Ben Albanese, S1c
Ben Albanese reported aboard BUSH on the date of commissioning, May 10, 1943.
Assigned to the Deck Division, Ben participated in the ship's initial shakedown cruise, the duty in Alaskan waters, and the bombardment at Madang, New Guinea. He was transferred on February 25, 1944 as part of a "new construction draft".
It wasn't too long before Ben found himself on another Fletcher class destroyer, the USS COLHOUN, DD-801, and a Machinist Mate 2nd Class. The COLHOUN was also on radar picket duty on April 6, 1945. When the BUSH was hit, the COLHOUN raced to provide support for the stricken BUSH. Ben's battlestation was a 20MM gun on the starboard side of COLHOUN. During this effort COLHOUN was struck by at least four Japanese kamikaze planes. The COLHOUN was so badly damaged that she was abandoned by all but a skeleton crew. Before the night was over, she was totally abandoned and had to be sunk by gunfire from another Fletcher Class destroyer, the CASSIN YOUNG, DD-793. Though injured, Ben was luckily a survivor. He returned to the States on the USS APPLING, as did several injured BUSH sailors.
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