F1c Louis Costin

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F1c Louis Costin

Birthplace: Indiana, Clark County, IN, United States
Death: December 07, 1941 (20-21)
Pearl Harbor, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States (Suffocated aboard the West Virginia)
Managed by: Private User
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About F1c Louis Costin



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Louis Costin and Clifford Olds were aboard the USS West Virginia when she partially sank during the attack of Pearl harbor. The day after the attack, work crews realized that there was an eerie banging noise coming from the forward hull. Inside a interior compartment, three men were trapped.

Cutting through the side of the hull for rescue was out of the question. The smallest hole in a pressurized compartment would cause a "blow out". All sailors know they are expendable after the water tight doors are sealed.

Late spring 1942, Navy salvage teams started work on the West Virginia after being put into dry dock. A salvage party entered into a dry compartment littered with flashlight batteries and empty ration cans on the floor. A manhole cover to a fresh water supply was opened. He noticed a calendar marked with big red X's that ended Dec 23.

The US Navy had never told their families how long the three men had survived for, instead telling them that they had been killed in the attack.

Survivors say that no one wanted to go on guard duty anywhere near the USS West Virginia since they would hear the banging of trapped survivors all night long, but with nothing that could be done.

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F1c Louis Costin's Timeline

Indiana, Clark County, IN, United States
December 7, 1941
Age 21
Pearl Harbor, Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States