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Earnest Clement Cauvin

Ernest C Cauvin
Ernest C Cauvin

Earnest Cauvin was born in October of 1885 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The third of four children, he had three sisters, Ellen born in January of 1881, Marie born in Oct of 1882, and a younger sister Kate born in October of 1889.

The only U.S. census he shows up in is the 1900 census. His mother Lizzie is noted as the head of the household. Besides the children the household also held a 60 year old roomer named Mary Kerney.

The 1891 New Orleans city registry shows an Earnest C. Cauvin working as an engineer in the Freret neighborhood bordered by Calliope and Clio streets, not too far from the family home. This may have been Lizzie's husband who passed away prior to 1900. He could possibly be the reason for the desire of becoming an engineer that young Earnest held, to be like his father.

In 1900 older sister Ellen is 19 and is working as a bookkeeper. Sister Marie is 17 and works as a shipping clerk. Earnest is 11 and he also has a job as an office boy. These jobs maybe helped support the mother and the residence at 1115 Baronne Street, New Orleans. That home site is now almost directly under the Pontchartrain Freeway near the Robert E. Lee Memorial.

A 1905 city directory has Lizzie listed as the widow of Earnest. At that time the family lives at 1316 S. Rampart Street.

Prior to enlistment in the Navy young Earnest appears to have been working as a wheelwright but he wanted to be a mechanical engineer and being of meager means decided to join the Navy. His enlistment began on July 23, 1908 when he was 22 years old. He began taking advantage of all the Navy training schools and programs he could avail himself of to acquire the mechanical skills needed to become a engineer. He was ultimately assigned to the submarine USS F-4.

Newspapers at the time of the sinking played up the fact that he was engaged to a young woman named Anna Weber, the daughter of German Immigrants. They had pledged themselves to each other two years before and were to be married when he finished his current enlistment. He was going to open up his own engineering firm in New Orleans and marry Anna. She must have been devastated upon learning of his death. It is unknown what became of her. It is very hard to trace women due to name changes.

When the F-4 went down his sister, now married, Marie Ash, was listed as his next of kin, she was living at 1961 Granier Street in New Orleans. At the time of his death he was 30 years old.

Earnest Cauvin was one of those who was unable to be identified when the bodies were recovered from the F-4 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in the mass grave with the other 16 men who could not be identified. They are buried in Plot: Sec: 2, Site: 3387

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