The initial landings began on February 29, 1944 and an airstrip was promptly captured. The next day, March 1, 1944 the allied troops were left with only two ships (destroyers BUSH and STOCKTON) to support them while the remaining ships left to obtain more equipment and supplies. During the late evening of February 29th and/or early morning of March 1, large numbers of Japanese soldiers arriving from neighboring Manus Island attempted to take the airstrip back.
The wounded soldiers aboard BUSH were treated by the ship's Medical Officer, Lt. George Johnson, his Pharmacist's Mates, and Army doctors. Others aboard BUSH also did what they could to care for these men, in addition to providing fire support for those US Army soldiers on Los Negros island.
Dr. Johnson's report on these events noted that due to enemy action, the Army doctors were not able to return to Los Negros. Particularly interesting in Dr. Johnson's report was a quote from a doctor with the 1st Cavalry Division regarding the efforts of the BUSH Pharmicist's Mates, "When you tell them to do something, they do it, no questions asked, and they do it right!"
To Deck Log Excerpts about this Invasion
To Dr. Johnson's Report on Admiralty Islands Action
|One of the BUSH 40MM gun crews stand ready to fire when needed.|
|March 2, 1944 - Loaded with equipment, supplies, and personnel needed by the allied soldiers, LST's can be seen in the distance, headed toward the Los Negros beach.|
|Though barely visible, Allied B-25 Bombers attack Japanese positions on
One of the wings of the BUSH anchor is visible on the port side of the bow.
|USS BUSH Medical Officer, Lt. George Johnson, provides plasma to a
critically injured soldier.
Two of the critically wounded soldiers did not survive their wounds and were buried at sea.
|Space for care and oversight of the wounded soldiers was a challenge aboard a destroyer. Patients were housed in the living spaces of the ship's Division Commander, Captain, the officer's wardroom, and several of the crew's bunks.|
|Cases of empty 40MM casings are stacked on the decks of the ship. These rounds
were all fired in support of the landings on Los Negros.
During the initial three days of the landings, the BUSH expended more than 850 5-inch shells, more than 1,800 40MM shells, and more than 3,900 20MM shells. Most of the 40MM and 20MM shells were fired on March 1, 1944. Shell casings were saved. As the BUSH was supplied with replacement ammunition, the empty casings would be returned and used again.
|Lt. George Novis and Capt. George Thornhill, Medical Officers with the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division visit with a smiling Captain Joseph Tuck who was wounded on Los Negros and brought aboard BUSH the morning of March 1, 1944.|
|March 4, 1944 - Wounded men are transferred from the BUSH. The deck logs note they will be taken to a hospital ship.|
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