"Ship's First Torpedomen"

The named faces in the pictures that follow are some of the original men comprising the USS BUSH's first torpedomen. All reported aboard on commissioning date, May 10, 1943 and served aboard ship for various lengths of time.

Also pictured are images of the Navy's "Fleet Torpedo School Instruction Pamphlet" from 1943 and the April 1944 revised pamphlet for the "MK.15 Type Torpedoes". These publications, put out by the Fleet Service School's Visual Education Department (in San Diego) were substantial, each containing several hundred pages. The 1944 pamphlet on the Mark 15 was nearly 500 pages in length. There was a lot for a torpedoman to learn.

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Torpedomen take a break with a couple of friends - most likely while at Mare Island in 1943 or 1944.

Pictured left to right:
Carl Tillman - TM2c
Dottie Newster
Gene Lukowski - TM2c
Ken Kalhagen - TM3c
June Lee

USS BUSH Torpedomen and Friends
Torpedomen Wagner, Unknown, Kasparek, Towell These four torpedomen are (from left to right):

Austin F. Wagner - TM3c
Gerald E. Kasparek - TM1c
Arthur E. Towell - TM2c

As noted, all of the identified men above were part of the ship's original crew. Gene Lukowski was killed in a 5-inch gun accident on July 23, 1944, just a few days before his 22nd birthday. Torpedomen Kalhagen and Towell were detached from the ship on August 16, 1944 and sent to Fleet Services School in San Diego. Carl Tillman lost his life when the USS BUSH was sunk on April 6, 1945. Torpedomen Wagner and Kasparek survived the April 1945 sinking. The ratings shown are the last ratings while serving aboard the USS BUSH.

If you can identify the unknown face above, we would appreciate hearing from you. Just e-mail us at:
The torpedo gang on a destroyer had to know quite a few things. The instructional pamphlet from 1943 had six chapters. The information was divided into several broad categories and covered subjects such as:

- Torpedo tubes and mounts
- Mark 27 director system
- Depth Charges
- Depth Charge Release Gear
- Smoke Screen Generator
- Portable Angle Solver

On a tin can, to become a good torpedoman required a lot of study, training and teamwork.

1943 Fleet Torpedo School Instruction Pamphlet
April 1944 Instruction Manual for MK.15 Type Torpedoes The April 1944 revised "pamphlet" for the Mark 15 torpedo was 499 pages of pictures, diagrams and text.

In the opening pages of the pamphlet, the term Mark 15 torpedo was noted to apply "to the complete torpedo and to the air flask, afterbody, tail and war head. The exercise head and gyroscope have individual designations".

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