Lt.(jg) Howard West recorded the following in the BUSH deck logs, "1006-Maneuvered on various courses and speeds to investigate flashing light bearing 233 oT. 1014-Flashing light identified as signal from rubber life raft containing two men. 1025-The following survivors were brought on board: 2nd Lieutenant R. R. Seay, USA, (Pilot) and 2nd Lieutenant J. H. Gamble, USA, (Co-Pilot), both attached to 822nd Bomb Squadron, 38th Bomb Group, 5th Bomber Command, Morotai. These officers were the only two survivors of B-25, No. 953 which was hit by anti-aircraft fire while on bombing mission over Ormoc Bay, Leyte Island, Philippine Archipelgo." (EDITOR'S NOTE: The twin engine B-25 typically carried a crew of six.)
The rescue of these pilots was captured on 16MM film. The film, originally shot by the ship's doctor, Lt. George Johnson, was found in the US National Archives, and a copy transferred to videotape. The still images on this page were made from the videotape copy of Lt. Johnson's original 16MM film. Although these images did not convert as well for web use as other pictures on this website, they turned out pretty well considering the age and quality of the original film. It is interesting to note that the Navy was using color film for the 16MM cameras aboard the USS BUSH, and likely other ship's as well.
Lt. (jg) Earl Sechrist recalled of these rescued pilots, "They ... had been watching the BUSH patrol for a few days and didn't know if we were a friendly or enemy ship."
|About 10AM - The USS BUSH patrols the western portion of Surigao Strait.|
|BUSH crewmen scan the sea on top of the forward most 5-inch gun, the #1 Gun.|
|Crewmen line up to get a better look at what's been spotted.|
|The flashing light is coming from a yellow rubber life raft.|
|A BUSH sailor, with tow line, swims for the raft.|
|Help at last.|
|Pilots safely in tow.|
|Alongside, and in the shade of, the USS BUSH.|
|One of the Army pilots is secured in a metal litter by BUSH crewman.|
|Hoisting the litter.|
|Looking good, nearly aboard!|
2nd Lt. R. R. Seay (Pilot); 2nd Lt. J. H. Gamble (Co-Pilot); 2nd Lt. R. L. Crane;
S/Sgt E. J. Nolan; Sgt. R. K. Wickliffe; Sgt. L. G. Donohmo
Crane, Nolan, Wickliffe, Donohmo all perished as result of action
Special thanks to Casey Rummerfield for B-25 Crew picture and crew information.
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