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NavSource Naval History
Photographic History of the United States Navy


For What It's Worth Department

I was an S1c in Dec. 1941 and my battle station was 50 Cal. Machine Gun and Sonar operator. I happened to be on the 50 all times, we were under attack. Several written reports state I was thrown over board by the sudden movement of the ship while under attack by Aussie dive bombers while we passed through Bunaken Strait.....I would ask any experienced sailor [even one, with only1 years service] -- How is this possible??
I was a farm-ranch boy from s/w Nebraska...... used to riding and being bucked off horses both wild & broke....I was holding & firing a 50 cal. machine gun with handle bars like a motorcycle, and I was on target at an incoming dive bomber and recall seeing bombs coming down at our ship, and suddenly everything went BLACK! Who would just assume that I was bucked/thrown off a lunging and/or galloping 1,215 Ton Destroyer. And someone reportedly tossed me a life jacket - another report sez' I was already wearing a life jacket and they threw me a buoy ring. I do not know if you have ever heard the expression Navy White Wash?? My limited sailor experience indicates the #1 thing is to yell "man overboard" #2 you toss flotation devices #3 the ship comes about and you pick up the crew member from the water......... dead or alive! You just don't sail away and then days later write up some story in the log. Now I have told my story [And I'm sticking to it!]....... Billy Green Jan 12, 2001