From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
David Girardet '44

Date of birth: October 28, 1920

Date of death: April 10, 1945

Age: 24

Naval Academy Register

David Lloyd Giradet was admitted to the Naval Academy with an At Large appointment on July 3, 1940 at age 19 years 8 months.

He resigned on June 6, 1941: "Deficient in studies, second term's work. Recommended to be dropped. Permitted to resign."

Lucky Bag

David Lloyd Girardet is listed on a page titled "Gone… But Ne'er Forgotten":

There were close to a thousand of us when we entered in June of 1940 and formed the new fourth class, the class of 1944. Now, as we graduate one year ahead of time, there are less than 800. But we who go to join the active services are sure in our minds that our friends of fourth class summer who have left us at various stages of the course will find their place in the American Victory Machine, rolling relentlessly on to a triumph over the forces of evil that threaten the life and liberty we all hold so dear.



David was lost on April 10, 1945 when the Hellcat fighter he was piloting crashed in the Atlantic.

From the deck log of USS Antietam (CV 36):

Thirty-second day of shakedown period. 0655 Underway. Conducted flight operations, damage control and gunnery exercises during morning and afternoon, 1130 F4U-4 Aircraft, Squadron VBF-89, crashed about 600 yds. off port quarter bearing 275° T. Lat. 10° 28' 35" N, Long. 62° 04' 36" W in 15 fathoms of water. 1133 Plane sank, pilot, Ensign David I. GIRARDET, Al, USNR, 363720, lost. Crash boat at scene of crash. Plane making turn for final approach at relatively low altitude was seen to strike water. Crash boat reported pilot went down in wreckage of plane.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

David graduated from Sayville High School, Sayville, New York in 1938. “Flash Gordon.” Var. Baseball 2, 3, 4; Class Treas. 4. In 1939, he was in the Navy; and in 1940, he was stationed in Norfolk.

From Find A Grave:

Ensign David Lloyd Girardet, U.S.N.R., aged 24, a Grumman Hellcat pilot, was killed at sea off the Atlantic coast on April 10, the Navy department reports in a telegram received Saturday by his parents, Commander and Mrs. Sterling C. Girardet, Sr., U.S.N.R., of Hawkins Avenue, Lake Ronkonkoma.

Although details of the accident were not given, it was learned that Ensign Giradet, who enlisted in the Navy more than six years ago, had been assigned to a new aircraft carrier and was with the ship on its shakedown run in the lower Atlantic area.

The third oldest of four sons of the Girardet couple, Ensign Girardet was a nephew and close associate of Richmond B. Newton of Lake Ronkonkoma, who died suddenly a few weeks ago. He was a graduate of the Lake Ronkonkoma school and of Sayville High School. Before entering the service, he was employed for a time in Agnew and Taylor's store and also served as a lifeguard at Raynor's Beach, both at Lake Ronkonkoma.

Early in his Navy service, he spent more than a year on board the destroyer Lang and then went to preparatory school in Norfolk, Va., where he studied about six months, at the end of which he received a Presidential appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. At the close of his first year at Annapolis, he failed in mathematics, and returned home.

He then applied for Naval aviation training, was accepted late in 1942, and was assigned to Renssalaer Polytechnic institute at Troy, N.Y. He received additional training at Chapel Hill, N.C., Olathe, Kans., and Pensacola, Fla., where he received his commission early in 1944. He then was sent to Atlantic City, N.J., where he took advanced training before being assigned to a new flattop.

His father, Commander Girardet, who is on duty in the New York area and was injured several months ago in a fall while on duty, was visiting the New York Navy Yard Hospital in Brooklyn for treatment when a copy of the telegram was received at his station and forwarded to him. Ensign Girardet's oldest brother, Sterling C. Girardet, Jr., who is attached to the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., had arrived unexpectedly at Lake Ronkonkoma for the weekend and was with his mother, when the telegram was received there.

The telegram says that Ensign Girardet was killed at sea on April 10 and that his remains had not been recovered.

Shortly before Ensign Girardet met his death, he wrote home that he was walking on deck one day, when someone shouted "Hello Lloyd!" He looked up to find one of his Lake Ronkonkoma neighbors, Sylvester Yam, a ship's fitter, who was also assigned to the carrier. About the same time, he found that Robert Baldwin, a former Farmingdale Boy Scout, who had camped on the Girardet property in past years, was also a member of the crew.

Several weeks before, he had spoken by telephone from Hartford, Conn., with his mother, but the last time he was at Lake Ronkonkoma was during the Christmas holidays, when the family held a reunion at their place, the old Newton homestead.

Unmarried, he leaves, besides his parents and brother, Sterling C. Girardet, Jr., two other brothers, Alan N. "Bunny" Girardet, a warrant gunner, who is at present stationed with a Navy unit on the West coast, and Philip E. Girardet, a first assistant engineer on a Standard Oil of New Jersey tanker.

Class of 1944

David is one of 66 members of the Class of 1944 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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