northern horizon. The still dangerous Center
Force—consisting of four battleships, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and 11 destroyers—had slipped
undetected through San Bernardino Strait and down the fog-shrouded coast of Samar, bound for Leyte Gulf.
Visibility was approximately 40,000 yards with a low overcast and occasional rain  squalls which the American
 ships would use to their advantage in the coming battle "Taffy 3" was strongly outgunned by the Center Force.
 Immediately, an urgent call for help went out from "Taffy 3" as the escort carriers steamed eastward to launch
planes before gradually turning south to seek concealment in a heavy squall. American pilots attacked the
Japanese formation with torpedoes, bombs, and strafing runs until their ammunition ran out, after which they
made "dry runs"—dummy attacks with no ordnance or ammunition—to break up the enemy formation and
delay its advance. Smoke was laid down to cover the escort carriers′ escape as the destroyers ducked in and out
 of the smoke and rain to engage the Japanese warships at point-blank range until ordered back to cover the
escort carriers with more smoke. In spite of these efforts, Gambier Bay was fired on and hit by multiple
Japanese ships. Gambier Bay′s lone 5 in (130 mm) gun fired at an enemy cruiser that was shelling her, and the
destroyers Heermann and Johnston made an unsuccessful effort to save her.
 
Gambier Bay on fire. Shells from Japanese surface forces splash down beside her (the circled ship is a Japanese

battleship, probably Yamato).  Around 0820, Gambier Bay was severely damaged by a shell hit which flooded
her forward engine room, cutting her speed in half.[2] While most US accounts report this as an 8 in (200 mm)
shell from the Japanese heavy cruiser Chikuma, Japanese sources report it was more likely a damaging near
miss from Yamato as both Yamato and Kongo claimed hits on an aircraft carrier at this time but Yamato had the
shorter range and a better target angle. Gambier Bay was soon dead in the water as the battleship Yamato 
losed to point blank range. Yamato is

clearly seen in the background of photographs taken during the attack on "Taffy 3". Fires raged through the
riddled escort carrier, and she capsized at 0907 and sank at 0911. The majority of her nearly 800 survivors
were rescued two days later by landing and patrol craft dispatched from Leyte Gulf. Sharks killed many
drifting crewmembers. Three other ships—HoelSamuel B. Roberts, and Johnston—were also lost in the battle.
 Gambier Bay was the only US Navy aircraft carrier sunk by surface naval gunfire during World War II
Aircraft from "Taffy 2" joined in the battle off Samar. The events that followed were described by Admiral
Sprague:

"At 0925 my mind was occupied with dodging torpedoes when near the bridge I heard one of the signalmen
yell 'They're getting away!' I could hardly believe my eyes, but it looked as if the whole Japanese fleet was
indeed retiring. However, it took a whole series of reports from circling planes to convince me. And still I
could not get the fact to soak into my battle-numbed brain. At best, I had expected to be swimming by this
time." Gambier Bay, burning from earlier gunfire damage, is straddled by a salvo from a Japanese cruiser,
most likely Chikuma (faintly visible in the background, center-right), shortly before sinking during the Battle
off Samar. Gambier Bay's VC -10 Squadron and other ships of "Taffy 3"—aided by planes of "Taffy 2"—had
stopped the powerful Japanese Center Force and inflicted significant losses. Two enemy cruisers were sunk,
and much damage was inflicted on the other ships. Overall, the overwhelmingly powerful Japanese surface
fleet had been turned back by the escort carriers and their screen of destroyers and destroyer escorts.

Awards
Gambier Bay received four battle stars for service in World War II and shared in the award of the Presidential

Unit Citation to Taffy 3" for extraordinary heroism in the Battle off Samar.
SOURCE: http://www.escortcarriers.com/page-1827208
 

Type
Surface Vessels

Existing/Disbanded
Sunk

Parent Unit
Casablanca-class

Strength
Escort Aircraft Carrier

Created/Owned By
Not Specified
   

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2017
   
Memories For This Unit

Other Memories
The USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) was a Casablanca class escort carrier of the United States Navy. Named for Gambier Bay on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska, she was originally classified AVG-73, was reclassified ACV-73 on 20 August 1942 and again reclassified CVE-73 on 15 July 1943; launched under a Maritime Commission Contract by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington, 22 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. H. C. Zitzewitz of Oswego, Oreg.; and commissioned at Astoria, Oregon, 28 December 1943, Captain Hugh H. Goodwin in command. The ship was informally referred to as Kaiser's "Bonus Baby" because she was built in a record 171 days. Early career After shakedown out of San Diego, the escort carrier sailed 7 February 1944 with 400 troops embarked for Pearl Harbor, thence to rendezvous off the Marshalls, guarded by the USS Norman Scott (DD-690), where she flew 84 replacement planes to the carrier Enterprise (CV-6). She returned to San Diego via Pearl Harbor, ferrying aircraft for repairs and qualified carrier pilots off the coast of Southern California. She departed 1 May to join Rear Admiral H. B. Sallada?s Carrier Support Group 2 (TG 52.11), staging in the Marshalls for the invasion of the Marianas. Gambier Bay gave close air support to the initial landings of Marines on Saipan 15 June 1944, destroying enemy gun emplacements, troops, tanks, and trucks. On the 17th her combat air patrol shot down or turned back all but a handful of 47 enemy planes headed for her task group and her gunners shot down 2 of the 3 planes that did break through to attack her. The following day, warning of another air attack sounded. As her fighters prepared to take off, they found intense antiaircraft fire of the entire task group covering their flight path. Captain Goodwin called the event "another shining example of the adaptability and courage of the young men of our country." Eight pilots of Composite Squadron 10 did take off to help repulse the aerial attack. Gambier Bay remained off Saipan, repulsing aerial raids and launching planes which strafed enemy troop concentrations, bombed gun emplacements, and supported marines and soldiers fighting ashore. Meanwhile, American carriers slashed the carrier air strength of the combined Japanese Mobile Fleet and turned it back in defeat in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Gambier Bay continued close ground support operations at Tinian (19 July?31 July), then turned her attention to Guam, where she gave identical aid to invading troops until 11 August. Invasion of the Philippines After a respite for logistics in the Marshalls, Gambier Bay spent 15 September to 28 September supporting the amphibious attack which drove ashore and captured Peleliu and Angaur, Southern Palaus. She then steamed by way of Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura), New Guinea, to Manus, Admiralties, where the invasion of the Philippines was staged. Screened by four destroyer escorts, Gambier Bay and Kitkun Bay (CVE-71) escorted transports and amphibious landing ships safely to Leyte Gulf before joining Rear Admiral Clifton A. F. Sprague's escort carrier task unit 19 September off Leyte. The task unit comprised six escort carriers, screened by three destroyers and four destroyer escorts, and was known by its voice radio call as "Taffy 3." Under the command of Rear Admiral Thomas L. Sprague, eighteen escort carriers, divided into three "Taffy" units, maintained air supremacy over Leyte Gulf and eastern Leyte. During the invasion their planes destroyed enemy airfields, supply convoys, and troop concentrations; gave troops driving inland vital close air support; and maintained combat air patrol over ships in Leyte Gulf. While "Taffy 1" and "Taffy 2" were respectively stationed off northern Mindanao and off the entrance to Leyte Gulf, "Taffy 3" steamed off Samar. Meanwhile, the Japanese threw their entire fleet against American naval power in a desperate gamble to destroy the large concentration of American shipping in Leyte Gulf. Powerful enemy forces, comprised of carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, converged on the Philippines in a three pronged attack to the south, center, and north. The Japanese Southern Force met disaster before dawn 25 October as it tried to drive through Surigao Strait to join the Center Force off Leyte Gulf. While steaming through the Sibuyan Sea en route to San Bernardino Strait, the Center Force was hit hard on the 24th by hundreds of planes from Admiral Halsey's fast attack carriers. After the Battle of Sibuyan Sea, Admiral Halsey no longer considered the Center Force a serious menace, and he sent the carriers north to intercept decoy carriers of the Japanese Northern Force off Cape Engano. Battle off Samar These swift moving events left the escort carriers of "Taffy 3" as lone sentinels off Samar, and unaware of the nighttime movement of the Center Force. However, shortly after sunrise 25 October, a gap in the morning mist disclosed the pagoda-like masts of enemy battleships and cruisers on the northern horizon. The still dangerous enemy force of more than 20 ships had slipped undetected through San Bernardino Strait and down the fog-shrouded coast of Samar, bound for Leyte Gulf. Despite the probable outcome of an engagement between two so unequal surface forces, the presence of enemy ships in Leyte Gulf was unthinkable; and "Taffy 3" turned to do battle against the enemy. Immediately, an urgent call for help went out from "Taffy 3" as the escort carriers steamed eastward and launched planes that tried to score hits with torpedoes, bombs, and strafe until their ammunition ran out, then make dummy runs to break the enemy formation and delay its advance. Smoke was laid down to cover their running fight as the destroyers ducked in and out of the mist and smoke to charge battleship, cruiser, and destroyer formations point-blank until ordered back to cover the escort carriers with more smoke. The lone 5 inch gun of Gambier Bay spat out at an enemy cruiser that was shelling her; and destroyer Heerman (DD-532) made an unsuccessful effort under the combined fire of the heavy enemy ships to save Gambier Bay. Gambier Bay was soon dead in the water as three cruisers closed to point blank range. Fires raged through the riddled escort carrier. She capsized and sank at 0907 on 25 October 1944 with the majority of her nearly 800 survivors rescued by landing and patrol craft dispatched from Leyte Gulf. Three other ships, fighting to the end, went down: Hoel (DD-533) ; Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) ; and Johnston (DD-557). The latter used only her 5 inch guns in a dummy torpedo run that thwarted the torpedo attack of an entire Japanese Destroyer Squadron led by a cruiser. Aircraft from "Taffy 2" joined in the epic battle off Samar. The events that followed were described by Admiral Sprague: "At 0925 my mind was occupied with dodging torpedoes when near the bridge I heard one of the signalmen yell 'They're getting away!' I could hardly believe my eyes, but it looked as if the whole Japanese fleet was indeed retiring. However, it took a whole series of reports from circling planes to convince me. And still I could not get the fact to soak into my battle-numbed brain. At best, I had expected to be swimming by this time." Gambier Bay and other ships of "Taffy 3," aided by planes of "Taffy 2," had stopped the powerful Japanese Center Force and inflicted a great loss. Two enemy cruisers were sunk, much damage inflicted on the other ships, and this overwhelmingly powerful surface fleet was turned back by the escort carriers and their screen of destroyers and destroyer-escorts. Gambier Bay received four battle stars for service in World War II and shared in the award of the Presidential Unit Citation to "Taffy 3" for extraordinary heroism in the Battle off Samar.

   
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13 Members Also There at Same Time
USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73)

Carlsen, Verner, CAPT, (1943-1975) OFF 000X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Clark, Laurance, LTJG, (1942-1945) OFF 135X Ensign
Allen, Robin Etheridge, PO2, (1942-1944) PhM PhM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Smehyl, Charles, PO2, (1941-1945) MO MO-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Arpin, Louis Wilfred, S1c, (1943-1944) S1c S1c-0000 Seaman 1st Class
Cox, Virgil, SN, (1943-1945) SN SN-9700 Seaman
PRIVETTE, SR, HERMAN, AN, (1943-1945) ARM ARM-0000 Airman
Alm, Frederick Earl, HA2c, (1943-1944) SA SA-0000 Hospital Apprentice 2nd Class
Vieweg, Walter, RADM, (1924-1954) Captain
Huxtable, Edward, CAPT, (1936-1949) Lieutenant Commander
Bassett, Burt, CAPT, (1940-1969) Lieutenant
Berlanga, Salvador, PO3, (1942-1946) Petty Officer Third Class
Phillips, Grover, PO3 Petty Officer Third Class

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