It is with a heavy heart that I make today’s post. I just received news from David Humbarger, son of BKR2c Donald F. Humbarger, that his father passed away yesterday at the age of 93. Our condolences go out to the Humbarger family.
David’s e-mail is below.
Passing of BKR2c Donald F. Humbarger
Please pardon me for using the crew update form to give you the following news. As a Navy Veteran myself, I know how important it is to hear of a shipmate’s passing.
It is with sadness that I must report to the surviving crew of the USS Little that my father, BKR2c Donald F. Humbarger, passed away of a heart attack yesterday (July 12th) morning. He was 93 years old and married to his wife, Mary, for 66 years.
He loved his ship and was a member of Tin Can Sailors. He had a picture of the Little at his bedside when he passed. The memories of the fatal night when the USS Little courageously went down was always fresh in his memory. He loved to share stories about the crew and what “a fresh loaf of bread” to the right shipmate could do for him. He is survived by his two sons and their wives, four grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
I’m currently working on development of crew profiles as well as attempting to verify the living status and unknown status of many. While the site stats show 76 living, the vast majority of those shown as living have not been in contact for 10 years or longer. At the current time I can only verify nine are still living at this time based on personal contact within the past three years. Seven of the nine I have personally visited with within the past two months and of the remaining two one in the past 14 months and the other three years ago.
Eugene “Gene” Clift
Charles “Chuck” DeMann
Irving “Bill” Gale
Russel Norris Grunhuvd
Ignatius “Iggy” Guillaumin
If you are aware of others who are still verified as living and can provide me with contact information or obituary information please contact me so I can update our site to provide as accurate information as possible.
The brief entries for all crew who served aboard the U.S.S. Little (DD 803) at one point in time or another have been added.
As per several official USN documents I have been able to determine that on May 3, 1945 there were 339 individual aboard the DD 803 when she was attacked. 320 enlisted men and 19 officers manned their battle stations in a valiant effort to fight off the incoming Kamikaze attacks. When all was said and done the DD 803 was lost. 31 of her crew were killed as a result of action on this day along with another 52 suffering physical wounds.
In addition to these 339 individuals we currently have a list of 26 others who served aboard the DD 803 prior to that fateful day in May. I have verified that 13 of these men were on-board (transferred off before May 3, 1945) via USN documents, while the remaining 13 were talked about by former crew. I will continue to adjust this area to best reflect and give credit to time served aboard the DD 803, as my goal is to maintain a site that is as historically accurate as possible.
The U.S.S. Little DD 803 website you are now seeing is the “New” and hopefully “improved” site! My goal was to release my 6th redesign of the site at the DD803’s Survivors’ Reunion in May but life and work prevented it from happening.
While I had hoped to have the crew profiles implemented by the release a server failure with the last site version has forced me to migrate to the site you are seeing today. I’m working at getting the crew added as fast as I can, so I appreciate your patience as well as your feedback on the new site layout.
Welcome Aboard and enjoy your visit to the DD 803!