Sunday, July 2, 2017

RIP Bob Despain

We've lost one of cherished shipmates on the Iowa.

My fellow crew member Bob Despain passed away the other night.

Bob was on the crew of the USS Hoel, DD-533, as part of Taffy 3 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the Battle Off Samar. The Hoel was the first ship sunk by the IJN, and absorbed an amazing amount of punishment before she sank.

The Daily Breeze had an article in 2013 about the reunion of the USS Johnston-Hoel Association, which was held on the Battleship Iowa that year.

I was honored to have known Bob, and had him autograph my copy of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" which details the Battle Off Samar and the fate of Taffy 3.

Godspeed, Bob


  1. We are all diminished by the passing of a real-life hero.

  2. Agreed with Rev. Paul. RIP, Bob. The world is a lesser place with your passing.

  3. My grandfather fought in that battle. He was on the USS St. Lo and it was the first war ship sunk by a kamikaze. My grandfather received a purple heart. RIP Mr. Despain.

  4. Bless your soul Uncle Bob. Thank You for your service and commitment to our country and fellow service men. Love you.
    Timothy W. DeSpain

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Timothy.

      Your Uncle was a great guy to know.

  5. SSG W. Anderson (Ret)January 28, 2020 at 5:33 AM

    On Thurs, 23JAN2020, I was a small part of Bob DeSpain's interment at the LA National Cemetery's new columbarium expansion. It was an honor to be a part of this event.
    RIP Bob.


Keep it civil, please....