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|148k||Kenneth Cecil Bunch was born on 21 January 1919 in Norman County, Minn. and enlisted in the Navy at Des Moines, Iowa, on 9 March 1937. He received his "boot camp" training at San Diego, Calif. Rated as seaman 2d class on 9 July 1937, Bunch was transferred to Scouting Squadron (VS) 42 ten days later. He remained with that unit in the years that followed, attaining the rate of radioman 2d class on 16 November 1940. With the extension of his enlistment on 9 March 1941, Bunch was transferred to the Naval Air Station at Norfolk, Va., on 29 August 1941 where he joined VS-8, of the then-forming USS Hornet (CV 8) Air Group, soon thereafter. While in that squadron, he attained the rate of aviation radioman 1st class on 1 March 1942.|
On 6 June 1942, the last day of the Battle of Midway, Bunch flew as radioman-gunner in the Douglas SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive bomber piloted by Ens. Donald T. Griswold, USNR, as the Hornet air group joined in the attacks on the fleeing Japanese cruisers Mogami and Mikuma. Antiaircraft fire claimed Griswold's SBD-3, the only airplane lost by VS-8 that day, and it crashed, killing both the pilot and his radioman. For his contribution to victory at Midway, ARM1c Bunch was posthumously awarded the Air Medal.
USS Bunch (DE 694) (1943-1946) was the first ship named in his honor.
(Photo from the Roots Web - Bussey American Legion Post 505 of Marion County, Iowa)
|434k||25 July 1943: at sea - Bunch, at sea one month before her commissioning. Location is unknown. (U.S. Navy photo #CP-DE-694 19-N-91200 from the National Archives and Records Administration, courtesy of Chris Wright)||Ed Zajkowski|
|Bunch's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 21 Aug. 1943 - 29 Jun. 1944||Lcdr. Albert Alexander Campbell, USNR (comm.)|
|2.) 29 Jun. 1944 - 15 Aug. 1945||Lt. Benjamin Dwight Hyde, USNR|
|3.) 15 Aug. 1945 - 26 Aug. 1945||Lcdr. John Reginald DeSibour, USNR|
|4.) 26 Aug. 1945 - 31 May 1946||Lcdr. Edward Wood Donnally, USNR (decomm.)|
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