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Post Info TOPIC: Book about USS Indianapolis rescuer


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Book about USS Indianapolis rescuer
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In 2004-2005, I helped the Wanaque VFW see to it that one of their members, William Van Wilpe, was recognized for his heroism as a member of the USS Bassett. The Bassett was responsible for rescuing many of the Indianapolis survivors.  Bill Van Wilpe dove into those shark infested waters a little after 12 midnight on August 3.  He personally pulled many men to safety.  In 2005, the US Navy belatedly awarded him with the US Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism.  I collected all the necessary evidence and documentation the Navy required for Bill to finally get his medal.  My good friend Bill Van Wilpe lives in Wanaque, NJ, is 85 years old and attends the USS Indianapolis reunuins every year.  We in Wanaque, are very proud of this humble man.   The attached photo is the cover of my book, "60 Years Later", a book I wrote about Bill Van Wilpe's heroics during the rescue and how for almost 60 years, no one in Bill's home town knew what he had done during the war.   Councilman Tom Balunis, Wanaque, NJ

Thomas Balunis

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Bill is one of the finest men I have ever met, and a true hero by every definition of the word. It is wonderful that he received some recognition for his part in saving many crewman from the Indy. Tom, thank you for your amazing role in getting Bill the recognition he so properly deserved.

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