From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Lewis Pennell '43

Date of birth: February 23, 1921

Date of death: November 13, 1942

Age: 21

Lucky Bag

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:


Lewis was lost when USS Monssen (DD 436) was sunk on November 13, 1942 at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. His parents were listed as next of kin.

From the Class of 1943 anniversary book "25 years later…":

Lewie was born on 23 February, 1921 in Belton, South Carolina. He was appointed from South Carolina and entered the Academy on 28 June, 1939. After graduation, he reported to the destroyer USS MONSSEN in the South Pacific. He arrived in time to participate in the fire support for the Guadalcanal Invasion in August, the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August and his last battle, the Third Battle of Salvo Island on Friday, 13 November, 1942. The MONSSEN with her fire control radar inoperative, entered the night battle at a disadvantage. At the height of the battle, she was firing torpedoes at a Japanese battleship to starboard, five inch guns at an enemy cruiser to port and her 40MM guns at a Japanese destroyer about 500 yards away. MONSSEN was suddenly illuminated by star shells which were instantly followed by a deadly rain of shells that left the ship a total wreck of searing flames. A few survived but not Lewie. He wore the Purple Heart, the American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal with two bronze stars. He was survived by his father, Mr. Brone Fred Pennell, who lived at 1408 Fairview Drive, Columbia, South Carolina when Lewie was killed.

Class of 1943

Lewis is one of 84 members of the Class of 1943 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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