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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services


St. Louis

Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Monday, November 27, 1944
Air Attack in Leyte Gulf
Arriving in Leyte Gulf November 16, 1944 St Louis patrolled in the gulf and in Surigao Strait during the next ten days, adding her batteries to the antiaircraft guns protecting shipping in the area. ... Shortly before noon on the 27th, a formation of 12 to 14 enemy planes attacked the cruiser's formation. St. Louis was unscathed in the brief battle. Shortly afterward another 10 enemy planes filled the space vacated by the first flight and broke into three attack groups of four, four, and two. One of these aircraft although hit and aflame, made a suicide dive on St. Louis from the port quarter and exploded with its bomb on impact. Fires broke out in the cruiser's hangar area and spaces. ... All crew members of 20 millimeter guns 7 through 10 were killed or wounded. A second burning enemy plane was detected heading for the port beam. Flank speed and adroit maneuvering by St. Louis caused the plane to pass over number 4 turret and crash 100 yards from the ship. ... Two more enemy planes, both burning, attacked St. Louis. The first was splashed off the port quarter; the second dove in from starboard and crashed near the port side causing a 20-foot section of armor belt to be lost and numerous holes in the hull. Flooding damage soon caused the ship to take on a pronounced list to port. Still another suicide-minded Japanese pilot closed St. Louis for attack but was stopped 400 yards short. Ten minutes later, enemy torpedo planes moved in to attack. St. Louis, warned by a PT boat, barely avoided contact with a lethal package dropped by one of the planes. ... Battle casualties sustained were 15 dead, one missing, 21 seriously wounded and 22 with minor injuries

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 15

Namesort descending Service Branch
Sea 1c Robert Barrett USNR
GM 3c Robert Bowman USNR
GM 3c Lawrence Butterworth USNR
Sea 1c Wendell Gordon USNR
Sea 2c Vernon Goulson USN
Sea 2c Donald Griebahn USNR
Sea 2c David Janikowski USNR
Sea 2c Robert King USNR
F 2c Eugene Lassiter USNR
Sea 2c Wilmer Olsen USNR
Sea 1c Wilson Oneal USNR
CMM John Powell USN
Sea 2c George Shoemaker USNR
Ens Sebastian Vogel USNR
Sea 2c Herbert Whitaker USNR
Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.)