From the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Volume 1 (1959; reprinted with corrections 1964).

Burton Island

Burton Island is an island near the coast of Delaware.

(AG-88: dp. 3575: l. 269'; b. 63'6"; dr. 25'9"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 353; a. 1 5"; cl. Burton Island)

Burton Island (AG-88) was launched 30 April 1946 by Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Pedro, Calif., and commissioned 28 December 1946, Commander G. Ketchum in command.

After receiving supplies Burton Island departed San Diego 17 January 1947 and steamed to the Ross Sea, Antarctica, where she arrived 8 February for rendezvous with units of TF 68 on the First (1947) Antarctic Development Project. She made her wa y through the ice packs to the Bay of Whales and unloaded supplies and received passengers for the return voyage. She arrived at San Pedro 31 March 1947 after steaming via Port Chalmers and Wellington, New Zealand; and Pago Pago, Samoa.

After undergoing a yard overhaul she picked up supplies at San Francisco and Seattle and departed 25 July for the 1947 Point Barrow Expedition. At Point Barrow, Alaska, Burton Island's helicopters participated in ice reconnaissance and surveys. She returned to San Diego 24 August.

Burton Island underwent overhaul and repairs at San Pedro and then joined the Second (1947) Antarctic Development Project. She arrived 1 January 1948 at Shackleton Ice Shell and conducted hydrographic and geological surveys, ice reconnaissance, and demolition experiments in the area. She returned to San Pedro 31 March and underwent ice damage repairs at Long Beach.

Between April 1948 and December 1956 Burton Island participated in 19 different type cruises in Arctic and Alaskan waters. Each time she returned to the west coast she received overhaul or repairs at either Long Beach, Mare Island, or Bremerton Naval Shipyards, then resumed her duties on the expeditions. Duties performed included: supply activities; helicopter reconnaissance of ice flows and packs; ice surveys and photographs, oceanographic hydrographic, geological, coast and geodetic, and hydro phone surveys; electronic interference surveys; underwater demolition team explosions in ice packs; and Arctic convoy exercises. Expeditions in which Burton Island took part were Point Barrow Resupply Expeditions (1948-51), MICOWEX-50 A; Beaufort S ea Oceanographic Expeditions; Bering Sea Explorations; MSTS Project 572; and several expeditions into the Bering and Beaufort Seas as far north as the Arctic Circle and the Canadian Northwest Territories near the Mackenzie River.

During March 1949 while undergoing repairs at Long beach, Burton Island was designated AGB-1.


Born in Wilmington, Del., William Sharp Bush was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps 3 July 1809. He lost his life while serving aboard Constitution when he tell mortally wounded while attempting to board the frigate Guerriere 19 August 1812. He was posthumously awarded a silver medal by Congress.


(DD-166: dp. 1191; l. 314'5"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'2"; s. 35.1 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 2 3", 12 21" TT.; cl. Little)

Bush (DD-166) was launched 27 October 1918 by Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass.; sponsored by Miss Josephine T. Bush, a descendant of Lieutenant Bush; and commissioned 19 February 1919, Commander R. B. Coffey in command.

After her final acceptance trials in July 1919 Bush operated along the east coast with Destroyer Squadron 3, Atlantic Fleet, until 29 November 1919 when she arrived at Charleston, S. C., and became a unit of Squadron 1, Flotilla 7, in reduced co mmission. She was in reserve status until the summer of 1920. She then engaged in conducting training cruises for Naval Reserves. Thereafter, she exercised alternately at Charleston, her winter base, and at Newport, her summer base, until placed out of co mmission 21 June 1922 at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Bush was sold 8 September 1936.


(DD-529: dp. 2050: l. 376'5"; b. 39'7"; dr. 17'9"; s. 35.2 k.; cpl. 329; a. 5 5", 10 21" TT.; cl. Fletcher)

The second Bush (DD-529) was launched 27 October 1942 by Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Miss Marion Jackson, great-great-grandniece of Lieutenant Bush; and commissioned 10 May 1943, Commander W. F. Peterson in command.

Between 29 July and 27 November 1943 Bush acted as a patrol and escort vessel in Alaskan waters. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 4 December 1943, she commenced opera-


tions as a patrol, escort, and fire support ship throughout the Pacific, from the Ellice Islands to New Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa. She participated in the Bismarck Archipelago operations, including the Cape Gloucester, New Britain landings a nd the Admiralty Islands landings (26 December 1943-31 March 1944); Saidor, New Guinea, operations (18-21 January); Morotai landings (15 September); Leyte landings (20-24 October); Luzon operation, including the Mindoro and Lingayen Gulf landings (12-18 D ecember 1944 and 4-18 January 1945); Iwo Jima operation (19 February-9 March); and the Okinawa operation (1-6 April).

On 1 November 1944, while operating in Leyte Gulf, Bush splashed two of ten Japanese planes during a severe air attack. She was showered by flying shrapnel and suffered two men wounded.

Bush was operating as radar picket ship off Okinawa 6 April 1945 and had splashed at least one plane when she was hit and subsequently sunk by three Japanese suicide planes. At 1515 the first plane hit at the deck level on the starboard side bet ween number one and two stacks causing its bomb or torpedo to explode in the forward engine room. Although much damage was sustained the ship was not believed to be in severe danger and tugs were requested. Colhoun (DD-801) was closing in to assist when she was hit by a suicide plane and was so severely damaged that she had to be sunk by United States forces.

At 1725 a second suicide plane crashed into the port side of Bush's main deck between the stacks starting a large fire and nearly severing the ship. At 1745 a third plane crashed onto the port side just above the main deck. Some of the ship's am munition caught fire and began to explode. Although it was believed that she would break amidships, it was thought that both halves would be salvageable. However, an unusually heavy swell rocked the ship and Bush began to cave in amidships. Other s wells followed and the ship was abandoned by her 227 survivors just before she folded and sank.

Bush received seven battle stars for her World War II service.


David Bushnell was born in Saybrook, Conn., about 1742. A graduate of Yale University in 1775, he managed to explode gunpowder underwater which is thought to have suggested to him the idea of a submarine mine or torpedo. In 1775 he completed a man- propelled, wooden submarine boat, on the outside of which was attached a powder magazine with clock mechanism enclosed for igniting it. Bushnell's vessel was unsuccessful in her attempts to blow up British vessels in 1776-77. Bushnell commanded the Corps of Engineers at West Point in 1783; later became the head of a private school in Georgia, and then practiced medicine until his death in 1824 at Warrenton, Ga.


(AS-2: dp. 3142: l. 350'6"; b. 45'8"; dr. 19'6"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 151; a. 4 5", 2 21" TT.)

The first Bushnell (AS-2) was launched 9 February 1915 by Seattle Construction and Dry Dock Co., Seattle Wash.; sponsored by Miss Esculine Warwick Bushnell great-grandniece of David Bushnell; and commissioned 24 November 1915, Lieutenant D. F. B oyd in command.

She was assigned to the Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, as tender to "L" class submarines in January 1916 and arrived on the east coast in February. Early in 1917 she escorted submarines to the Azores and in December accompanied Submarine Division 5 to Ireland, arriving at Queenstown 27 January 1918. Bushnell acted as tender for submarines operating off Queenstown until the end of World War I. She later escorted captured German submarines to England, Canada, and the United States.

In September 1920 she assisted in salvage operations on the submarine S-5 sunk off the Delaware Capes and, until August 1931, cruised with various Submarine Divisions on the Atlantic coast, in the Caribbean, on the west coast, and to the Hawaiia n Islands. Bushnell arrived at San Diego 3 September 1931 and reported for duty with the Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, with whom she operated until 1937. She towed the frigate Constitution from San Diego to the Canal Zone during March and April 1934 and in February 1935 assisted in the search for survivors of the dirigible Macon which crashed off San Diego.

In December 1937 she was transferred to duty with the Hydrographic Survey and carried out her operations on the coasts of Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, British Guiana, and Samoa until September 1941. On 25 July 1940 her designation was changed to AG-2 and on 23 August she was renamed Sumner. Sumner sailed from Norfolk 20 October 1941; joined the Base Force, Pacific Fleet, at San Diego; and arrived 25 November at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor.

On 7 December 1941 Sumner was moored at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, and took an active part in the defense of the Islands against the Japanese attack. After the attack she assisted the stricken ships in the area. On 12 January 1942 she set sail for Tongatabu and thence to Nandi Island and Samoa for surveying. After transporting Marines to Wallis Island in May, she made a survey of local harbors. During the ensuing months she conducted surveys at Noumea, New Caledonia; Nukualofa, Tonga Isla nd; Vila Harbor and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides; and Tulagi, Solomon Islands.

Sumner weighed anchor for Sydney, Australia, 28 January 1943. In March she sailed to the Deboyne Islands to make a survey. She subsequently surveyed Stanley Pitts, and Milne Bays in New Guinea. On 5 August she commenced a survey of Nukufetau, El lice Islands. These operations were hampered throughout August and September by enemy air attacks. On 1 December 1943 her classification was changed to AGS-5.

Between 5 December 1943 and 13 February 1944 Sumner participated in the occupation of Tarawa and conducted a survey of the newly acquired area. She sailed to Kwajalein in February 1944 where she was engaged in improving the harbor facilities unt il 11 April. The ship then stood out for San Francisco, via Pearl Harbor, arriving 7 May. Repairs completed, Sumner returned to the Hawaiian Islands in August. In September she steamed to Ulithi where until February 1945 she conducted survey operations. O n 1 February she sailed for Guam where she remained until the 27th. On 4 March she arrived at Iwo Jima and commenced surveying operations under very adverse conditions. On 8 March she was hit by an enemy shell which killed one of her crew and injured thre e others. The shell failed to explode and material damage was light. Sumner continued surveying the area until 3 May when she departed for Guam. She remained at Guam until 17 June when she sailed to Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands.

Survey operations in the Philippines were completed 28 August and Sumner stood out for Jinsen, Korea, arriving 9 September 1945. She continued her survey operations in the Korea-China area until sailing for Pearl Harbor 19 December 1945.

Sumner underwent a yard period at Pearl Harbor and then sailed to Bikini Atoll to conduct surveys in preparation for the coming atomic bomb tests before returning to California 24 May 1946. On 9 July she departed the west coast and proceeded to Norfolk where she reported for inactivation. She was decommissioned 13 September 1946 and transferred to the Maritime Commission six days later.

Sumner received three battle stars for her World War II service.


(AS-15: dp. 9734: l. 530'6"; b. 73'4"; dr. 25'6"; s. 18.5 k.; cpl. 444; a. 4 5"; cl. Fulton)

The second Bushnell (AS-15) was launched 14 September 1942 by Mare Island Navy Yard; sponsored by


Mrs. Luther Gibson, and commissioned 10 April 1943 Commander C. T. Bonney in command.

On 27 June she departed for Pearl Harbor, arriving 3 July. While at the Submarine Base, Submarine Squadron 14 was assembled with Bushnell serving as tender and staff headquarters for the Squadron and Division Stuff. Bushnell remained at P earl Harbor until September 1943 when she sailed for Midway Island to deliver provisions and structural materials. Upon returning to Pearl Harbor in December she resumed her task of refitting submarines until April 1944.

Bushnell weighed anchor for Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, 27 April laden with provisions, fuel, and materiel. Majuro Atoll soon became a regular submarine operating base, although entirely dependent upon the tender. On 5 February 1945 Bushn ell returned to Pearl Harbor. On 29 May the tender steamed to Midway to refit submarines arriving there from war patrols. She was thus engaged until the cessation of hostilities.

From September to December 1945 Bushnell continued to act as a repair vessel for submarines throughout the period of demobilization and peacetime reorganization of the submarine force in the San Diego area. In January 1946 she sailed to Guam to tend submarines engaged in the occupation of Japan. This tour of duty continued until April, at which time she was recalled to Pearl Harbor for duty with Submarine Squadron 1. Bushnell operated with Submarine Squadron 1 until 24 May 1947. At that t ime she sailed to Mare Island Naval Shipyard for overhaul. Returning to Pearl Harbor 10 September she resumed her duties with Squadron 1. In December 1947 Bushnell returned to Mare Island and reported for inactivation. She was placed out of commiss ion in reserve 30 April 1948.

Bushnell was recommissioned 21 February 1952. After intensive training along the west coast Bushnell departed for the Atlantic 7 May 1952. She transited the Panama Canal 21 May and proceeded to Key West, Fla., for duty with Submarine Squa dron 12. Since that time Bushnell has operated at Key West tending the boats of Squadron 12 and conducting brief periods of service at Norfolk and short cruises in the Caribbean.


Bussum is a commune southeast of Amsterdam, Holland.

(AR: dp. 8550: l. 360'; b. 48'; dr. 20'10"; s. 10 k.)

Bussum (No. 2468), a cargo vessel, was launched in 1917 by A. Vuyk and Son, Capelle-am-Yssel, Holland, for Vinkle and Co., Amsterdam, Holland. She was interned at New York in March 1918 by customs officials and turned over to the Shipping Board. Acquired by the Navy 21 March 1918, she was placed in commission 27 March 1918.

Retaining her merchant marine crew, she served with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service until May 1918 and made one coastwise trip to San Juan, P. R. Bussum was decommissioned at Philadelphia 16 May 1918 and returned to the Shipping Board.


Smedley D. Butler was born in West Chester, Pa. 30 July-1881 and was appointed a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1898. During the Spanish-American War he served aboard the armored cruiser New York. He served in China during the Boxer Re bellion and was appointed Captain by brevet for distinguished conduct. In 1914 he received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Veracruz and in 1915 he received a second Medal of Honor for service in Haiti. Major General Butler received Distinguished Ser vice Medals from both the Army and the Navy in recognition of his service in France during World War I. He retired from active duty 1 October 1931 and died at Philadelphia 21 June 1940.

(DD-436: dp. 1630: l. 348'2"; b. 36'1"; dr. 17'5"; s. 35 k.; cpl. 276; a. 4 5", 5 21" TT.; cl. Gleaves)

Butler (DD-636) was launched 12 February 1942 by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. John Wehle, daughter of General Butler; and commissioned 15 August 1942, Lieutenant Commander M. D. Matthews in command.

After undergoing shakedown trials Butler engaged in escort work in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. On 14 January 1943 she departed on a trans-Atlantic voyage to Casablanca and thence to Dakar, French West Africa. From there she escorted t he two Free French vessels Richelieu and Montcalm to New York. After overhaul in New York and coastwise convoy escort work she set sail for the Mediterranean 8 June. Following training exercises at Oran and Algiers, she proceeded to Bizerte whence she departed in July for the Sicilian invasion (9 July-12 August). She took part in the pre-invasion bombardment of Gela and subsequently served on escort duty throughout the remainder of the operation. She then steamed for New York, arriving 22 Au gust.

Butler was engaged in convoy work and overhaul until 5 May 1944 at which time she stood out for the Normandy invasion (6 June-15 July). She screened heavy units of the bombardment group and served at the inshore fire support station during this assault. Between 12 and 30 August she escorted British escort carriers taking part in the invasion of southern France. Shortly thereafter she returned to New York for overhaul.

After a convoy run to Marseilles in October, Butler returned to New York (27 October) for conversion to a highspeed minesweeper. Reclassified DMS-29 on 15 November, conversion was completed 21 December and she proceeded to Norfolk and joined Min e Squadron 20. On 3 January 1945 the ship weighed anchor for San Diego enroute to Pearl Harbor. Upon completion of extensive training in the Hawaiian area, she sailed to Ulithi and then conducted a pre-invasion sweep around Okinawa. She continued screen a nd picket duty, splashing many planes, throughout the assault and occupation of Okinawa (24 March-25 May 1945). On 25 May bombs from a suicide plane exploded under Butler's keel, killing nine men and blowing out steam lines and flooding the forward fire room causing the loss of all steam and electric power. West Virginia (BB-48) stood by Butler until power was regained and assisted in driving off two more Japanese planes.

The next day Butler proceeded to Kerama Retto for temporary repairs. She arrived in the United States 26 August and was decommissioned 8 November 1945. She was sold 10 January 1948.

Butler received the Navy Unit Commendation for her service in the Okinawa operation and four battle stars for her World War II service.

Butner, General H. W. (AP-113) see General H. W. Butner (AP-113)


Butte is the name of counties in Idaho, California, and South Dakota.

(APA-68: dp. 4247: l. 426'; b. 58'; dr. 16'; s. 16.9 k.; cpl. 320; a. 1 5"; cl. Gilliam)

Butte (APA 68) was launched 20 July 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas W. Mearns; acquired 21 November 1944, and commissioned the next day, Commander J. A. G illis, USNR, in command.

Butte got underway for Pearl Harbor 5 January 1945 loaded with troops. After embarking additional troops at Pearl Harbor she successively visited Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands; Saipan, Marianas Islands; Ulithi and


Palau, Caroline Islands; and Leyte, Philippine Islands. Between 1 and 14 April 1945 she provided logistic support during the assault and occupation of Okinawa.

Following this, Butte transported casualties to the rear bases, stopping at Saipan Ulithi, the Palaus, and Leyte. Returning to Guam and Ulithi, more troops were embarked for passage to the Philippines. The ship then transported wounded veterans to San Francisco, arriving 18 June. She weighed anchor 8 July and carried troops to Okinawa. After the cessation of hostilities Butte transported occupation and Chinese troops and liberated prisoners of war throughout the China-Korea area until Nov ember 1945, when she departed the Far East to return to the United States. Butte arrived in the United States 18 December 1945 and, after repairs, was ordered to Pearl Harbor 23 February 1946 for assignment to JTF 1. She served as a unit of the tar get group for Operation Crossroads. She survived the atomic bomb tests and was retained for structural and radiation study at Kwajalein until 12 May 1948 when she was disposed of by sinking.

Butte received one battle star for her World War II service.


The butternut is the North American white walnut.

(YN-4: dp. 560; l. 163'2"; b. 30'6"; dr. 11'8"; s. 12.5 k.; cpl. 48; a. 1 3"; cl. Aloe)

Butternut (YN-4) was launched 10 May 1941 by Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton, Wash., and placed in service 3 September 1941, Lieutenant A. S. Einmo, USNR, in charge.

Assigned to the 13th Naval District, Butternut tended nets and swept mines near Tacoma and Seattle, Wash. until May 1942. She was commissioned 13 May 1942 and four days later departed for San Francisco. Leaving San Francisco 1 June, the net tend er reached Noumea, New Caledonia, on the 27th. She tended nets there, in the New Hebrides, and in the Solomon Islands until January 1945 except for a repair period at Port Chalmers, New Zealand, and Pearl Harbor (August 1943-February 1944). She was reclas sified AN-9, 20 January 1944. From February 1945 to May 1946 she tended nets at Leyte and Samar, Philippine Islands, and spent the next eight months having her machinery overhauled at Manicani Island, Philippines.

Butternut arrived at Apra Harbor, Guam, 9 March 1947 and operated from there until 19 June 1950 tending nets and carrying cargo in the Marshall, Caroline, and Marianas Islands. Following repairs at Pearl Harbor (June-September 1950) she sailed t o Sasebo, Japan. Butternut tended nets there and at Yokosuka, Japan, until returning to Guam in July 1951. After remaining there for the next year, she then proceeded to San Francisco, arriving 15 August 1952. Since then she has been assigned to th e 11th Naval District for local duty.

Butternut received one battle star for services rendered during the consolidation of the northern Solomons.

Buttress (ACM-4) see PCE-878


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These histories are taken from Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (US Naval Historical Center, 1959-1991). The histories may not reflect the most recent information concerning the ships' status and operations.

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