Louis Doell was born Louis H. Fossett on August 15, 1921, having taken his step-father's name when he was 3 years old. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on February 8, 1939, and completed basic training at NTS Norfolk, Virginia, in March 1939. After graduating from Communication School at Norfolk, Sea2c Doell served at the Navy Yard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from October to December 1939, followed by service aboard the destroyer USS Mason (DD-191) from December 1939 to May 1940. He next completed Sound School and then served aboard the destroyer tender USS Altair (AD-11) from October 1940 to October 1941. RM3c Doell attended Submarine Training at Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, from November 1941 to February 1942, and then transferred to the submarine USS Grunion (SS-216) during her fitting out in February 1942, through her commissioning in April 1942, and until he was killed in action during a confrontation with the armed Japanese freighter Kano Maru on July 30, 1942. On August 22, 2007, a search team organized by the three sons of CDR Mannert Abele (the Captain of the Grunion when she was sunk) used a remotely operated vehicle to find a sunken vessel 3,000 feet down in the Bering Sea north of Kiska Island at the tip of the Aleutian Islands. On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Navy announced that the sunken vessel is the World War II submarine USS Grunion (SS-216).
His Navy Commendation Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious conduct as a member of the crew of the U.S.S. GRUNION which destroyed three enemy destroyers while engaged in a war patrol in enemy controlled waters. Despite severe and persistent anti-submarine measures resulting from these three successful attacks, the GRUNION was brought safely through the counter attacks and continued an aggressive war patrol. As a member of the crew of the GRUNION, your performance of duty was an important and material contribution to the prosecution of this war.