USS BUSH (DD 529)

"Tony Wysocki, S1c"

Killed In Action - April 6, 1945

Silver Star Recipient

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Tony Wysocki, S1c

Tony Wysocki reported aboard the USS BUSH on July 2, 1943. His rating at that time was Seaman 2nd Class and thought to be fresh from boot camp. He was 20 years old and one of five brothers serving in World War II. All five brothers had enlisted in the United States Navy.

Tony Wysocki - S1c
On April 6, 1945 Tony Wysocki was manning his starboard side amidship 20mm gun (#23) when the first Japanese suicide plane struck the ship. His actions during DD-529's final hours were in the highest traditions of the United States Navy. He would dive into the water to assist a fellow shipmate in distress, despite being wounded. One of his shipmates, John Northcutt, recalled the following in 2001 of Wysocki's actions that day, "Wysocki had been shot in the left shoulder, and it didn't look too bad. A man who'd been blinded was in the water and Wysocki dove in and got him. Afterwards, Bud Serviolo and I helped change Wysocki out of his wet clothes and into some dry ones. That's when we realized how bad he was hurt. The shot had hit Tony in his left shoulder and exited underneath his right armpit."

Tony Wysocki was able to survive the sinking, but not his time in the water. Deck logs from the USS PAKANA (ATF 108) list Wysocki as one of 34 sailors picked up at 0215 hours on April 7, 1945. The PAKANA's deck logs note at 0415 that three "survivors died: diagnosis drowning." Their bodies were transferred at 0750 on April 7, 1945 to the USS APPLING (APA 58) and subsequently to the Army Graves Registration Service on Okinawa at Orange Beach 2.

Wysocki would be buried on Okinawa until his remains were moved to his final resting place in the Mount Olivette Catholic Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan

Temporary Grave Tony Wysocki - S1c
Seaman 1st Class Tony Wysocki's grave on Okinawa.

The ship's Commanding Officer, Rollin E. Westholm, CDR noted the following regarding Wysocki's actions on April 6th as he submitted recommendations for issuance of a Silver Star to Seaman 1st Class Tony Wysocki, USNR:

At the outset of the action WYSOCKI was at his battle station as gunner on 20mm gun #23 on the starboard side amidships. When the first plane hit, one man was seen floating away from the ship apparently dazed. WYSOCKI dove into the water and rescued him and then went forward to assist in jettisoning topside weight, his gun being inoperative at the time. As the second plane came in to attack he went aft and manned one of the other 20mm guns amidships. He was wounded during the strafing attack but remained at the gun and continued to fire it until the crash. He made his way to the fantail where he took station on one of the 20mmís aft. After the third crash when men were in the water near the ship he noticed a man calling for assistance and apparently unable to swim. Although wounded, he dove in without hesitation and aided the man to the ship. He was one of the last to leave when the abandon ship order was given. He later died from wounds and over-exposure during the night.

Back home, his family's community noted the following in a local newspaper about the now Gold Star family and the service of Tony and his four brothers.
Wysocki Brothers Newspaper Clipping

1 Gold Star among 4 other Blues at the Wysocki home.

Final Resting Place - Tony Wysocki

Final resting place - Mount Olivette Catholic Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan


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