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Handy billy

Handy billy -- also known as Handy-billie -- was/is a common emergency portable pump that was placed aboard most U.S. Navy ships since World War I.


Purpose of the pump

The handy billy was gasoline-powered and could be used, during flooding conditions, in conjunction with other pumps on the ship. However, it was especially valuable when the ship lost electrical power and normal pumping ability was lost.

On smaller ships, it was a critical piece of equipment.

Named “handy billy”

The pump gained its name because it was very “handy” and dependable. It was especially handy because it could be easily transported from place to place by two strong crew members, one at each end, as it weighed 160 pounds during World War II.


  • Marrison, Samuel Eliot (1963). "page 529", The Two-Ocean War. New York: Galahad Books. ISBN 1-57866-003-3. 


The handy billy could be used for fire-fighting and/or pumping water from flooded spaces aboard ship.


  • USS ATLANTA CL-51 - Battle damage during evening of 12 November 1942
  • Abandonment of the "Duncan" and Rescue of Her Survivors by the "McCalla"
  • Fire pump aboard ship to pump sea water.

Example of use

See USS Auk (AM-38)

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Handy_billy". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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