"USS BUSH Veteran"

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Richard E. Burge, SM2c

Richard Burge helped to commission the USS BUSH on May 10, 1943. Previously, he had survived the Japanese sneak attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 while serving aboard the battleship USS TENNESSEE.

As the officers and crew were being assembled, they waited for the BUSH to be completed. Of the wait, Richard notes, "Our duties were light. Some worked at the U. S. Post Office. I was Master of Arms since I had a rate. I escorted a working party to the P. O. daily."

July 9, 1943 would be Richard's last day day aboard BUSH. Richard recalls, "I suffered a heart attack .... I caught a cab back to the shipyards to catch the BUSH, which was shipping out .... then I passed out against the galley bulkhead. The BUSH got underway and someone found me passed out. They stopped BUSH in the middle of the harbor and put me on a whale boat to send me to the Naval Hospital on Treasure Island. I was in a coma for several weeks and stayed in the hospital for several months."

Richard Burge, SM2c
Signalman Burge to Post Office That's Signalman 2nd Class Richard Burge carrying out his daily Post Office duties as the crew waits for the finishing touches to be placed on the building of the USS BUSH.

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