USS Newcomb
DD 586 (Fletcher class)

Dear Sir:

In the personal effects of my mother-in-law, who passed recently, I found a copy of a pen and ink drawing of the Newcomb. I wondered if you have a copy of it and if not, would you like one.I believe that it was the ship on which her brother, then-Lt or Ltjg Robert Carl Steele served during the kamikaze attacks, and, if I recall oral tradition correctly, assumed command when the skipper and more senior/available officers were incapacitated by the kamikazes. In the lower right corner is the name "A.J. McGuire", who, I will assume, is the artist. The drawing measures twice the area of a regular size page (17x11) so I was unable to scan it in its entirety. I have sent what I could get from my HP R-40 Officejet, so you could identify it. Should you already have a copy, then you have the "Delete" key on your pc. If not, contact me at the email adr below, and I will forward the drawing to the USPS address that you provide me.

Jim Deatherage, or
ex-USN, ex-Helicopter Sqdn. One (HU-1) (1950-1954)
Philippine Sea, Princeton, Boxer, Bon Homme Richard, Iowa, Manchester, Rochester, Bataan, and Toledo (all TDY, no ship's co.)

Builder:         Boston Navy Yard
Laid Down:  	 March 19, 1943
Launched:        July 1, 1943
Commissioned:  	 November 10, 1943
Decommissioned:  November 20, 1945
Fate:            Heavily damaged by 5 Japanese 
                 Kamikaze Aircraft 04/06/45 off Okinawa;
                 Scrapped in 1947

We are seeking information on the USS Newcomb and her crews. Files and photos may be E-mailed to us and we will incorporate them into these pages.

The E-mail:


Here is an obituary for an officer from the USS Newcomb.

LOUIS HARDING SCHOPFER, former Memphian, 83, passed away from complications of Alzheimer's disease Friday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bonham, TX. A funeral was held in Waco, TX. A Memorial service will be held in Room 310 at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, on Saturday March 4 at 5 p.m. Lou is survived by his wife, Bettye M. Schopfer; his daughters, Leigh Schopfer Rhea of Memphis, and Keith Schopfer Brown of Waco, TX; eleven grandchildren, one great grandchild and 10 nephews and nieces.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Lou graduated from Tulane University were he distinguished himself on the tennis and basketball teams. During World War II he served in the Pacific as an officer on the USS Newcomb and received the Navy Unit Commendation ribbon for outstanding heroism after his ship was destroyed by Japanese kamikazes. After the war, Lou became a salesman for International Business Machines, which transferred him to Memphis in 1949. He married Betty McCutchen in 1951. Later they launched a chain of women's dress shops called Mam'selle which operated in Memphis until 1984. Lou was a nationally recognized amateur tennis player. At 45 years of age he was ranked fifth in the nation by the U. S. Lawn Tennis association in the senior's class. In 1967 and 1969, he won the National seniors clay courts championship. He was also a dominant player in Memphis Park Commission and University Club tournaments. Memorials should be sent to Emanuel Episcopal Center of Memphis, 604 St. Paul, Memphis, TN 38126 or Heritage Ministries, 496 Halbert Lane, Waco TX, 76705.

Published in The Commercial Appeal from 3/3/2006 - 3/4/2006.

submitted by:

Paul Burgar, Ph.D.
Memphis, Tennessee
Louis Schopfer is my brother-in-law's father-in-law.


I have no photos but my father, Harold Maurice Birket served aboard the Newcomb at the time it was hit. He did not talk about it much other than his buddy standing next to him on the deck was killed and dad wasn't. He always wondered about that. Dad attended the reunions until his death in December, 1992.

He was proud of his service on the Newcomb. I did have newspaper clippings and other info until a house fire destroyed them....sorry.


Cheri S. George

More Photo's:

Photo 002 William Palmer Tootill. Hi, I don't have all of my grandfather's info, just that he was a torpedo man and saw action at Okinawa and Iwo jima. He told me once how kamikaze planes would crash into one end of the ship, he run over to help and another plane would hit where he'd been standing He lived from March 1920 - February 1994. I will send more info when I can get it. Thanks for putting this site together. Suzanne Davis

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