The Sailors

The following is not the complete list of the crew. This list represents those members of the crew or their families where contact has been made. The goal is to make this a complete list! 

Please if you have any info on a crew member please reach out to us by using the CONTACT US feature or email

Click on the name of the crewmember and it will take you to that particular crew members info/picture.

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This page is a work in progress. My goal is to add info on each sailor that was on the USS Frederick C. Davis. The intent is to learn as much as possible about each crew member. Please use the CONTACT page to let me know if you have any info that can be added. It would be my honor to add what you have about any sailor of the USS FC Davis. 


Adcock, Albert Ray

The  following pdf is a letter from Albert Ray Adcock written on 6 July 1945. He talks some of the day of the sinking of the ship. He talks about another sailor named "Albert" (he is referring to Albert Barnak) that was killed. 

Adcock, Albert Ray letter.pdf

Anderson, Howard

Astrin, Henry

Lieutenant Henry Astrin, husband of Josephine Romaine Astrin, was serving aboard the USS Frederick C. Davis (DE 136) when it was hit and sunk by German Submarine U-546 in the North Atlantic on April 24, 1945.

When Henry Astrin graduated from STC (Townson University) in June of 1942, he was one of 64 men still enrolled in the school. He was a well-known and well-liked student. He played soccer for Doc Minnegan, wrote reviews for the Tower Light of theater performances put on by fellow students, and served as an art editor for the paper as well. During his senior year, he was elected as the president of the Student Government Association. Astrin was devoted to the craft of teaching, to STC, and to his community.

Astrin was a Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve. He served on the destroyer escort the USS Frederick C. Davis, which was named after one of the service members killed at Pearl Harbor. From its launch in January 1943, the vessel often came under attack as it escorted ships moving between North African ports and Naples, Italy. The Frederick C. Davis was equipped to jam radio frequencies, making it one of the more advanced ships in the fleet.

While serving in the military he kept in regular contact with Dr. Wiedefeld, writing her multi-page letters about the news he received from the school. He congratulated her on the construction of a new gymnasium, and wrote about his concern for a fellow classmate, Luther Cox, who had been captured by German soldiers and sent to a Prisoner of War camp. He seemed keenly aware of the toll the war took on those “back home”, telling her that he realized the “a long interim between short letters . . . . seems to be one of my particular limitations — disastrous in the  effect on civilian morale.”



Barnak, Albert

The following pictures and letter were sent by Carol Pearson, cousin to Albert Barnak.  

From Carol Pearson:

Albert's death  really affected me deeply even though I was pretty young - 10 years old.  He was just always so nice to me and such nice guy.  To the day he died, my Dad always said that Albert didn't die, he swam to a nearby island (actually there were none, but I never told him that, let him have his dreams) and had amnesia so he didn't come home.  I would like to think that was the case, but afraid not. 

Albert was a true hero - he saved another seaman's life although he, himself, was severely injured, and in so doing, he lost his own life.  I'm so very proud of him, will never forget him.

Albert not only received the Bronze Star, but also the Purple Heart. 

Albert was awarded the Bronze Star. The following is a transcription written to the Sec of Navy.


BARNAK was in the sound hut operating the Sonar equipment on the morning of the 24th of April, 1945. At 0830 he made the first contact on the German submarine which ten minutes later torpedoed the DAVIS. The explosion of the torpedo badly injured BARNAK, but, in spite of his dazed and injured condition, he exhibited courage, selflessness, and devotion to the welfare of a shipmate, far above and beyond the call of duty. He remained in the sound hut of the fast-sinking ship until he was able to extricate an unconscious sound operator, PACAHOUSKY, from beneath the overturned sound gear, dragged him out to the flying bridge, tied a life jacket on him, and towed him to the safety of a life raft. Because of these gallant actions, PACAHOUSKY lives today. BARNAK died in the water from his injuries and the exhaustion incurred during his strenuous effort in saving his shipmate.

The fact that Albert saved Pacahousky is important because apparently, according to Dad, Pacahousky was a big hulk of a fellow who made sure that the ship’s doctor onboard the USS BOGUE gave priority to the Davis men instead of pandering to the German Officers from the sub (it was torpedoed by DAVIS’s fellow DE’s); who were also on board as POW’s. The rules of war are cryptic to say the least, but captured officers apparently sometimes move to the front of the line by virtue of their rank. As the story goes, Pacahousky, using his considerable, physical presence helped to make sure that that wasn’t the case in this circumstance.

This postcard shows the ship in the background.  



Barrus, Kenneth

Kenneth LaDean "Dean" Barrus never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on July 6, 1919 in Fairview, Wyoming. His parents Orlando and Mary were born in Wyoming and Utah, respectively. By 1920 the family had moved to Tooele, Utah. His father worked as a farmer and later as a garage manager. Dean had one older sister and two younger sisters. He had a promising future, having been selected as an all-state high school football player and being elected first governor of the 1939-1940 Boys State.  By 1940 Dean had completed four years of high school and was still living with his parents. He completed two years of college. He was called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South America.

Upon his return to the United States, Dean enlisted in the US Navy on June 5,1943. By 1945 he was a radioman 3rd class, serving on the destroyer escort USS Frederick C. Davis (DE-136).

By 1945 Frederick C. Davis was providing coastal convoy escort out of New York and also conducting anti-submarine patrols. On April 24, 1945, it discovered the German U-boat U-546 which attacked first and sunk the destroyer escort with a torpeodo. Radioman Barrus was one of 115 Americans lost. This was the last US Naval vessel lost in the Battle of the Atlantic. Shortly thereafter on the same day U-546 was sunk by five other US destroyer escorts.

His cenotaph grave is at Tooele City Cemetery in Tooele, Utah.


Betts, Dayton

Dayton's nickname was "Buddy", and that he was to all who came into contact with him. He was born and raised on a farm near Clinton, Minnesota, pop. 520. Dayton had 4 brothers, along with Dayton served during WW II.

Dayton Betts volunteered for the U.S. Navy in November of 1942. After boot camp, the Navy trained Dayton to be a machinist mate. The job of an MM is to "operate, maintain, and repair (organizational and intermediate level) ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment, and outside machinery, such as: steering engine, hoisting machinery, and other types of mechanical equipment. The machinist mate's ‘home’ on a ship was the engine room.

When schooling was completed, Dayton was assigned to the USS Frederick C. Davis as Motor Machinist’s Mate Third Class. 


Blau, William

Rank: Radio Technician 1C

Serial Number: 0663323

Military Branch: USS Frederick C. Davis DE-136

Origin: California

Date of Death: 1945-4-24

East Coast Memorial

Featured: No

William Franklin Blau was born October 28, 1915 in Fresno, California. No information has been found about his parents.  He was married to Harriet Sorenson of Yankton, SD. She was living there in 1945. He entered the service on June 23, 1942 in Fresno, California. He was assigned to the USS Pillsbury DE-133 upon its commissioning in 1943. Blau had been temporarily transferred from the USS Pillsbury on April 19 to the USS Frederick C. Davis, DE-136, just 6 days before its sinking.


Bostdorf, Evan

Evan Bostdorf Obituary

MILLERSBURG-  Evan R. Bostdorf, age 97, a resident at Polk Personal Care passed away on Tuesday April 10, 2018. He was born in Millersburg the son of the late Paul and Mary Walborn Bostdorf. Evan served in the US Navy during WW II and survived the sinking of USS Frederick Davis destroyer escort, for this he received a purple heart.
He was retired from retail seafood sales working for the Sunbury Seafoods, Weis Markets and was owner of the former Bostdor'f Seafoods in Millersburg.
Evan was a member of First UM Church in Millersburg, American Legion #326, VFW # 5507, Moose Lodge #59, U.S. Power Squadron and served on the Millersburg Boro council for 12 years. He flew his plane for 30 years and sailed the Bay for 20 years.
He was preceded in death by his wives Ruth Snyder Bostdorf and Peg Hoffman Bostdorf, his son Gary Bostdorf and sisters Janet Rutter and Nancy Snyder.
Surviving are a daughter Cynthia Bostdorf and a granddaughter Laurie Ann Bostdorf both of Albuquerque, NM.


Bridges, Clyde

The following came from the niece of Clyde Bridges.

Clyde Bridges born 1923

From Townville, Anderson County, South Carolina


Burr, Harry Russell JR



Carpenter, Earl


Cardwell, Walthin

Walthin Macklyn Hale Cardwell boarded the FC Davis on his birthday, 3/31/1945. He was lost that day in April, 1945. He was one of four brothers who enlisted in the USN in WWII. He was a very self taught talented artist. He drew charcoal portraits, murals, plaster of paris molds, wood carvings, hand made knives, etc..His brothers said they were awaiting his return to Texas to help them start a neon sign business in Houston. The brothers built the business without Walthin. There are still neon signs on Houston made by the Cardwell boys to this day. 

Combs, James Aaron

Officer George Gowling (standing, in the middle)

James Combs (squatting )


(L to R)

Evan Powers

Richard L. Youmans

George W. Gowling

Frank A. Frazier

James A. Combs


Downing, Bill


Fleming, Joseph P.

The following poem was written by Patricia Fleming, daughter of Joseph Fleming. 

I would like to thank her for letting me publish this on the ship's website. 



By Patricia A Fleming

He was raised in the heart of a mountain,

But possessed a great love for the sea.

And gliding upon her foamy, blue surf,

Was the greatest of all of his dreams.

He knew that one day she would carry him far,

She would take him to places unknown.

And only the sea could lure him away,

From the comfort and safety of home.

And then at 19, his chance finally came,

To answer the call of the sea.

When just like his father before him,

He joined the United States Navy.

He served on the Frederick C. Davis,

What a grand Navy vessel was she!

As he stood on her decks at Attention!

She forged his way through that great sea.

He shared his cramped quarters with 192 men,

Just as young and naïve as he.

Through squabbles and fist fights, laughter and fear,

No stronger bond could there be.

They grew up far too fast in that man-made Hell,

From young boys to men side by side.

They leaned on each other for courage and strength,

In the end, that’s what kept them alive.

Together they fought every Battle,

Together they fought to survive.

Facing horrors meant only for nightmares,

Every day staring death in the eye.

Then one tragic day in April, 1945,

Their beloved ship would soon cease to be.

When a streaming torpedo tore her hull right in two,

Discharging her men to the sea.

He floated for hours, hurt and in shock,

Searching the sea for his friends.

The sights that he saw were burned in his mind,

This nightmare he knew could not end.

With 76 shipmates, he was saved from that sea,

But his living could not ease the pain.

Of losing those men he had fought with,

Those men that were now part of him.

He accepted his medals and returned to his home,

A man who was forever changed.

And to the day of his death he never forgot,

He lived every day with the shame.

What gave him the right to still be alive?

Why didn’t he die that dark day?

This was a guilt that tarnished his life,

A debt that he never could pay.

Like so many Veterans my Dad couldn’t bear,

It was a wound that did not go away.

And often he’d go to stand by that sea,

To pay homage to those men lost that day.

When my Dad passed away his wishes were clear,

I knew where he so longed to be.

So I scattered his ashes so he’d finally find peace,

Once again with his comrades at sea.


Garner, Thomas Leonard

Thomas Leonard Garner and unknown FC Davis sailor


Glass, William 

My Aunt Jo told me the story of when the telegram came to notify the family that my grandpa was lost at sea. My mom and her were alone at the house when the boy came from the local drugstore with the telegram. He asked for any adults but no one was there. He told them not to open it until their mom came home. Of course, they went ahead and opened it. Heartbreaking.  

Sicily June 1944

My mom, Shirley (on the left of gramps), and her sister, Jo (on the right), in the foreground 

This was taken in Lawrence and Bobbies living room when Bill was home on leave in Nov 1944. We were teasing Bill and said he must have his picture taken with all the girls - no boys.

Goepner, Oscar William


Harmon, Harry Chilton

Harry Chilton Harmon, son of Sidney Harmon Sr and Mary F Bishop Tabor Harmon (brother of Jasper F "Jack" Harmon

Picture to Right: 

Sid Harmon, Sr., holding Harry C Harmon (about 1926), standing R-L Jack Harmon and Sid Harmon, Jr.

Picture to Left:

Harry Chilton Harmon, with his maternal grandmother (to his left) and unidentified woman on his right

Harry Chilton Harmon (L) and unknown sailor/best friend

Harry Chilton Harmon and his brother George Harmon (Sgt US Army)


Hartranft, Frank Crawford 

The following picture is from Linda, Frank's niece. Frank was 18 years old. Frank's sister was 15 at the time of his death. She talks about taking his picture to bed with her and putting it under her pillow when she slept.


Johnson, Arthur Francis

Arthur Johnson with his two children, Christina and Arthur Jr.

On the left, is a page from a book on the centennial of St Margaret Mary's in Omaha, Nebraska. Arthur Johnson was the first baptism held at the church. 



Kincaid, James 

Dr. James Crofford Kincaid, 90, passed away on Thursday, December 19th, 2013 at the Carl Vinson Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia

Kincaid was born on January 4th, 1923 in Don Dale, West Virginia to Mr. Ralph Herbert and Mrs. Mary Ocie (Vandall) Kincaid. James was of the Methodist faith and he attended Trinity United Methodist Church and he was a member of the Asbury Sunday School Class. James was a United States Navy veteran serving his country in World War II as a Radioman Second-class on board the USS Frederick Davis, USS Hubbard and USS Bogue where he was awarded the Victory Ribbon, European Theatre Ribbon with 3 stars, American Theatre Ribbon, Good Conduct Ribbon and a Purple Heart Medal.

James was a retired college professor of forty-four years where he taught at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina, Appalachian State, and the University of Georgia. He was the director of Georgia College and the University of Pennsylvania. James was preceded in death by his son Jeffrey Allen Kincaid and twin sister Pauline Dean. Survivors include his Wife of sixty-seven years Mattie K. Kincaid, Son, Ronald B. (Johnnie Fay) Kincaid, Sister, and one grandchild Shona A. Yates. 


Kip, Ruloff 

The following pictures are from Stephanie Kip, daughter of Ruloff Kip.

The following is the Purple Heart Ceremony program for Lt Kip. The ceremony was held on the USS Intrepid. He did not receive his award until May 21, 2002.

The audio below is from NPR's Morning Edition program dated May 27, 2002. It covers the history of the purple heart and the ceremony at the Intrepid. 

Kip purple heart.mp3


Klube, Robert

Bob was one of the 115 sailors that died that day in April, 1945. He left behind his fiancee , Ann Thayer (picture below). It was months later, as she was traveling on a train that a young man ask her, I'm sorry, but are you Ann Thayer?". Then he said, "I was on Bob's ship". He had recognized her from a picture that Bob had (picture below). She did go on to marry but never forgot Bob. Lt Comm. Henry Thayer would have been Bob's father-in-law. After her husband died, she wore Bob's engagement ring for the rest of her life. 


Bob Klube is pictured on the left. Lt Comm Henry Thayer on the right aboard YO-136


Bob Klube is pictured at the right. On the left is Lt Comm. Henry Everett Thayer. Both Klube and Thayer served aboard the YO-136 in Boston.

Ship's officers. Bob Klube is pictured at the far right, seated. My grandfather, William Glass, who served under him described him as a "pretty good egg".


Moon, Claud Everett

The following pictures are from Susan Moon Weaver, daughter of Claud Moon. 

From Linda: This is my father Claud Everett Moon, EM3c. He was one of the survivors of the sinking. He was 19yrs old on the day of the attack and had been in the Navy since the fall of 1942 when he turned 17. He would be the first to tell you that he was a recalcitrant sailor and not suited for the discipline of the military, but he did go on to be an honorable, strong, successful man and my hero.  

Wedding picture (February 19, 1945)


Morgan, Wayne

The following pictures and poem are from Merrilynn Gross Roycraft, niece of Wayne Morgan.

"In My Memory"

by Lilian Morgan (Wayne's mom),  April 24, 1953

Today dawns bright and clear,

As it did one day in yesteryear.

And my memory strays back to that fateful day,

When you were taken away.

God told me in a dream

Of how  you died for me

And had come to live with him on high,

And that we would meet in the sky.

Our lives changed that day for Dad and I.

And I often think of you and tears fill my eyes.

But I know that no more wars will fight.

That all your day will be filled with sunshine bright.

We want you to know

That we miss you more,

As the days and years go by.

We only live to meet you, in the by and by. 

May you rest in peace in the ocean so blue and deep

And the wars and heartaches

From this world did take.

Will be just a memory.



Nowicke, Richard  S1C

Richard Nowicke: Born 4/4/1926. Passed on 9/18/2009. He was known as Ray. He had four children and resided in Michigan his whole life. His father was also a Navy man in WW1. Mr. Nowicke was awarded the purple heart. 

In the group shot below, Ray is in the middle. 


Nye, Wilbur

From the daughter of Wilbur Nye.

Wilbur Charles Nye joined the crew of the USS Frederick C Davis (D-136) on Nov. 30, 1944 at Naples, Italy. He was a sonar operator. He was 17 when he joined, and turned 18 in Feb, 1945. The ship was sunk Apr. 24, 1945.

He survived (with injuries), being picked up from the ocean by the USS Hayter (DE-212). He later received a Purple Heart for those injuries.

He died in 2003.

From the admin: You can read more of the heriocs of the USS Hayter crew in the "24 April 1945" section on this website.

Home on leave after boot camp

Wilbur and his brother, Percy

Wilbur Nye (third row from front, 5th from left) went on to serve on the USS Stribling, DD-867. 

From Wilbur's Daughter:

Wilbur Nye was from Hessel, Michigan.

When I was a child, I noticed a scar on his back and asked him about it. He simply told me it was “from the war”. When I asked him to tell me about it, he said, “You don’t need to know about that.”

Later, when he was much older, he dictated this information to me (Florence Nye Cleary) as his memories of his military service including his 5 months on the F. C. Davis:

     “I finished 11th grade in 1944, and that summer enlisted in Sault Ste Marie with Roy Nye and Kent Hamel. We took the train from Rudyard, MI to Great Lakes, Illinois, where we had 4 weeks of training.

      “After a short home leave, we returned to Great Lakes, where I was separated from Roy and Kent and was sent to Bremerton, WA. The following day I went to Norfolk, Virginia, and then on a transport plane to Naples, Italy to join the crew of the F. C. Davis (named after a man killed at Pearl Harbor). I was a sonar operator.

     “The F. C. Davis was on convoy duty near New York and Boston for about 1 1/2 years. Then the F. C. Davis was in the Mediterranean for about 1 1/2 years. The Germans were bombing England at the time, and the F. C. Davis was shooting German planes.

     “Captain Crosby was from Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. He and his men used to shoot Eiderducks for target practice on the back deck of the ship.

     “Everyone took turns doing 2 weeks of KP duty. Ray Adcock of Columbia, SC taught me how to use a big machine potato peeler. I accidentally left the machine running and the potatoes peeled down to almost nothing. I have been great friends with Ray Adcock ever since then!

     “The F. C. Davis was sunk on April 24, 1945, near Norway and Sweden by a German boat. The Davis was the last American ship sunk in WWII. The German boat was then sunk by the Davis’ sister ships - the Hayter and the Pillsbury.

     “I was injured, and the Hayter picked me up from the water and transferred me to the USS Bogue (aircraft carrier). I was taken to Greenland, then the Newfoundland Navy base hospital. Later I was transferred to Boston, then sent home for 30 days.

     “I then had 1 month rehabilitation leave at Miami Beach, after which I was sent to Norfolk for “Amphibious School”. This was in preparation for invading Japan underwater to plant explosives. We were scheduled to go into Tokyo by submarine, but the atomic bomb was dropped and Japan surrendered.

     “Then I went to Key West to another ship, the destroyer Stribling. The captain of the Stribling, Commander Bulkeley, was the PT boat captain who had taken MacArthur off the Philippines and received the Medal of Honor from Roosevelt. He later was made an admiral.

     “For 6 months we made runs to Havana, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay).

     “When the war ended, it was a fun time. Bulkeley went up the Potomac River with that big Stribling Destroyer and turned it around there.

     “I went back to Great Lakes to be discharged.”


Preston, Robert

Robert, in the middle, with his 2 brothers. Brutus (on the left) and Raymond (on the right).

The Preston family is trying to identify which young sailor is Robert in this picture of the Ship's Cooks and StoreKeepers. 

Wedding day for Robert on September 9, 1948. Robert and his wife are in the middle. Robert's best man was his brother, Raymond , on the left. The couple had 6 children.

This is taken from a Navy report on interviews taken with


Powers, Evan

March 30, 1921 - September 28, 2019

Evan was born and raised in Seattle. He (and wife Phyllis) graduated from Franklin High School. He spent 36 years at Pacific Northwest Bell. During World War II he served on the USS Frederick C. Davis. As a Navy radio operator he jammed enemy radio guided bombs. He served with honor during the allied landing at Anzio-Netteno, surviving 54 bombing attacks as well torpedo attacks off North Africa. 

They married in Seattle and built a home in Rainier Valley, raising three daughters, Pam Bauer, Pegi Powers and Penny Chapman. He has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Best family times were spent outdoors, camping (Kalaloch), hiking, beach combing or in the backyard garden. There were always picnics leading to cribbage and "spider" with grandchildren. Sundays found them in the pew. 


Regan, William

Rings that William made. Algiers Africa 1943; Sicily 1943 - 44

Nazi pilot wings. William brought this home. From a downed Nazi pilot that was taken aboard the ship.

Front side

back side


Riemer, William

I never personally met Mr Riemers, but we did communicate via letter and email. He was a tremendous assistance to my mom, Shirley Tepe (daughter of William Glass, MoMM2C). The tradegy of losing her father stayed with her all her life. The help from Mr Riemers made it easier. 

There has been one name consistent in my research of the ship and its sailors, Bill Riemers. It is apparent that he held the ship and crew in a special place in his heart. 

Robbins, Reginald


Salls, Darwin

The picture, on the left, was sent by the granddaughter of Darwin Salls. This picture shows Darwin Spalls,shown in the life jacket, being rescued after the sinking of the ship. 

The picture on the right is his enlistment photo.

Wedding Photo

Receiving his purple heart. 

Darwin Salls was 17 when he enlisted. He graduated in 2000.


Seavey, Stanley


Vernere, James


Thompson, Willie Walter


Williams, Forrest

Forrest "PeeWee" Williams is pictured below on the left. His brother is on the right who also served in the Navy.