- Published: Saturday, 10 June 2006 00:00
- Written by Administrator
Information provided by Vincent "Jim" Vlach, Jr., Survivor
The headcount for the ship's company, Marine Detachment, Observations Squadron ONE and Flag Allowance of Commander Battleship Division ONE was 1512. This includes personnel who were away from the ship on leave in the continental U.S., on liberty and away at schools or other assignments but were to return to the ship upon completion. We had 335 survivors (including 16 from the Marine Detachment out of their headcount of 88). Our total loss of 1,177 KIA was the heaviest loss of life on any one ship in the history of the U.S. Navy.
Unfortunately the cards showing the Division the men were assigned were not recovered. However, most of our survivors came from the after part of the ship (Turrets III & IV). All men had sufficient time to reach their battle station after general quarters was sounded and before the first bomb hit Turret IV. All who were on board assigned to Turrets I and II were KIA, including the entire 21 members of the band who were assigned to Turret II. Also all who had battle stations in the sick bay, Central Station and Plot lost their lives if on board. The same applies to most men in the Engineering Departments who had battle stations well below the main deck. There are approximately 900 still entombed on our ship.