Magazine article Sea Classics

Sea Mail

Magazine article Sea Classics

Sea Mail

Article excerpt

Dear Editor,

As a naval historian and frequent contributor to Sea Classics I would like to ask the indulgence of your readers. I am hoping to establish contact with any of the officers or crewmen who served aboard the WWII destroyer USS BURNS (DD588) in 1944/45. The purpose of my request is to obtain more input for an upcoming book regarding the history of this eleven battle star-winning warship, and a particular incident in which the BURNS was involved. The event occurred on or about 30 January 1944 in the Kwajalein/Majuro area.

The incident in question involved BURNS's whaleboat trying to rescue about 60 Japanese survivors from PC-24, which had just been sunk in a gun duel with the BURNS. Apparently, most of the Japanese sailors floundering in the water refused to be rescued. Many tried to swim away, dove for safety, or otherwise rejected all attempts to save them. Only six survivors allowed themselves to be pulled from the sea by the American bluejackets.

Fearing the Japanese still in the water would be rescued and live to fight another day, the BURNS moved into their midst and dropped three depth charges. Set to explode at 50 feet, the concussion killed all those who chose to remain in the water. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who was an eyewitness to, or who has first hand knowledge of this particular wartime action,

If you can help, please call or write to me at the Sea Classics office at 818-700-6868. The folks at Challenge will put us in touch.

Owen Gault

Sonora, CA

Dear Sir:

I recently had an opportunity to see the October 1999 issue of Sea Classics which included a lengthy letter from Ken Truelsen who served on the USS BERMINGHAM (DE-530) which was one of five DEs participating in Convoy NY 119. Mr. Truelsen mentioned a book that chronicled that convoy, namely The Ordeal of Convoy NY 119 by Charles Dana Gibson. …

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