HOWARD W. NESTER, JR., LCDR, USN
Howard Nester, Jr. '37
Date of birth: March 6, 1914
Date of death: November 2, 1944
From the 1937 Lucky Bag:
Howard died on November 2, 1944 from wounds suffered on October 25, 1944 during the Battle off Samar. He was aboard USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE 70), though it's unclear what his role was. He was likely an aviator — he selected for flight training in 1939 — but he was not lost while flying.
He is listed on the Battle of Leyte Gulf memorial in California.
Howard was selected for flight training, as noted above, but the naval aviation historian Richard Leonard has been unable to find a naval aviator number for him. Howard was awarded an air medal for an action at some point prior to November 1943, but unable to find details. He was promoted to LT on January 2, 1942 and to LCDR on July 1, 1943. He was a member of ship's company aboard USS Tripoli (CVE 64) on November 20, 1943 and transferred at some unknown date to USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE 50), where he was also a member of ship's company.
The Navy was looking for Howard's widow in March 1948 for the posthumous award of his Bronze Star. They had resided in Coronado at some point during the war.
His officer's sword was listed for sale on eBay in September 2017.