Vertz, Richard, S1c

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Last Rank
Seaman 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
GM-0000-Gunner's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Gunner's Mate
Primary Unit
1944-1945, GM-0000, USS Bush (DD-529)
Service Years
1944 - 1945
GM-Gunner's Mate
Seaman 1st Class

 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 Vertz, Richard, S1c.

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 while Missing
Other Explosive Device
World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea - N/A, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL), B
 Duty Stations
US Navy
  1944-1945, GM-0000, USS Bush (DD-529)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Leyte Gulf
  1944-1944 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Mindoro
  1945-1945 Luzon Campaign (1944-45)/Invasion of Lingayen Gulf
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  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 

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.

At 1725, a second kamikaze crashed into the port side of Bush's main deck between the stacks, starting a large fire and nearly severing the ship. At 1745, a third crashed onto the port side just above the main deck. Some of the ship's ammunition caught fire and began to explode. Although it was believed that she would break amidships, it was thought that both halves would be salvageable. However, an unusually heavy swell rocked the ship, and Bush began to cave in amidships. Other swells followed, and the ship was abandoned by her 227 survivors just before she folded and sank. 87 of her crew were lost.


Though not confirmed with absolute certainty, the above picture is thought to include some of those Bush sailors assigned to the #41 twin 40MM gun. The #41 gun was located on the starboard side, just below the bridge and aft of the #2 5-inch gun. Based on comparison to other photos taken in front of the 5-inch gun director, this picture is believed to have been taken in February 1945.
The men in the picture have been identified as noted below.

Bottom Row (left to right):

Sailor at top: Richard Vertz-S1c

Unknown, Ray Sobczynski-GM3c, Paul J. Wallace-S1c, Theo White-S1c, Unknown

Richard Vertz died with the USS Bush on April 6, 1945. Official reports list him as missing in action.

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