Two Buffalo Center Cousins Survive The Sinking of Their Ship in the Pacific
Norman R. Loats
Fred A. Albers
Norman R. Loats, Store Keeper 3rd Class and Fred A. Albers, Seaman 2nd Class were aboard the US Aircraft Carrier Gambier Bay that was sunk by the Japanese in the Battle for the Philippines.
Two Buffalo Center young men are enroute from the Philippine battle area to the United States to get another ship and then go back and take another crack at the Japanese. The two young men are Norman Loats, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hio Loats and Fred Albers, son of Mrs. Andrews Albers. The two boys experienced the full fury of a sea battle when the 4,000 ton ship was sunk by the Japanese in the battle for the Philippines during the week of October 22-27, 1944. This news was first flashed by radio, and anxious parents and relatives have been awaiting a report from the government, but up to date, none have been forthcoming.
If ever we need a shining example of “IOWA stuff” Norman Loats and Fred Albers are classic ones. As teenagers the cousins took off for the war without doubting the enemy would be defeated.