Arpin, Louis Wilfred, S1c

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Last Rank
Seaman First Class
Last Primary NEC
S1c-0000-Seaman 1st Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman First Class
Primary Unit
1944-1944, S1c-0000, USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73)
Service Years
1943 - 1944
Seaman First Class

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Robert Cox, YNCS to remember Arpin, Louis Wilfred, S1c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Crowley, LA
Last Address
Florence Farms
Crowley, LA
(Parent~Mr and Mrs Arsene Louis Arpin)

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

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Tributes from Members  
HAND SALUTE, RIP posted by Pinkston-Klier, Danielle (YeoMom, Pink), ET1 35
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Navy
  1944-1944, S1c-0000, USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Samar
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  USS GAMBIER BAY (CVE 73) History
  Louis has two memorial stones in Wisconsin and Louisiana
  Oct 13, 1943, Service Entry Date & Serial Number 275 00 30
  May 22, 1944, Received on USS Gambier Bay
  Oct 25, 2013, General Photos1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
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.

"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 and launched planes. 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 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 an 8 in (200 mm) shell from the Japanese Heavy Cruiser Chikuma which flooded her forward engine room, cutting her speed in half.[1] Gambier Bay was soon dead in the water as the battleship Yamato closed to point blank range. Yamato is clearly seen in the background of photographs taken during the attack on "Taffy 3".[2] 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' Hoel, Samuel 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 ided 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.
Not Specified
 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryWWII Memorial National Registry
  2017, World War II Fallen
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2017, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2017, WWII Memorial National Registry
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