Biwerse, Denis, LCDR

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1941-1941, COMNAVBASE/Commander Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, HI
Service Years
1934 - 1946
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Biwerse, Denis (Denny), LCDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Sheboygan WI
Last Address
Died: Rancho Mirage,
Riverside, California
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia, USA
Plot: Sec: 70, Site: 728

Date of Passing
Oct 24, 1994
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion US Navy Honorable Discharge Blue Star

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Commander Denis Harry Biwerse, USN

Survived attacks by Japanese aircraft, December 1937 and December 1941

USS Panay, December 1937
The youngest officer on board was Lieutenant Junior Grade Denis Harry Biwerse, communications officer, a 25-year-old Wisconsinite who was assigned to the USS Asheville, but was filling in on the Panay until a replacement arrived from the states.

LTjg Biwerse had stepped out onto the forward port deck and was hit by the first explosion. He was dazed and sat on the deck with his uniform completely blown off except for his shirt. The bomb caused massive damage to the Panay, knocking out the 3-inch bow gun, wrecking the pilot house, destroying the radio equipment, toppling the main mast, rupturing the main fuel line, damaging the sick bay, puncturing the fire room, and severely wounding several other crewmen.

After recovering, Biwerse destroyed confidential publications, sank the code book, gathered clothes and blankets, collected rations and fresh eggs, and took a Lewis machine gun and ammunition. He also released the steam in the boilers to avoid an explosion when the cold river water hit the engine room. Dazed and in shock, Biwerse was one of the last to abandon ship.
  Four years later, to the month, Lieutenant Biwerse was in Pearl Harbor.

He was later awarded $5,000 by the Japanese government for his wounds.

Pearl Harbor, December 1941.
Lieutenant Biwerse, and 11 other survivers of the attack on the USS Panay, witnessed the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

From a hometown release, The Sheboygan Press, 3 September 1943: LCDR Biwerse is a veteran of Pearl Harbor and naval engagements in the South Pacific area. Since then he has been in the Solomons, the Indian ocean, Java sea and other points in the South Pacific.

Denis H. Biwerse, Sheboygan HS, class of 1929, Sheboygan Wisconsin.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis Maryland.

NTWS profiles of USS Panay crew members include:
RM2 Charles S. ADAMS:
Ens. (LCdr.) Denis H. BIWERSE:
SK1 Charles Lee ENSMINGER:
LTjg (CDR) John W. GEIST:
FN1c John L. HODGE:
SN1c Edgar W. G. HULSEBUS (KIA):
QMC (WO) John H. LANG:

Denis Harry Biwerse, sometimes listed as Dennis or Benis. These may be errors from newspaper articles at the time of the sinking of the USS Panay.

Denis H. Biwerse was born on 27 May 1912. He died on 24 Oct 1994.  Denis graduated from Sheboygan (Wisconsin) High School in 1929. He attended Culver Military Academy and entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1930 and graduated in 1934.

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 Duty Stations
US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)US NavyUSS Saratoga (CV-3)COMNAVBASE/Commander Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, HI
  1930-1934, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1934-1935, USS Wasmuth (DD-338)
  1936-1937, USS Alden (DD-211)
  1937-1937, USS Asheville (PG-21)
  1937-1937, USS Panay (PR-5)
  1938-1939, 210X, USS Saratoga (CV-3)
  1941-1941, COMNAVBASE/Commander Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, HI
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1937-1937 Sinking of the USS Panay (PR-5)
  1937-1937 Sinking of the USS Panay (PR-5)
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
Culver-Stockton CollegeUnited States Naval AcademyClaremont Graduate University
  1929-1930, Culver-Stockton College
  1930-1934, United States Naval Academy
  1958-1960, Claremont Graduate University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Prelude to Pearl Harbor
  Denis H. Biwerse 1912-19942
  Denis Harry Biwerse, Author
  Court of Inquiry Findings Related to the Panay Incident
  USS Panay list of wounded and killed
  Sep 03, 1943, LCDR Biwerse, The Sheboygan Press
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