Handy billy

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.

*cite book
last = Marrison
first = Samuel Eliot
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1963
chapter = page 529
title = The Two-Ocean War
publisher = Galahad Books
location = New York
id = ISBN 1-57866-003-3


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


* [http://www.rtcol.com/~oakland/atldamage.html USS ATLANTA CL-51 - Battle damage during evening of 12 November 1942 ]
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN-CN-Esperance/USN-CN-Esperance-9.html Abandonment of the "Duncan" and Rescue of Her Survivors by the "McCalla" ]
* [http://www.vetfriends.com/Lingo/index.cfm?i=5&startNum=376 Fire pump aboard ship to pump sea water.]

Example of use

See USS|Auk|AM-38

See also

* Pump

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • handy-billy — handy bil·ly …   English syllables

  • handy billy — /hændi ˈbɪli/ (say handee bilee) noun a small tackle (def. 2) …   Australian-English dictionary

  • handy-billy — ˌ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˈbilē, li noun ( es) 1. : watch tackle 2. : a small portable pump used chiefly aboard ship …   Useful english dictionary

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