"Ensign Jerome Rush"

Lost in Action April 6, 1945

Bronze Star Recipient

Back to Photos List

Ensign Jerome M. Rush was a brand new Ensign when he reported aboard the USS Bush at Ulithi harbor on January 30, 1945. He was made an Assistant CIC (Combat Information Center) Officer.

Ensign Rush was one of the many so called "90 Day Wonders" of the time. He had participated in the Navy's V-12 program, a program that helped to train young men to become naval officers. The Navy needed to train a lot of men in order to staff the many jobs it took to support a growing number of ships being commissioned to help win the war. The V-12 program helped to expedite that training.

Ensign Rush's best friend, Jack Roemer, went to school with Ensign Rush. Jack reports that he and "Jerry" joined the Navy's V-12 program on July 1, 1943. Both were about 19 years of age. They began their schooling at Harvard College. Jack notes "this meant that we were Apprentice Seamen, we went to school in uniform, and we were subject to Navy discipline and did the usual marching and calisthenics."

Ensign Jerome M. Rush
Midshipman Jerome Rush - 1944

By March of 1944 they had graduated and were sent to Midshipman's school at Camp McDonough in Plattsburg, New York. Jack recalls they were part of "a regiment of about 2,000 midshipmen from V-12 programs all over the country --- the first and only class of midshipmen at Plattsburg."

"We were what were called ninety day wonders, except that it took closer to five months to get through Midshipmen's School", notes Jack. "We arrived in March of 1944 and had to wait a month to see if we were going to make the grade from Apprentice Seaman to Midshipman."

Although Jack and Jerry asked to be in the same company at Midshipmen's school, that request was denied as the Navy had strict rules about separating good friends and siblings. They took courses in navigation, gunnery, damage control, seamanship as well as doing lots of marching and running of obstacle courses. Finally, in August 1944 both Jerry and Jack received their commissions, becoming Ensigns in the United States Navy. Both would go onto additional training, with Jack becoming a communications officer on LST 889 and Jerry eventually being assigned to the USS Bush.

A young and brand new officer, Ensign Jerome Rush would distinguish himself in action on April 6, 1945, just two months and a week after reporting to his one and only ship.

Ensign Rush's battle station was as the group control officer for the after 20MM guns. His actions aboard ship would earn praise from his commanding officer and eventual receipt of a Bronze Star. Commander Westholm, senior surviving officer of the USS Bush would write:

"Throughout the entire afternoon during repeated enemy air attacks he not only directed his battery and maintained interior communications fore and aft but also took charge of the after section of the ship. During the last attack on the ship he manned one of his guns himself in spite of the fact the enemy was strafing. He constantly encouraged his men and remained cool in his efforts to save the ship and his men."

Ensign Rush would survive the sinking of the USS Bush, but had a tough time of it in the water. He was lost before rescue ships could arrive.

Ensign's Rush's performance aboard ship that day, for someone with so little shipboard experience, is a testament to his character and the training he received.

Midshipman Jack Roemer - 1944
Midshipman Jack Roemer - 1944
Best friend of Jerome Rush

Special thanks to Jack Roemer (pictured at left), for sharing information about his friend and their experiences during World War II as part of the Navy's V-12 program.

Becoming best friends with Jerome "Jerry" Rush, Jack has kept the picture above of then Midshipman Rush on the wall of every house he's lived in since World War II.

Home ||Short History ||Deck Logs ||Final Action Reports ||Photos

||Recollections ||Ship's Poetry ||Sailors Lost ||Fletchers ||Glossary ||Links