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Amchitka Island John Doe was a U.S. Navy Sailor, presumably from the USS Worden, whose remains were found in mid-March of 1943.

Case

In mid-March of 1943, the partial remains of U.S. Navy Sailor was found to have washed ashore on Amchitka Island, Alaska. No identification tags found on the remains and the head, both lower arms, and lower portion of the legs were missing. There was also very little clothing on the remains, now identified as "X-1". "X-1" was inspected by Lieutenant Commodore Reed on March 21, 1943 and were subsequently buried in Plot Section K #30 in Sitka National Cemetery in Sitka, Alaska.

It has generally believed that "X-1" is one of the eleven of fourteen sailors of the USS Worden who drowned on January 12, 1943 and were never found. During the Aleutian Islands Campaign, a strong current swept the destroyer U.S.S. Worden onto a pinnacle that tore into a hull beneath the engine room and caused a complete loss of power. The destroyer then broached and began breaking up in the surf that an evacuation was ordered. The crew of the Worden, who were just dispatched from the South Pacific via California, were inexperienced and received little, if any, arctic training. Most had stripped to their underwear before diving in the Bering Sea because they mistakenly thought their navy pea coats and pants would cause them to drown. In reality, the sailors in the water drowned or succumbed to hypothermia and without shirts and pants which had their names, and the fact their dog tags could easily slip off their necks while floating in the water, would explain why "X-1" could not have been identified. "X-1" was found 100 yards from where the destroyer sank and by the time he was discovered, bits of the hulk were still occasionally visible on the rocks.

The eleven sailors that are missing and are likely one of the identities of "X-1" are as follow: EM3C John Anderson, F1C Keith Briley, RM3C Robert Kieser, S1C Francis Musgrave, F1C William Reddeman, F2C Leo Schultz, S1C Stephen Seltz, S1C Harvey Senne, F1C Willard Shinabery, F1C Jerome Wolshock, and S1C John Wright.

Sources

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