Woodbury County

Kenneth H. Busch




Sioux Cityan on Seas 14 Years Has Chain of Incidents in Memories

TELLS OF EXPERIENCE AT SEA—Fondling his year-old-son, Michael, while telling about his thrills on the seas, Chief Officer, Kenneth H. Busch, visiting friends in Sioux City, relaxes before being assigned to duty on a new ship.  With his wife, Laura, and Michael, he left Wednesday for the west coast.

Chief Officer Kenneth H. Busch has been associated with the sea in all its war and peacetime fury since 1929—but he says it “feels pretty good to be back to the old swimmin’ hole in Sioux City.”

Lounging on a friend’s davenport with his young son at 1901 S. Maple street, and reaching once in a while for a toy to keep the lad amused while his dad was talking, he told Tuesday evening about his career with the Navy from 1929 to 1933, and about his merchant marine service since 1933.

During that period of time, he has been assigned to duty in the great oceans of the world near every chunk of land from the Loyalty islands to South Africa.

Mention any strip of land, and he can tie it to an incident.  Mention, for example, the Loyalty islands in the preceding paragraph.  He will tell you about a “little” shipwreck he lived through near there.  For 36 hours the crew and passengers of his ship, including the French wife of a planter and her three babies, lived in lifeboats until, finally, a destroyer came to the rescue.  The passengers lived through it; the ship did not.

Mention the Solomons, and he will tell you that his was the second ship to reach the islands after the United States forces routed the Japs.  Or he might tell you about the Jap air raids he lived through, or the German, Jap and Italian prisoners he encountered, or about the half-wrecked destroyer that limped into an undisclosed harbor—he was very careful about military information—with hundreds of survivors aboard from a fierce sea battle, to be cheered by the crews on a row of ships anchored in the harbor.  “It was a thrill.”

He might tell you about all these things—but he would rather say, “It feels pretty good to be back to the old swimmin’ hole.”

“Everything is eventful nowadays,” he said.  “You have to be on your toes all the time.” He ought to know.

A resident of Sioux City up to the time of his 12th birthday, Chief Officer Busch is leaving today with his wife and son for the west coast, where he will assigned to a new ship and new thrills.

Source:  The Sioux City Journal, September 29, 1943 (photograph included)