Division Commanders

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The BUSH was assigned to Destroyer Division #48, which consisted of the BUSH and three other "tin cans", as destroyers are often called. Just like the ship, a division had a commanding officer. Two destroyer divisions would comprise a destroyer squadron, a total of eight ships. Each squadron would have one squadron commander, two division commanders, and eight officers commanding the individual ships. The BUSH was part of Destroyer Squadron #24. Late in 1944, the BUSH served alongside many ships from Destroyer Squadron #56 as they moved through the Philippine Islands.

Pictured below are two of the men who served as "ComDesDiv48", which is Navy jargon for Commander Destroyer Division #48. Often ComDesDiv48, and a small staff assigned to him, were stationed aboard the USS BUSH.

ComDesDiv48 - J. B. McLean Captain John B. McLean served as ComDesDiv48 for a year or so, having held that assignment during the Admiralty Islands invasion which began February 29, 1944. Captain McLean is pictured here on the bridge of the USS BUSH in March, 1944, though his rank at that time was Commander.
Commander James S. Willis succeeded Captain McLean as ComDesDiv48 on January 31, 1945. Commander Willis was aboard the BUSH when she was sunk by Japanese suicide planes on April 6, 1945. Commander Willis was mortally wounded by the third plane to strike the ship and succumbed to those injuries while on a floater net. Gone, but not forgotten, one former BUSH officer recalled when shown Commander Willis' picture 54 years later, "Now, there was a fine person!" ComDesDiv48 - J. S. Willis

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