Paul P. Trella, S2c
Paul Trella reported aboard the USS BUSH on May 19, 1944. He was 17 years old, and a little more than two months shy of his next birthday. His friends called him "Pie", as he was quite fond of such desserts. He was a native of Youngstown, Ohio. He had been in the Navy since March 2, 1944. He completed his initial training at Great Lakes.
Paul's brother-in-law, Frank Bush (married to Paul's sister Margaret), was in the Army at the same time. On Christmas Eve of 1944 they held a brief reunion in The Philippines. Paul used to tease his brother-in-law that he'd had an Admiral name the ship after Frank!
Seaman Trella was killed in action on April 6, 1945 with the sinking of DD-529 by Japanese suicide planes during the Battle for Okinawa. Of the 87 men aboard BUSH who lost their lives, Paul was one of only 12 men whose bodies would be recovered. It would be nearly four years before his remains were returned to his hometown and family.
Seaman Trella's grave on Okinawa.
His remains were returned to the
United States in 1949.
Paul's specific duties aboard BUSH are not known, nor are the specific details of how
he died. This was common to the time. Families often learned very little, other than
someone they held dear was gone.
The losses of BUSH, other destroyers on the radar picket line, and crewmen like Paul, were not losses in vain. The early warning that the Radar Picket's provided the invasion fleet (in addition to the direct attention Japanese planes showed these ships) helped to minimize damage and casualties to the Okinawan invasion fleet and allied soldiers on the island itself. Without the invasion fleet's support, supplies and equipment ... the soldiers on Okinawa would have had a much tougher time.
|To the left - two of Paul's family members that he left behind. Pictured are Paul's sister Margaret and brother-in-law Frank Bush. Frank is the soldier noted above who visited Paul aboard ship at Christmas time in 1944.
Frank & Margie Bush - World War II
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