Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class Elvin Eldard Stockwell

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World War II

US Navy
USS Kitkun Bay (CVE 71)
Service Number: 03169856
Born: August 30, 1924
Inducted: January 5, 1942 - Omaha
Killed in action January 8, 1945 when USS Kitkun Bay was hit by Japanese suicide plane.
Buried at sea: January 9, 1945
Memorial (Tablet of the Missing) Manila American Cemetery, Philippines

Purple Heart

Son of Mrs. Elmer E. Stockwell of Oxford, NE (previously Laird).

Manila American Cemetery
Memorial Tablet - photo by ABMC Staff.
Memorial Tablet

US Navy Leyte Gulf Memorial
San Diego, California

Photos contributed by Myron Hoffman

Taffy 3  Memorial

USS Kitkun Bay DeadText of Taffy 3 marker

Oxford Standard, Oxford, Nebraska - February 8, 1945

Elwin E. Stockwell Killed In Action

Word has been received that Elwin E. Stockwell, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Stockwell of Oxford, has been killed in action in the South Pacific.

Elwin was born and raised near Oxford and attended Oxford High School. He enlisted in the Navy a few days after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Aside from the brief information of his death in action, no further word has been received regarding the details.

Oxford people extend their sympathy to the Stockwells.

(Note: The Elwin instead of Elvin spelling is from the original.)

Wray Gazette - March 3, 1945

Former Laird Youth Loses Life at Sea

In a letter to Mrs. E.E. Mahagan, Mrs. E.E. Stockwell of Oxford, Nebraska, formerly of near Laird, told some of the details of the recent death in action of her son, Elvin, who was serving on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. She says that Elvin lost his life in the South Pacific in Philippine waters aboard a carrier that was hit by enemy aircraft on January 8. He was buried at sea on January 9, at 11 a.m. These details were told Mrs. Stockwell in a letter from her son's commanding officer. It had been two years since the Stockwells had seen their son. The carrier fleet to which he was assigned had participated in the invasions at Saipan, Peleleu, Titian, Guam and other action. Mrs. Stockwell has asked that their thanks be conveyed friends in this locality for the cards and expressions of sympathy they have received since the news of their son's death was received.

Oxford Standard, Oxford, Nebraska - March 8, 1945

Further Details on Death of Elvin Stockwell

Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Stockwell of Oxford have received further details regarding the death of their son, Elvin, who was lost in action in the service of his country.

The letter was dated January 13, 1945 and read as follows:

Mr. Elmer E. Stockwell
Oxford, Nebraska

Dear Mr. Stockwell:

I wish that I might bring these words of sympathy to you in person. Since that is impossible at this time, I am writing to send you the sincere and heartfelt expressions of sympathy that I, the officers and men of this ship wish to extend to you in the loss of your son, Elvin Eldard Stockwell. It is with admiration and respect that we remember his unfailing devotion and loyalty to his country.

He died bravely while on duty in an engagement with enemy aircraft. His death was instantaneous; the did not suffer, and you may be certain that his efforts to defend his ship were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service.

The burial of your son took place at sea on 9 January 1945 at 11:15 A.M.

His burial flag will be enclosed with his personal effects that are being sent to the Navy Personal Effects Distribution Center in the Continental United States where they will be forwarded to you.

If I may serve you in any way, pleas feel free to call upon me.

Very sincerely yours;
Albert Handly,
Captain, U.S. Navy

Official Chronology of the US Navy in World War II

8 January 1945 - During continuing Japanese aerial onslaught on the Lingayen Gulf invasion force, kamikazes damage escort carriers Kitkun Bay (CVE-71), 15°48'N, 119°09'E, and Kadashan Bay (CVE-76), 15°10'N, 119°08'E.

Note - Japanese scout planes had discovered the Lingayen Gulf invasion force on 4 Jan 1945. The force was under almost constant attack during the period leading up to the landings on 9 Jan 1945 and for several days there after.


Oxford Standard clippings provided by Lori Hinson.

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