"Fred Duane Johns - RM3c"

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Fred Johns, known as “Ted” to his family, completed his basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. He reported aboard the USS BUSH on May 13, 1943, while she was still at the dock following her commissioning 3 days earlier. Johns would remain assigned to DD529 for the remainder of the ship's life.

DD529 was his first ship. He told his family he was going to “serve aboard a brand new tin can”. At the time he reported to DD529, his rate was Seaman 1st class and he was already striking for his first stripe as a radioman. He was 21 years old. It would not be long before he earned that stripe and became Radioman 3rd Class Johns.

Johns survived the sinking of April 6, 1945. He told his family that at the time the first kamikaze struck the ship, he was near the torpedo tubes. The first plane struck near the waterline between the smokestacks on the starboard side, just below the number one torpedo mount. Johns told his family he ducked into a 40MM gun mount for cover. Two more kamikaze’s would strike the ship.

Fred D. Johns - RM3c
Fred D. Johns - RM3c

After abandoning ship in the late afternoon of April 6, 1945, Johns observed the final moments of DD529, as did many of his shipmates. Together they watched her bend amidships and sink beneath the waves in the form of a “V”. Johns was rescued by the LCS(L)24 just before 1AM on the morning of April 7, 1945.

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