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  • William D. Boynton (c.1921 - d.)
    Survivor of the sinking of the USS Neosho in the battle of the Coral Sea in World War 2. Seaman 2nd class.
  • Robert T. Boehm (c.1921 - d.)
    Survivor of the sinking of the USS Neosho. Described as a Shipfitter 2nd Class.
  • Herbert L. Bennett (c.1920 - d.)
    Listed as a First Class Fireman on the USS Neosho who survived the sinking. From Texas. Later served on the USS Neosho, AO-48.
  • Charles C. Cook (c.1920 - d.)
    A survivor of the sinking of the USS Neosho at the Battle of the Coral Sea. He was a Lieutenant Junior Grade at that time. Possibly Charles C. Cook Naval Reserve 1940-1946 from Martindale Texas. (Nav...
  • Thomas M. Brown (1905 - 1970)
    Survivor of the sinking of the USS Neosho in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Went on to serve in many other ships of the Navy. Retired as a Rear Admiral. Received the Navy Cross for action in the Batt...
                                                                                                     USS Neosho (AO-23):

USS Neosho (AO-23) was a Cimarron-class fleet oiler serving with the United States Navy, the second ship to be named for the Neosho River in Kansas and Oklahoma. General items about the ship. This is the master of sites for the ship. Researcher Del knows it all.

After surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, Neosho operated in the South Pacific. During the Battle of the Coral Sea she was attacked and set alight, but managed to keep afloat until rendezvousing with an American destroyer on 11 May 1942. The destroyer rescued the crew and sank the vessel.

Construction and commissioning
She was laid down under United States Maritime Commission contract by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey, 22 June 1938; launched on 29 April 1939; sponsored by Mrs. Emory S. Land, wife of Rear Admiral Emory S. Land (Ret.), Chairman of the Maritime Commission; and commissioned on 7 August 1939.[1]

Conversion [ to military operation ] at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was completed on 7 July 1941, Neosho immediately began the vital task of ferrying aviation fuel from west coast ports to Pearl Harbor. On such a mission she arrived in Pearl Harbor on 6 December, discharged a full cargo to Naval Air Station Ford Island, and prepared for the return passage.[1]

Service history
Next morning, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor found Neosho alert to danger; her captain—Commander John S. Phillips—got her underway and maneuvered safely through the Japanese fire, concentrated on the battleships moored at Ford Island, to a safer area of the harbor. Her guns fired throughout the attack, splashing[discuss] one enemy plane and driving off others. Three of her men were wounded by a strafing attacker.[1]

For the next five months, Neosho sailed with the aircraft carriers or independently, since escort ships—now few and far between—could not always be spared to guard even so precious a ship and cargo. Late in April, as the Japanese threatened a southward move against Australia and New Zealand by attempting to advance their bases in the Southwest Pacific, Neosho joined Task Force 17 (TF 17). At all costs, the sea lanes to the dominions had to be kept open, and they had to be protected against attack and possible invasion.[1]

As the American and Japanese fleets sought each other out in the opening maneuvers of the climactic Battle of the Coral Sea on 6 May 1942, Neosho refueled the carrier Yorktown and the heavy cruiser Astoria, then retired from the carrier force with a lone escort, the destroyer Sims.[1]

Neosho burning, 7 May 1942.
The next day at 1000, Japanese search planes spotted the two ships and misidentified them as a carrier and her escort.[1] 78 aircraft from Shōkaku and Zuikaku soon arrived and began searching in vain for the "carrier" force.[citation needed] Eventually, they gave up and returned to sink Sims and leave Neosho—victim of seven direct hits and a suicide dive by one of the bombers—ablaze aft and in danger of breaking in two. She had shot down at least three of the attackers.[1] One of her crewmen, Oscar V. Peterson, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his efforts to save the ship in spite of his severe injuries suffered in the attack.[2][3]

CPO Oscar V. Peterson
Sound seamanship and skilled damage control work kept Neosho afloat for the next four days. The stricken ship was first located by a RAAF aircraft, then an American PBY Catalina flying boat. At 13:00 on 11 May, the destroyer Henley arrived, rescued the 123 survivors and sank by gunfire the ship they had kept afloat. With Henley came word that the American fleet had succeeded in turning the Japanese back.[1]

The History of the Medical Department of the United States Navy in World War II: A Narrative and Pictorial Volume. (NAVMED P-5031), Volume 1. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1953.

Oman, Charles. Doctors Aweigh: The Story of the United States Navy Medical Corps in Action. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc, 1943.

Phillips, John to Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, May 25, 1942. “Engagement of USS Neosho with Japanese Aircraft on May 7, 1942; subsequent loss of USS Neosho; search for survivors.” Casualty Files. Box 23, Record Group 24 (Bureau of Naval Personnel). National Archives, College Park, Maryland.

Please be aware that sailors that were missing after an enemy action were marked Missing for One Full Year before changing their status to Killed in Action.

Also, note that the Manila monument/cemetery has very few actual human remains from World War II. It is a memorial site for the missing. There is another monument in Australia. Coral Sea Battle Memorial Park near Cardwell.

Rrecent Book on the ordeal of the USS Neosho:
The Ship That Wouldn't Die: The Saga of the USS Neosho- A World War II Story ...
By Don Keith