Carl Tillman - TM2c
Torpedoman 3rd Class Carl Tillman reported aboard the USS Bush as part
of the commissioning crew of May 10, 1943. When not at general quarters,
Carl could often be found on the bridge standing "wheel watch", as
torpedomen often did.
Carl would continue serving aboard the USS Bush until her sinking on April 6, 1945. At the end of the ship's life, Carl's rating had increased to Torpedoman 2nd Class. Carl perished with the first suicide plane to strike the ship.
|Marvin Scott reported to the USS Bush on December 8, 1943. On this date the ship was moored at Pearl Harbor following the end the ship's role in the Aleutian Islands war effort. Marvin was a Torpedoman 3rd Class at this time. By April 6, 1945, Marvin had earned another stripe. He was Marvin Scott - TM2c. Marvin would lose his life serving alongside his shipmate, Carl Tillman.||
Marvin Scott - TM2c
|Offical Navy letters to surviving family members often did not contain many details about the events that claimed a family's loved one. Below are excerpts from a letter written 50 years later to Carl Tillman's sister and her husband. Carl's sister was the only surviving relative of the immediate family he left behind in 1945. The letter shares some recollections of Carl and the events surrounding his death and that of his shipmate Marvin Scott. The ship's former Chief Torpedoman's Mate, Ray Mayhugh, wrote the letter. The letter also offers a few insights into battle tatics from a torpedoman's point of view.|
February 24, 1995
Mr. and Mrs. Ippolito,
I am sorry that it has taken so long for you to get information about the loss of your brother, Carl Tillman. There were three of us on duty at the same location on the ship and at the same time the action took place. Carl (we called him "Cotton") and Marvin Scott were assigned to the #1 torpedo tube. I was also at the #1 tube at this time, although my responsibility included #2 tube and some depth charges.
We had been under attack by Jap planes flying from Japan for several hours, and during the afternoon it seemed as though the attack was more intense. During action involving aircraft we had the torpedo tubes trained out, so they could be fired even if damaged. Tube one was located between the stacks and trained out to the port side. Tube two was to the rear of #2 stack and was trained to starboard. Because the men manning the torpedo tubes could not take any direct action to combat aircraft we were advised to take cover whenever a plane approached in a strafing mode. During lulls in a battle we passed 40MM ammo.
One Jap plane stayed very low and our guns were trying to splash him, but he turned to come in on our starboard side and kept coming. When we got the message, "500 feet, take cover", Tillman and Scott went under the torpedo tube and I jumped from the super structure deck to the main deck on the port side.
The plane kept coming and hit the starboard side of the ship above the water line and between the stacks. It is believed that he either had a bomb in the plane or dropped one just prior to hitting the ship. The damaged area on the starboard side was basically from stack to stack and from the keel up. The torpedo tubes, both men and everything below the tube was gone, except about 12 to 18 inches of the port side of the main deck.
The ship was hit by two other planes before she sank. The second plane came in on the port side and right in the area of the first plane. The damage by the second hit was much less than the first. I do not recall an explosion with the second plane. The third plane came in up forward on the port side and hit a 40MM gun and the radio room, wardroom, officer area. Part of this area was being used to treat injured men, but they were all lost by this plane's action.
Soon it will be 50 years since this action took place, and I am sure that my memory has played tricks on me. However, one thing I am sure of is that your brother was a fine young man who was liked and respected by all of his shipmates.
S. R. "Ray" Mayhugh, CTM
|EDITOR's NOTE: Ray Mayhugh had remembered many years later that Marvin Scott's parents had somehow received word that USS Bush survivors would reach San Francisco aboard the USS Henrico. Marvin's parents were there to meet the ship. Ray was asked to speak with them about the loss of their son and did so. Ray thought the Scott family must have had some "connections" to be able to find out when and where survivors of the USS Bush sinking would return to the States.|
The three men on the #1 torpedo tube mount on April 6, 1945.
Carl Tillman-TM2c, Marvin Scott-TM2c, Ray Mayhugh-CTM
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