Guest Book

The USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 Association welcomes your
comments, suggestions, and feedback.

Please leave us a message in the box below.


Support Our Troops

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The USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 Association would like to thank and recognize our archiver/researcher, Mike Pyzdrowski (son of Henry {PYZ} Pyzdrowski),
for his dedication and commitment in continuing to honor and keep alive the memory of the Men of the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10.

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The USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 Association would like to thank and recognize
our web designer, Nicholas Grond (grandson of Paul LaRocco),
for donating his services 
to design and develop the
USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 Association website.

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134 thoughts on “Guest Book

  1. admin Post author

    Richard, thank you so much for checking out our website! We were just in Seattle (October 19-22, 2017) for our USS Gambier Bay/USS Kitkun Bay reunion! Photos of the reunion should be up on the site within a couple weeks. I am not sure if any survivors or family members remember Telf but I will put your comment in our upcoming Scuttlebutt with you email should anyone remember him and wish to contact you. If Helen has any photos of Telf in his uniform I would love to have them to put up on the site, and any other photos for the Survivors/Family Reflection webpage, like a wedding photo, family or work photo or any newspaper articles or recognitions. You can email them to me in a jpg format to and also let me know if you and your wife, and Helen would like to be on the email list to receive our quarterly publication, The Scuttlebutt. We also have a Facebook page, please like and follow us there too.

  2. Richard VanHoose

    Very, very interesting. My wife “Peggie” is the daughter of “Steven Telfer Adams”, who served on the USS Gambier Bay. He died in Butte, Mt. in 1957. His widow “Helen” lives in Seattle, Wa. As of 2017. They had 5 children together. Wish to know if anyone remembers “Telf” ?

  3. admin Post author

    Thank you Al for your compliment to our site! I would love to have any info you have on Louis Nucci for the site. Please email any info you have to You know, family and friends of our survivors are always welcome at our reunions! We were just in Seattle and our next one looks like we will be in San Antonio in October 2018.

  4. admin Post author

    So good to hear from you. We were talking about Darrell at our recent reunion in Seattle. Unfortunately, we don’t have a very good accurate count on how many survivors are left. It seems we are always coming across one when we visit the different cities where we have our reunion. In Seattle, Lyndle Irick show up. His neighbors had seen we were going to be in Seattle and they brought him. Tell Darrell we say HI, and we would love to see him and his family again at our next reunion – San Antonio / October 2018.

    Marlene informed me she knows of a pilot living in Arizona – she will get in touch with you via email.

  5. John Bennett

    does any body know how many pilots from gambier bay still are living ? i am son of Darrell {smoke} Bennett. Dad is now 93 years young . doesnt travel now.

  6. Allan Whitney Jr

    Hi Paula, I would like to thank you for the ease in using the web site. My father was a telephone company engineer and met CPO Louis Nucci when when Lou was stationed at NAS New York Floyd Bennett Field. His son and I were in high school and the same age.
    Our families became close friends. I was just looking at the list of crew members and his looked incomplete. He was promoted to LT USNR in 1949. I believe
    he was transferred to Norman OK in 1950. His wife lived to be 102. i still remember all the experiences he told me about from the time of the attack until his return to the US. I would be glad to share them with you.I also have a picture of my mother and his wife and brother at a picnic bench at the field. Have to dig that out of storage.
    We lost contact with the family. I have seen memorabilia for him on the internet but am unable to contact the person who has it.{pictures, medals,portrait}. I am still interested in any info on Lou and his family.

    al Whitney


  7. admin Post author

    Thank you so much for your comment and we are glad you found our site. We also have a Facebook page if you want to LIKE us and follow us there too. We update the site regularly with new info and photos, usually submitted by our second and third generations. If you have any photos or newspaper articles you would like to share for the site, please email them to me at It is our mission to continue to honor, remember, and respect all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 with our site. There is a monument in San Diego, CA listing all of the KIA and you can see that on our site on the Killed In Action web page.

  8. David & Renee Witte

    My mother’s cousin was PARMANTJE, John J his parents never recovered after the loss of their son. His parents never talked about John after he died and the rest of the family always wondered where John died at was it on the boat or at sea. I have recently found this site and the information about his shipmates and historical information about the USS Gambier. My wish would be to let everyone know that recognizing these men who fought for our country and remembered

  9. admin Post author

    Timothy, thank you for your comment. You mention you have a great portrait of your Uncle Harvey and the original letter informing your grandmother of his death. If you would like, I can post those on the website under Survivor/Family Reflections – 4. As you know, it is up to us, second and third generation to continue to honor, respect, and remember all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 and our website exists because of all our contributions. You can reach me at with any questions you may have or if you would like to have those items up on the site you can send them to me. So glad your mother was able to attend some of the reunions. We would love to see you at a reunion – we will be in Seattle in October,perhaps if your schedule allows you could attend. We thank not only your Uncle for his service but also to his nephew Richard for his service. Those who serve our country truly deserve our respect and gratitude. Paula

  10. Timothy C Towner

    My uncle, Harvey Foran, was lost when the Gambier Bay sank. I never knew him as I was born in 1947. Harvey’s sister (my mother) attended several reunions and both she and my grandmother held out hope of finding Harvey in a Veterans Home for many years. I have a wonderful portrait of him and also the original letter informing my grandmother of his death. His nephew, Richard Towner, followed in Harvey’s footsteps acquitting himself with honor during Naval service off the coast of Vietnam. I’ve read just about everything I could find on the Gambier Bay and the Battle for Leyte. My family has always been very proud of Harvey and the men of the Gambier Bay for their contribution and sacrifices on our country’s behalf. I have shared their story with my own sons in hopes that Harvey’s memory will live on through them. Thank you to all the brave men of the Gambier Bay for my freedom. God’s speed to you all.

  11. admin Post author

    Wayne, thank you so much for your comment. I have updated our website with your dad’s correct name and updated the date he crossed the bar. You can follow us on FACEBOOK. Like your dad, many of our dads also did not speak of their experiences. We have yearly reunions and quarterly newsletter publications, you can download them from the website or if you email me at, I can get you on the email distribution list. The men of the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 were truly the greatest generation.

  12. Wayne E Terwilliger

    A very impressive website thanks for a great job. My dad never talked much about his experience and passed away way too soon. Just to up date your information.
    Edgar Dell Terwilliger was listed as Edgar Doll.( typo.) He passed away on September 27 1966 in Dolton Ill..

  13. admin Post author

    Shanan, Thank you for the info on your grandfather. We did have him crossing the bar but with no date. I have updated the website with his crossing of the bar – April 1997. I would love to have photos you have of him to put up on the site. Hopefully, on the back of his photos he listed his buddies names! Thank you to your son for serving our country – all of the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 Family appreciates his service. We will be in Seattle, Washington this year for our reunion, October 19-22. If your schedule allows, we would love to have you attend! You can email the photos to me at pk_grond

  14. Shanan Dawson

    Hello my grandpa Frank J Smith said this was his ship. I have 3 photos of several of his buddies and himself. He crossed the bar (died) April 7, 1997 in Ga. Still wearing his US NAVY hat. I hope you will add his date to the list please. He lived with tons of shrapnel in his head and back until the day he died. I’m his only granddaughter, so we wil carry his legacy on. My son serves in the Military as of October 2016, as we love America. God bless you all, the families, and all who served with him.

  15. admin Post author

    Earl, thank you for the information on your Uncle Hilly. I have updated the site with him and the date he crossed the bar. It is family members like yourself that help us to continue to honor and remember all who served on the USS Gambier Bay by sharing stories, photos, and information. Our husbands, dads, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and friends were truly the Greatest Generation and they will never be forgotten.

  16. Earl Snipes

    Thank you for the effort to keep the history of the Gambier Bay from slipping away. My uncle Hillard “Hilly” Earl Dennard, Americus, GA told me many recollections of the sinking and following two days in the water waiting for rescue. Please include him in your crew list.


    Earl Snipes

  17. admin Post author

    Thank you so much for checking out our site and for sharing about your Uncle. Yes, Harold Berven is on our Survivor/Family Reflections Page 1 with his story that was in The Columbian Newspaper, along with the eulogy that his son Gary gave. Gary and Anita has been to quite a few of our reunions! We would love to see you too – we will be I Seattle in October 2017. You can also follow us on FACEBOOK.

  18. Christine Berven

    My uncle was Harold Berven. Thank you so much for preserving his and his shipmate’s memories and sharing them with the world. I remember when he told my father, brother and I his story of his time in WWII including the sinking of the Gambier Bay. I was in my early teens but even then I could tell that it was not easy for him to tell his story. Rather it was that he felt an obligation to inform a younger generation what he and our country had to endure. I learned then that my role was to honor him, his service, his shipmates, and his generation by bearing witness to his recounting of his actions and to never forget what he and they did. He only told his stories once but they will always live with me. Seeing his story here along with his interview brought tears to my eyes but I was glad for those tears. He was one of my heroes and will always will be.

  19. Robert Glenn Pinch

    My uncle sparkey: had a brother who is my Dad service in the U.S. Marine Crops.
    In 1953 in the Karen war. both of my Heroes has pass on, but to remember them;
    both. I wear both company’s services Men, one week is the Navy, and one week The Marine Corps,
    I love both my Uncle Sparkey and my Father. I will always honor; The Crew of USS Gambier Bay.
    some day we all get to see them all again. I want to wish all the families of the USS Gambier Bay,
    Happy July 4th.

  20. admin Post author

    Hi Robert! Yes, we know Pinch “Spark” from the Moel family. He and Dean have their photo on our Survivors/Family Reflections-3 page. Life long friends. My condolences to you on the passing of Spark. He truly was one of the greatest generation and our site is dedicated to remember, honor, and recognize all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. If you have any photos you would like to share of your Uncle, please let me know – you can reach me at

  21. Robert Pinch

    Richard “Spark” Pinch is my uncle My name Is Robert Glenn Pinch, He is my Dad brother

  22. admin Post author

    Thank you Jim for letting us know about your upcoming book! We will be sure to let everyone know at our reunion with the USS Kitkun Bay in New Orleans in September and will also include the info in our next Scuttlebutt publication.

  23. Anonymous

    I thought the Gambier Bay community might have an interest in my forthcoming new book on the Pacific War. CVE-73 does make an appearance in action off Saipan!

    The information is below.


    The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944–1945

    By James D. Hornfischer

    Forthcoming in November 2016 from Bantam Books

    The author of The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors has a new book coming this fall. Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Fleet at Flood Tide is an unprecedented account of the Pacific War campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its power and supremacy and established the foundation for America as the dominant global superpower.

    Distilling thousands of pages of primary-source research, here is an extraordinary narrative orchestration of the most strategically vital operation of the Pacific War: the U.S. Fifth Fleet’s seizure of the Marianas, a multi-faceted exhibition of the new state-of-the-art in warfare. It was the Navy’s first use of men who were the forerunners of today’s SEALs. It marked the emergence of America’s capacity to launch expeditionary operations worldwide. It saw the flowering of American naval aviation. And shortly after a classified aviation outfit completed its secret training, Marianas-based U.S. airpower would shock the world with a first glimpse of nuclear fire.

    From the epic seaborne invasion of Saipan, to the stunning spectacle of the aerial battles of the Marianas Turkey Shoot, to the grinding fight ashore between American and Japanese troops—and the largest suicide attack of the war—to the devastating bombing campaign that culminated with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Fleet at Flood Tide is the broadly encompassing story of the most consequential campaign of World War II, and a deeply humane portrait of ordinary people, American and Japanese alike, caught in its vortex.

  24. admin Post author

    Thank you Daysha for the information and the photos! They will be uploaded to the website on the Sailors of the Gamiber Bay page and the Lives of Our Sailors page. It is up to us as second, third, and even fourth generation to help to continue to honor, remember, and recognize all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10.

  25. Daysha Mitchell

    My husbands grandfather was Srgt. Joseph Green and he passed away February 9th 1996. Thank you for keeping this memorial active.

  26. admin Post author

    Thank you so much for letting us know. Vincent was truly one of the men of the greatest generation and this site will continue to honor him and all who served on the USS Gambier Bay. Our condolences to his wife Teresa, Nunzio (son) grandson Vincent and granddaughter Breanna, and his great grandchildren Sebastian and Scarlett.

  27. Nunzio Ricciardi

    Crew member Vincent A. Ricciardi crossed the bar April 8, 2016. Thank you so much for updating this site. His child, grandchildren and great grandchildren truly appreciate your dedication.

  28. admin Post author

    An awesome story was when I met my husband Steve Moel (grandson of Dean Moel, USS Gambier Bay survivor), little did we both know that both of our grandfathers were on the same ship! Forrest J. Kohrt (Forrest crossed the bar in June 2008) and Dean Moel. Talk about a SMALL WORLD! They were able to meet at our wedding in 2006 for the first time (they did not know each other on the ship). Kortney Ann Moel

  29. admin Post author

    Stan, thank you for the compliment on our site! I have update the crossing of the bar date for your grandfather, Moss. I would love to have some photos of him to also put up on the site or if you have other info you would share with us. It is up to us as second and third generation to continue to remember, honor, and recognize the sailors of the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. We welcome all family members to our reunions, this year we will be in New Orleans, with a joint reunion with the USS Kitkun Bay, September 22-26, 2016. We would love to see you there!

  30. Stan Graham

    Thanks so much for hosting this page. My grandfather was Moss Junior Kelly. He often spoke of his time serving on the Gambier Bay, though he preferred to avoid talking about the tragedy of the sinking. Fortunately for our family he went on to live a long life, passing away on January 23, 2006 in Johnstown, PA. Thanks again.

    Stan Graham
    Nashville, TN

  31. admin Post author

    Thank you Steve Mike for visiting our website. Hopefully, one of our survivors or a family member will recognize your uncle’s name and be able to help you with info about him. Please keep in touch!

  32. Steve Pribisko

    I am trying to find out more information about my uncle : Mike John Pribisko who was a Fireman First Class on the Gambier Bay. He was killed in action on 25 October, 1944. I would really like to know how he was killed … above or below deck or anything you can tell me about my uncle Mike who I never got to meet or know. My dad, Steve G Pribisko served in the Army in Hawaii as a baker. I think he was assigned this duty because of his brother Mike’s duty on the Gambier Bay.

    Whatever you could tell me about Mike or anyone who is still alive who knew Mike would be greatly appreciated. You can reach me via email at

    Thank you so much!!

    Steve Mike Pribisko

  33. admin Post author

    Thank you for visiting our site and for your comment. Please LIKE us on Facebook too! Most of our dads, husbands, grandfathers, uncles did not speak about their experiences to their family members. Our website is one way for us to get their message/experiences out there for everyone to learn about them and their service. The Association is dedicated to continue to remember, honor, and recognize all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. Should you like more information about the Association or our yearly reunions, please do not hesitate to send me an email at

  34. Dale Blake

    When I was young I used to think that ships were fun. As I got older I find that they are not just fun but are a necessity of what we now call life.

    I am married to one of the survivors daughters and it was hard for me to understand why she was unaware of what her father had went through while in the Navy.

    I too was in the Navy, I did not go through anything as the members aboard the Gambier Bay did, but I think I at least know what they went through. At least part of it.

    All I can say, is god bless them all.

  35. admin Post author

    Thank your for your comment and reaching out to us. Dean Moel and his daughter Linda kept us informed about Pinch. I know the Moel family thought of him as one of their family members. Our deepest condolences to you and teh entire Pinch family. We will truly miss him and will toll the bell at our 2016 reunion for his “crossing of the bar”.

  36. admin Post author

    Thank you Cheryl for your comment regarding “Pinch”. Dean Moel was the man he saved from the water and they have been lifelong friends. You can see their photos on the site – one where they are in their sailor uniforms and again later in life, I believe he photo was taken last year. Dean and his daughter Linda were at our reunion in Norfolk last month and they did mention they would be going to see your Uncle. Our condolences to you and the entire family on the passing of Dick “Spark” Pinch.

  37. Jon Trimble III

    My great uncle was Dick (Spark) Pinch, I was at his funeral today. He passed November 4th 2015 at 91, his funeral was on November 7th. I didn’t know him well enough and had seen him various times over my short life of 35, I remember him as a kid big smile and laugh and always had a story to tell plus I had heard various stories from my mother and my grandmother before her passing. The stories were always vague and unfinished because they didn’t always have the information and just told basic information and said he was in the Navy. I learned more about him today at his funeral (celebration of life) as my family would call it. I met with various people that knew him better then I including a few uncles I hadn’t seen in years and also various members from the American Legion in Central City, Iowa. They spoke kindly of him and we laughed sharing some of the stories back and forth that we knew. I learn his greatest achievement was saving a man from dying on this ship by the name of Dean Moel. I met Mr. Moel and his son and said they stayed in touch until his death. Mr. Moel even gave a bit of eulogy and we laughed in sadness as we learned best of friends they were. I saw how much Mr. Moel grieved during the funeral. He grieved as he was his own kin or brother which he was. After talking and learning more about a man I didn’t know I am glad and very proud to say he is a member of my family. He did two of the bravest things I can say one person did, he joined the Navy and he also put his life aside to save another and didn’t blink an eye doing it. I learned he lived his life to fullest and that he had no regrets, lived his life his way and will be truly missed by family and his friends.

  38. Cheryl Tharp

    My Uncle, Richard (Spark) Pinch was on this ship and lived after spending over 40 hours in the water. He recently passed at 91 years old. A true hero as he saved a man from drowning.

  39. admin Post author

    Rebecca, thank you too for your service! You dad was one of the men of the greatest generation – we are truly home of the free because of our brave service men and women. We still have reunions and we would love to see you at one! We just got back from Norfolk where we had a joint reunion with the Kitkun Bay, we are already planning our 2016 reunion and the loation will be announced soon! If you would like me to send you a few things from our Norfolk reunion, please email me at with your address and I will get them out to you. Also, I would love to have some photos of your dad to post on the site!

  40. Rebecca Miller Randal

    My father was Gerald Loren Miller and I used to hitch a ride with Dad when he went to the reunions. In 1972 – I rode with them to Denver and they put me on a plane there to fly to Georgia to see my married sisters and their families. I joined the Air Force in 73′ and served until 81′. Dad was a serviceman to the very end. he adored anything to do with researching Gambier Bay fellows and would frequently remind us that to serve one’s country was the greatest gift we can give to our children. Thank you Dad and to all of the service men and women – yesterday – today and tomorrow. Rebecca Miller Randal

  41. admin Post author

    Thor, thank you for your comment. I had been in contact with Eric (was he your father), son of Olaf. I know he passed recently. He had sent me a few photos of your grandfather that are on the site. If you could give me a few for the Lives of Our Sailors page I would love to post them. Our reunion in next week in Norfolk, VA and as we see more of our survivors cross the bar it is still a honor and a privledge to continue to have the reunions so that the second and third generation can continue to honor, remember, and recognize all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. We encourage all of our second and third generation to become involved in the Association and we love to see them at our reunions.

  42. Thor O. Emblem Jr.

    My grandfather Olav H. Emblem served on the USS Gambier Bay. I don’t know much about his role except that he is in a picture titled “gas gang”. He passed away at the age of 51 and I was only an infant so I have no memory of him, just some mementos including his Order of the Purple Heart. I would be interested in knowing more about him and his service. Thank you to all of the brave men who served our country and on the Gambier Bay.

  43. admin Post author

    Thank you Roger for your service to our country. We deeply appreciate the compliment on our site. It is up to us as the second and third generation to keep the memory alive of all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. If you have photos of your grandfather that you would like to submit for me to put up on the site please email me at The author of the poem “A Veteran Died Today” you reference is unknown and we felt it was a great honor to have it up on our site. Please find us and LIKE us on FACEBOOK too.

  44. Roger Smith

    My grandfather was Cain, Simpson F. He survived to tell me how hard it was durring the battle of Layte Gulf. He passed in 2005. I joined the Marines in 1984, We still talked about what happened for a long time. I honor all that have fought for our country.
    I thank you for this website and to who ever wrote that poem “a veteran died today”, it really hits home.

  45. admin Post author

    Al, thank you for the info on your Uncle Vernon. I will update the site with his name and if you could also get me the date he crossed the bar I will include that. At our 2016 reunion this year at the memorial service we will toll the bell in his memory. If you send me your address ( I will send the memorial service program to you. Thank you for finding our site and please also find us on FACEBOOK.

  46. AL Fredenburgh

    Hi, My uncle Vernon Fredenburgh was a member of ther crew of USS Gambier Bay, but I don’t see his name listed here. I did see it one time on another site. He died 2 years ago. I would like to get him listed an register with the association. What is involved to do that? I know he was one of those that was rescued after the ship sank. AL

  47. admin Post author

    Garry, thank you for your comments. We just had our Taffy 3 reunion in San Diego in October 2014. We have DVDs available from our website if you are interested. Our memorial service was on the USS Midway, with 55 survivors in attendance, with representation from all 13 ships, and over 600 in attendance, family members, friends, honored guests, and the wonderful community of San Diego. Have you read the book “Last of the Tin Can Sailors” by James Hornfischer? Please follow us on FACEBOOK too.

  48. admin Post author

    Paul, Please email me the info about your Uncle Joe at Our thoughts and prayers are with him and all his family. He is truly a hero in every sense of the way. Please, get in contact with me. Paula

  49. Garry Moore

    I had heard the story of Taffy 3 and seen shows about this battle on television, but this is the first time I had seen the account of this battle from this perspective. I enjoyed reading it very much and my hat’s off to those lost at sea and the survivors of this battle for thier contribution to our great country. Most history books only mention that there was a battle if that even. It’s a shame that more people don’t take time to find out the personal stories of what these great men went through. My father in law is a USS Indainapolis survivor and I have met and talked with many of his shipmates. One can only imagine the thoughts a sailor has when he sees his ship go down and what follows as thoughts turn toward survival and taking care of your shipmates.


    My Uncle Joe McGraw is in his final hours today under hospice care, surrounded by his wife of 63 years, his children and grandcildren. A true hero in every walk of his life.

  51. admin Post author

    Pat, thank you so much for your comment. I have sent all the info regarding our reunion to your email. It will also be in our July Scuttlebutt publication, which will be up on the website this week. We look forward to meeting you and your father, Carl, in Norfolk. Please email me to make sure you did get the info I sent to your email – THANKS!

  52. Pat Jones

    Hello, and thank you so very much for maintaining this website. My father, Carl G. Jones served aboard the USS Gambier Bay as a metal smith. He is still alive, living on his own and will be 93 this month. I have asked him to attend this years reunion with me and he is considering it. Where can I get registration information for this event? I would like to sign him up to get any information you publish about the Gambier Bay. Please advise me how to best do this. Thank you for you service.

  53. admin Post author

    Thank you so much for your comment and checking out our site. I can post your comment on our FACEBOOK page to see if any second/third generation heard their husband, father talked about Mearl.

  54. Linda Shimerda

    Mearle Barnett, KIA. Does anyone know the name or what he did on the Gambier Bay? His niece lives on Iowa and saw my dad’s photo, Dean Moel, over Memorial Day and is trying to locate any information. She may contact either Marlene or Paula for information as well.

  55. admin Post author

    Thank you so much for visiting our site! I am so glad you enjoyed the story about your uncle. I have corrected the spelling of his name, thank you for bringing it to my attention. Please continue to check out our website and remember to LIKE us on FACEBOOK too!

  56. Debbie

    My uncle was Dean Gilliatt. Wonderful story about him, there were parts of the story I hadn’t heard before. Wonder if the spelling of his name could be corrected from Gilliant to Gilliatt.

  57. admin Post author

    Jeanne, Thank you for your comment. Your Uncle Louis was part of the “greatest generation” of men and he unselfishly gave the ultimate sacrifice (his life) to his country. You will find a few resources on our links page that may help you obtain his military records. Thank you for visiting our site and should you have any photos of your uncle I would love to include them on the website. With our second and third generation providing info and photos we can continue to honor, recognize, and keep the memory alive of all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10.

  58. Jeanne W.. Cornay

    My uncle, Louis Wilfred Arpin, was one of the men lost on the Gambier Bay. It was the tragedy of my grandmother’s life. My mother described Louis as “a radio man.” The family information was that he survived the early hit, but he volunteered to go bring out the wounded. He never made it out alive. I would like any information others might have or the way to access his military records. Thank you in advance for any help.
    Jeanne Cornay

  59. admin Post author

    Steven, our condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father. Thank you for letting us know. We will toll the bell for him at the 2015 reunion in Norfolk at the memorial service.

  60. Steven A Janz

    I just wanted to let someone know that my Father, Allen Robert Janz passed away the early morning of 14 March, 2015 at the age of 89. He will be missed greatly by his family and we are so very proud of his service during WWII and especially aboard the USS Gambier Bay. Thank you.

  61. admin Post author

    Thank you for checking out our website – be sure to look us up on FACEBOOK and LIKE us! I updated the site with the date your dad crossed the bar. I would love to have a photo of him in his sailor uniform for the site and if you have other photos of him after his Gambier Bay days (family photo, work photo, etc) I could post those on the site too! Check the site often as we update it regularly and to get updates on our 2015 reunion (October 21-25, 2015) in Norfolk, VA.

  62. Marian LeonGuerrero Blas

    I enjoyed your website. My dad served in The USS GAMBIER BAY. His name Mariano Cepeda Leon-Guerrero. He died in 1992, but I still remember him talking to us about his experiences during WWII. I have always been proud of my dad and thankful to him and all who have served our nation. My dad retired after 25 years of service.

  63. admin Post author

    Natalie, Thank you for your kind comments! Please continue to check out the site as we update it regularly. I would love to have photos of Clair to post on the site if you have any you would love to share.

  64. admin Post author

    I am the grand-daughter of Clair Junior Clemetson, who was a survivor of Gambier Bay. My husband’s interest in WWII and his desire to know more about my grand-father’s position in the navy and Gambier Bay led me to the website where I found your email address.

    Clair Clemetson ‘crossed the bar’ on September 23, 1971 after a 7-year battle with Hodgkin’s disease. He left a wife (served in WWII as a Wave at the Pentagon) and 5 children. He died at the age of 49.

    Thank you for your time in keeping the memory alive for those who served. My family and I appreciate it.

    Natalie Young

  65. Wes Friedman

    My grandfather Joseph S. Brown served on the Gambier Bay. Unfortunately any research I have tried up to this point have come to dead ends. He was a seaman first class and was in charge of a fire detail the morning of October 25, 1944. If anyone has any information of my grandfather before this point in his life me and my family would be very appreciative.

  66. Susan

    What a great Taffy III 70th Anniversary Reunion it was in San Diego. What a great honor it was for me to meet not only the USS Gambier Bay crew in attendance but also to meet two of the VC-10 pilots and all of the survivors from the other ships. They truly are the “greatest generation” and bless your Association as you continue tor remember, honor, and keep their memory alive. I hope to see you in Norfolk, Virginia in 2015!

  67. admin Post author

    Mr. Whitney, is your father Kendall Whitney? Thank you for your compliments on the site. Hopefully someone will be able to help you with your request. Please continue to check out the website as we update regularly! If you have photos of your dad I would love to add them to the site. You can reach me at

  68. Allan J Whitney jr

    This web site is a pleasure to use. One of the best sites I have seen on the internet. I had the Honer to meet CPO Louis Nucci when my father was an engineer with the telephone company and CPO Nucci worked with him at NAS Brooklyn NY. about 1948. His son and I were in High School and our families became friends.He talked about the sinking,rescue and return to the States.I still remember the details. He was promoted to LT(jg) and I got to go to his first visit to the Officers Club. Boy did the VC 10 members give him a good ribbing!!!!! I think his last station was NAS Norman OK. I have tried to find his son or get any info about the family. I would appreciate it if anybody had any information to share with me, Keep up the good work!!!!

  69. admin Post author

    Thank you for your comments. So happy your mom and dad enjoyed the reunions. We would love to see you at one of our reunions! Please continue to check out the site as we update it regularly.

  70. Beverly LeVasseur

    My dad Jesse E. Lee sure loved the men he was with on the USS Gambier Bay.
    He pasted away Sept. 13th 2011. And my mother also in Dec. 9th 2011. They loved going to the reunions. I pray for all of you men and women. Thank you for your service.

  71. admin Post author

    Kathy, thank you for the compliment on the website. We update regularly and are always looking for photos and other info to post regarding our survivors. The Association was started by survivors and as our second and third generation continue with the Association our mission continues to be to honor and remember all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. They truly are “THE GREATEST GENERATION”

  72. Kathy Pittman Herron

    Thanks for creating such a good website about the Gambier Bay. My fathers older brother Everett Pittman EM2C was on the Gambier Bay, he was last seen in the water and then was gone.

  73. admin Post author

    Jim, CONGRATULATIONS! We were honored to have you attend the Taffy III 70th Anniversary Reunion in San Diego, California and to be our guest speaker at the memorial service lunch. You are a dedicated supporter of the ships in Taffy III and a friend to all the survivors and their family members. Thank you for bringing their story to print.

  74. admin Post author

    Hello Taffy 3 friends:

    I just learned two wonderful and astonishing things: THE LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS, ten years after release, for the first time, will appear on the New York Times Combined Print & Ebook bestseller list at #8 on November 16. And also that it will appear, ten years after release, for the first time, on the Wall Street Journal ebook bestseller list at #3 on Saturday.

    I have little doubt that the stir in interest that was collectively created by our wonderful celebration in San Diego two weeks ago. I thank you again for your friendship and interest, and for allowing me into your community way back in 2001-02.

    I am grateful to know the men and families of the late, great Johnston, Hoel, Heermann, Samuel B. Roberts, Dennis, Raymond, John C. Butler, Fanshaw Bay, Gambier Bay, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay, and Midway/St. Lo.

    Please feel free to post this news in your newsletters, to to pass it along to anyone in the Taffy 3 community.

    Jim Hornfischer

  75. admin Post author

    Christopher, thank you for checking out our website and for your comments. Our dads, grandfathers, husbands, uncles, and friends who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 are truly “the greatest generation” as you stated. Please post on our FACEBOOK page about your Uncle, perhaps someone will see it and be able to get in touch with you with some info regarding him. I show he was KIA. Keep in touch with us too!

  76. christopher g terrell

    i would like to sincerely thank all the men for there service . You guys are the greatest generation . on another subject , did anyone know my uncle ? His name was HOOKS, CARSON LLOYD Cox – (KIA). any information would be a blessing . My family has no idea what happen to him. thank you , sincerely , christopher

  77. admin Post author

    Thank you Robert for checking out our website and your comments, and especially your service to our country. You are part of the “greatest generation” and we are truly thankful for your service. Please continue to check out our website as we update it on a regular basis.

  78. Robert Mariscano




  79. admin Post author

    Thank you Linda for your wonderful comments. So glad that you and your family had a wonderful time. It is such an honor to be part of the Association in honoring and remembering not only our USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 sailors but all of the men who served in Taffy III. A big “thank you” also to all of the families who made sure their dad, grandfather, uncle, husband or friend could travel to the reunion. We definately are a FAMILY.

  80. Linda Shimerda

    Thank you to all who worked so hard on making the 70th anniversary of the worst battle ever fought. Thanks to Marlene and Paula from the Gambier Bay who worked so hard plus the other folks from the Taffy III.
    Our fathers, brothers, uncles, and friends will never be forgotten.
    Sad to hear of another crossed the bar after attending the reunion.
    Thanks to San Diego for such a warm reception and the midshipmen from Annapolis. Such a nice sight seeing the young men and women talking to the survivors. A memory they wil never forget.

  81. admin Post author

    Thank you Charlie for attending the 70th Anniversary reunion of Taffy 3. Our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, husbands, and friends are truly the “greatest generation” and they deserved to continue to be honored and remembered. Many thanks to you as you also serve our great country.

  82. Charles (Charlie) Westbrook, grandson of Charles (Charlie) Westbrook AMM 2/c

    I just returned from the 70th anniversary reunion for the Battle of Leyte gulf in San Diego, I am humbled by the men who gave so much to keep our country safe. It was an honor to met and speak with you. Your courage and selfless service is beyond reproach, and I thank you.

    SFC Charles S Westbrook

  83. admin Post author

    Thank for for visiting our site! So glad Jesse was able to attend the reunions. We do not yet have a reunion site for 2015 but when we do we will announce in our Scuttlebutt publication and on our website, as well as on our FACEBOOK -the Mississippi Gulf Coast sounds tempting. I would love to have a photo of your dad in his sailor uniform to post on Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay page and up to two photos to post on Lives of Our Sailors page (work photos, family photos, wedding photo, etc.). Please continue to check out our site and LIKE us on FACEBOOK.

  84. Dean Holleman

    My Father Jesse Boyce Holleman was a TBM Pilot. He passed in 2003. He loved attending your reunions and the 2002 reunion was in Colorado where he spoke and we have some photos of that event. Dad loved each of those he served with and I am glad to see many of you still meeting. If you ever want to come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, my brothers and sister would love to join you. God Bless, Dean Holleman

  85. admin Post author

    Thank you for contacting us regarding your father-in-law, David Bladzik. I have checked the two rosters I have and the most current one did not have his name listed but the one from 1983 did! I have updated the Her Crew and VC-10 page on our website. I would love to talk to you regarding your father-in-law – can you email me at

  86. Len

    My sons father-in-laws dad ,now 92 claims to have been aboard the Gambier Bay when she was sunk.I do not see his name in the crew listing.His name was David Bladzik. Any help would be appreciated.

  87. admin Post author

    Denise, thank you for finding our website. Our mission at the Association is to keep the memory alive and honor all those who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. I have received your photo of William and have uploaded it to the website on the Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay page. Please continue to visit our webpage as we update regularly.

  88. Denise Willhoit

    William Don Horn was KIA/MIA due to the sinking of the USS Gambier Bay in Lyte Bay. He was my mom’s first cousin. I would like additional information about the ship’s tragic end.
    I have several letters, pictures and other memorabilia from my cousin. We will remember him and the others who fought bravely for our freedoms here in America.
    Thank you, for keeping their memory alive.

    Denise Willhoit

  89. admin Post author

    Thank you for providing the date your Uncle James crossed the bar. I have updated the website. If you have a photo of him in his Navy days, please send to me ( and I can add to the Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay webpage. Also, if you have one/two photos of him later on in years I can add those to the Lives of Our Sailors webpage. Thank you for visiting the website. It is our mission to continue to honor and remember all who served on the ship and receiving info, photos, etc. from our second/third generation is one way to continue our mission. Thank you also for sharing about Darrell (Shifty)! They were truly the “greatest generation”.

  90. William C. Musick

    To whom it may concern,
    My Uncle James Corbet Powers ARM 3c is listed on the crew list. I would like to have his crossing the bar updated. He Passed in June, 1976. Also his brother Darrel (Shifty) Powers was one of the “Band of Brothers” of Easy Company of the 506th 101st Airborne Division.

  91. admin Post author

    Thank you for visiting our website. The exhibit was moved in April 2013 from the USS Midway to the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park and is now located right before the WWI-era exhibit. The exhibit is now part of the 100 years of Naval Aviation. We will be in San Diego – October 22-26, 2014 for the Taffy III reunion. Please check out all the info in our latest Scuttlebutt publication, which you can download from the site. We hope to see you in San Diego.

  92. admin Post author

    Thank you so much for checking our the website. I show your father passed in July 2011. If you have a photo of him in his Gambier Bay days and photos later in life and you send them to me I can upload them to the Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay page and the Lives of Our Sailors page. Please continue to check out the site as we update regularly.

  93. admin Post author

    Paula, thank you so much for checking out the website and for your positive comments. I have been in contact with your sister Debbie and the photos she sent me of your dad and the family one at Christmas have been uploaded to the site. At our reunion in October (San Diego) we are honored to welcome James Hornsfisher, author of The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailor, as our speaker at the memorial service. In 1977 the Gambier Bay made a trip back to the Philippines In the near future I hope to have a page up on our site about this trip with stories and photos from our survivors/wives.

  94. Paula Edmunds

    I’m so glad my sister found this website about our dads ship. Our dad was William T. Edmunds Sr. He passed away in 97. I was able to read the book about his ship. It was so neat because it colloberated everything he shared with me when I would go and visit him during one of his stays in the VA hosp. It was so interesting hearing his stories. If I would of ever had the chance I would of liked to have visited the area of ocean where his ship went down. After hearing the story of his time in the ocean waiting for rescue I am so thankful fot the Lord looking after him and kept him safe during that time.

  95. admin Post author

    Thank you Debbie for your comments on the site. We update the site regularly with new info so keep checking us out! I have updated the date of your fathers crossing of the bar on the Her Crew and VC-10 page, and added his photo in his sailors uniform to the Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay page.

  96. Debbie Edmunds Bayer

    My father served aboard the USS Gambier Bay and passed away May 15, 97.
    His name was William Thomas Edmunds.
    I was looking at the website and was very impressed with it, and hope to review it more in detail.
    Thanks so much for sharing this site.
    Debbie Edmunds Bayer

  97. admin Post author

    Thank you for the update on your father “Blackie”, I have updated his crossing of the bar date. We appreciate your comments about the website and encourage you to continue to check back as we are constantly updating. If you have a photo of your father from his sailor days, please send to me and I would be honored to add to our Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay page.

  98. Peter DeBerardinis

    Hi. Thank you all for the great website. And thanks to all the brave men of the Gambier Bay. My father James George “Blackie” DeBerardinis pass away on March 9 1980. Your list of sailors who have crossed the bar has the date as unknown. Thanks

  99. admin Post author

    Thank you for letting us know about “Rocky”. He will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

  100. Noelle

    Salvador “Rocky” Berlanga, a USS Gambier Bay survivor, passed away on March 14, 2014. He is the epitome of strength, courage and perseverance. Although he has left this earth, we will carry his spirit in our heart forever.

  101. admin Post author

    Thank you Andy for the compliment. Please continue to check out our website as we continue to update.

  102. Andy LaRocco

    Great site in honoring the men of the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. My father, Paul LaRocco, was a survivor on the ship. Andy LaRocco

  103. admin Post author

    Jim and Val, welcome to the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10 family! We loved meeting you both and getting to know you and about your brother Johnny! It is truly a pleasure to meet and spend time with the families of our grandfathers, dads, uncles, brothers, and friends who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. The Association’s goal is to keep the memory alive of all who served on the ship, and to continue to honor and remember them. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

  104. admin Post author

    Yes, we did get your message while we were in Tucson. We will put your mother’s request for info about Manuel “Manny” Worland in our Scuttlebutt publication and hopefully she will hear from survivors who knew Manny.

  105. admin Post author

    Troy, your grandfather was part of the “greatest generation” and one who courageously served his country. Thank you for viewing our site and please continue to check back as we update with new info and photos weekly. I would love to post a photo of your grandfather in his early sailor days on our site! Please check our the page Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay and it will direct you where to send your photo. Come see us in San Diego in October 2014 for the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Gambier Bay. We will have our memorial service on the deck of the USS Midway.

  106. james smurda

    I have so much to say it just would not be fair to fill the site with this single post.
    I want to thank Paula for letting Val and I get in the loop of the wonderful people affiliated with the Gambier Bay. The reunion in Tucson was our first and San Diego, God willing, will be our next. The site is terrific and all the “souls” of the Bay would surely be proud. My brother John who I never knew was just a name and a picture until the reunion when Fred Grabos gave him life by shouting “I knew Blacky. There were 2 of them”! A moment I will remember and treasure forever. To the Magnificent 7 that were able to attend, I was honored to be in your presence. Norm, Fred, George,Dean,Thomas,Carl and Clete. God Bless you all and thank you for giving me a brief glimpse of what my brother would have been if he had survived. Thanks again. Jim and Val Smurda

  107. Troy James Landry

    This is to my grandfather who I never met, Clyde Andrew Corbello. Thank you for your service and dedication to the US NAVY and America.


    Semper Fidelis
    Troy J Landry

  108. Carla Anderson

    Hello, my 81 year old mother lives in Tucson. She had heard about your reunion and was excited to attend to see if anyone remembered her brother Manuel “Manny” Worland. (I believe his name is misspelled in the book). She is bed bound but was excited for any information. Alas, her body could not tolerate the adventure. My uncle perished on The Gambier Bay. Does anyone have any information or a story about him to comfort my mother? Thank you.

  109. admin Post author

    Thank you for the compliment on the site. If you or your grandmother have a photo of him in his young sailor days and send to me I can post to the website. Please continue to visit the site as we update it regularly with new info and photos. Especially after our 2013 reunion in Tucson! We would love to have you involved in the Association.

  110. Debra McDonough Travis

    Thank you for a wonderful site. GM3C Thomas Edward McDonough was my Uncle. My grandmother lost 2 of her sons Thomas Edward McDonough and Walter Thomas McDonough within a few months. My father was not allowed to join the military because he was the last surviving son. He missed his brothers.

  111. admin Post author

    Yes, I know about your dad and Ed being twins and on the ship. I have been in contact with Jim and we tolled the bell for your Uncle at our 2011 memorial service. If you send me your address or your dads address via my email I will be sure and get him a program from our 2013 memorial service in Tucson and a photo of all the survivors in attendance. I will be sure to get a birthday card out to your dad for his birthday!!!! I would love to publish something on our site from your dad about being a twin on the ship and both twins surviving! Please keep checking out our website as we update it regularly with new photos and information.

  112. Mary Ellen Krzemecki Brines

    My dad, Alfons Krzemecki, is the surviving twin of the Gambier Bay crew.
    He’s had some close calls lately, but after going off blood thinners, we are hopeful that he will be OK. He’s still active, still lives in Memphis, Michigan with wife, Janie of 65 years, still drives, still has his Gambier Bay ship picture framed in his dining room right behind his chair. He misses having people his own age to talk to–he turns 92 on December 4. We are so proud of him, Uncle Eddie, and all the crew members.

  113. admin Post author

    Wayne, thank you for your information and comment. Please continue to check out the website as we update the site with new photos/information on a weekly basis. We would love to see you become involved and join our membership and perhaps attend our yearly reunions where we continue to honor, recognize and remember all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10.

  114. Wayne M. Wuenschel

    My name at birth (09/09/1942) was Edward Michael Wuenschel, and was forever changed to “Wayne” after my mother’s sister’s husband, Wayne H. Stewart, Flight Surgeon lost his life on The USS Gambier Bay. I have read the book “The Men Of The Gambier Bay”, by Edwin P. Hoyt. While in the USMC in the 1960’s, I had unknowingly landed on one of the 18 sister ships, The USS Thetis Bay, during resupply operations. Many thanks to the people who have kept alive, the memory of the men who gave their lives for our freedom, and the ones who lived and fought, as well.

  115. admin Post author

    Thanks for checking out our website. We love Dean! He and his family will be at our 2013 Tucson reunion. Be sure to check out a young Dean as a Sailor on our Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay page and you can also see him on our Survivors/Family Reflections pages where his family honored him with a memorial plaque at the Nimitz Museum wall.

  116. bb johnson

    My wife and I just had dinner with Dean Moel at Sutliff, Iowa last Tuesday. It was a remarkable evening. He told us stories of that battle and his survival in the sea for those horrific 2 days. He was modest and humble. I was proud to be in his company. He really is one of the members of the “Greatest Generation.” Carry on!

  117. RyanT282

    Hiya. Just stopping through. I was reading about the Taffy 3 fleet on Wikipedia and delved more into the history of the Gambier Bay as a result. This is a very well-run website you have, full of good information and photos. Keep up the good work and many kudos and thanks crew of the Gambier Bay for their service and sacrifices.

  118. admin Post author

    Thank you for the compliment – we appreciate you viewing our site. Please check back regularly as we update the website frequently by adding new photos and material.

  119. admin Post author

    Barbara, our condolences to you and your family. Bob was looking forward to attending the reunion this year and we were all excited to see him. He was such a great supporter of the Association and we are so grateful to him for making this the great organization it is. Bob was President for many, many years and he dedicated so much of his life to continue to honor all who served on the USS Gambier Bay/VC-10. We will see you in October!

  120. admin Post author

    Michael, I show Freddie Weiss on our LOST HEROES KIA/MIA page under ships company personnel. I have received his photo and will add to the Sailors of the USS Gambier Bay page.

  121. Barbara Boggs Schlaff

    My Dad, Robert E. Boggs would have loved the new website. I’m looking forward to Tucson in October and meeting all of the children of the “Greatest Generation”. I was the first child in my family and an enthusiastic Navy Brat.

  122. admin Post author

    Ashley, please send me his name and I will add to the crew list we are compiling. We hope to get the HER CREW page complete and up and running in a few months.

  123. Michael Demoret

    Name Freddie E. Weiss, Jr (my uncle)
    Service Number 3427345
    Rank Aviation Ordnanceman, Second Class, U.S. Navy
    Regiment United States Navy
    City, State Kansas
    Date of Death 10-26-1945
    Buried Missing in Action or Buried at Sea, Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
    Cemetary Details Manila, Philippines
    Awards Purple Heart

  124. Ashley Reilly Kappatos

    Hi! My grandfather was also on this ship when it went down and he’s not a part of the crew list. Is there a way for me to get him added?

  125. Linda Shimerda

    The updated website is FANTASTIC. Very good job and Paula your son did a great job.

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