Photo taken by Doug Comella at the 2015 reunion in Quincy, Massachussetts

Gayle Gilbert
USS Helena CL-50
Kula Gulf Survivor
We salute Gayle for reaching the milestone of 100 years young

5 February 2020

Gayle traveled from his home in Larned Kansas to Los Angeles and enlisted in the Navy 2 October 1941. His wish to be part of a Navy band was not fulfilled but he did get a spot as Bugler.

While the Helena was at Mare Island during the first half of 1942, Gayle came on board 9 May 1942.

The Helena was hit by three torpedoes during the Battle of Kula Gulf 6 July 1943 and sank.

Gayle was in one group of 165 survivors who reached Vella Lavella island where he and the other men spent 10 days until being rescued 16-17 July 1943.

On 4 December 1943 Bug1c Gayle Gilbert went aboard the USS Kasaan Bay CVE 69, at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton Washington.

The remainder of his Navy career was spent on the USS Leyte CV 32.

The book Sunk in Kula Gulf by John J Domagalski
has considerable information concerning Gayle
Other information in the above is from my own collection


USS Helena Organization
Satellite Web Site

Created 24 March 2017

Updated 21 January 2020

Contact me

What's New

2019 Reunion

Two Bells

Ships Store


Rus Stoddard SSN-725, President

More on Rus in the President's Corner

Jim McNamee CA-75
Past President and Senior Advisor

Jason Bender SSN-725, Vice President

Vic Brelje CA-75, Secretary

Darrell Thiessen CA-75, Treasurer

Helena Discovery

Pearl Harbor 2018

Punchbowl 2018

President's Corner


Ron Burns CA-75, Membership

Harold Barnette , Ships Store and Chaplain

Paul Pearson SSN-725, Chaplain

Verne Horton CA-75, Newsletter Editor / Publisher

2021 Reunion
The members selected Biloxi, Mobile, and Pensacola
as potential reunion sites

Date to be determined

2019 Reunion Photos

To visit the CL-50 Memorial Page :

2017 Reunion Photos

Vic's and Doug's photos are at the
USS Helena Organization site

2017 Reunion Section

Sandy's and Cecilia's
photos are on this site at

Reunion Photos Main Page

updated 3 November 2017


Videos from the 2017 Fashion Show


Back to Top