Tillman, Carl, TM2c

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Last Rank
Torpedoman 2nd Class
Last Primary NEC
TM-0000-Torpedoman's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Torpedoman's Mate
Primary Unit
1943-1945, USS Bush (DD-529)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Arctic Circle (Bluenose)
Order of the Golden Dragon
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
TM-Torpedoman's Mate

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home Country
United States
United States
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Tillman, Carl, TM2c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Apr 06, 1945
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Arctic Circle (Bluenose) Order of the Golden Dragon

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US Navy
  1943-1945, USS Bush (DD-529)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Bismarck Archipelago Operation
  1943-1944 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Cape Gloucester
  1944-1944 New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Morotai
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Leyte Gulf
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

   USS Bush (DD-529)

         USS Bush (DD-529) off Mare Island, 11 June 1944. Her camouflage is Measure 32.
          USS Bush (DD-529) off Mare Island, 11 June 1944
Service History

Between 29 July and 27 November 1943 Bush acted as a patrol and escort vessel in Alaskan waters. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 4 December 1943, she commenced operations as a patrol, escort, and fire support ship throughout the Pacific, from the Ellice Islands to New Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa. She participated in the Bismarck Archipelago operations, including the Cape Gloucester, New Britain landings and the Admiralty Islands landings (26 December 1943 ?? 31 March 1944); Saidor, New Guinea, operations (18??21 January); Morotai landings (15 September); Leyte landings (20??24 October), Luzon operation, including the Mindoro and Lingayen Gulf landings (12??18 December 1944 and 4??18 January 1945); Iwo Jima operation (19 February??9 March); and the Okinawa operation (1??6 April).

On 1 November 1944, while operating in Leyte Gulf, Bush splashed two of ten Japanese planes during a severe air attack. She was showered by flying shrapnel and suffered two men wounded.

Bush was operating as radar picket ship off Okinawa 6 April 1945 and had splashed at least one plane when she was hit and subsequently sunk by three Japanese kamikazes. At 1515, the first plane hit at the deck level on the starboard side between number one and two stacks causing its bomb or torpedo to explode in the forward engine room. Although much damage was sustained the ship was not believed to be in severe danger and tugs were requested. Colhoun was closing in to assist when she was hit by a suicide plane and was so severely damaged that she had to be sunk by United States forces.


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. 


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.

       Carl Tillman - TM2c Marvin Scott - TM2c Ray Mayhugh - CTM
        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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