Louis Felix Ducrest was one of 11 children of Thomas Lucien Ducrest and Marie Regina Ducrest of Broussard, Louisiana about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge. His father owned a drug store and was the postmaster. His mother was a homemaker.
He was born April 4, 1920, and graduated from St. Cecelia School in 1937. He attended the nearby Southwestern Louisiana Institute — now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette — before enlisting in the Navy on July 31, 1940.
Mr. Ducrest was a seaman first class when he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Eleven years later a newborn nephew was named Louis Felix in his memory. That Louis Felix told a reporter in 2014 that he still kept his uncle’s portrait in his bedroom and looked at it every day.
American Legion Post 69 in Lafayette was named in honor of Mr. Ducrest and another local man killed in World War I.
At least three of Mr. Ducrest’s brothers, Jerome, Francis, and Thomas, served in World War II and survived.
Sources: The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette; “Images of Broussard” by Linda A. Meaux; Census; Navy muster rolls; Veterans Administration. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.