Louis Clarence Cabay was born May 17, 1922 in Joliet, Illinois to Slovakian immigrants Frank Cabay and Theresa Bakos Cabay. The father, a railroad car repairman, came to the United States in 1909 and the mother, a homemaker, arrived in 1911.
The couple had nine children. One son died in infancy in 1928 and another was six when he died in 1935.
By the time of the spring 1940 Census the family, which then included one daughter and six sons, still lived in Joliet. Most of them worked: the father still in car repair and the five oldest children doing housekeeping, clerking at department stores, and laboring at a calendar company. Son Louis, 16, was a messenger for a telegraph company. He worked 52 weeks in 1939 and earned $364. His census record says he had completed one year of high school and was no longer enrolled, but his September application to enlist says he had completed 11 grades.
Louis enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 8, 1940, and went aboard the U.S.S. Arizona on Dec. 9. He was a seaman first class when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
At least two of his brothers also served in World War II — Albert in the Army and Ben in the Army Air Forces.
Sources: The Herald News of Joliet, Illinois; Census; Navy muster rolls; grave markers. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.