A U.S. Navy destroyer rescues two downed airmen in the Pacific during World War II. Unfortunately there is no notation of which specific destroyer this was, though it possibly have been USS Brown (DD-546).
Yes, a likely explanation, it was my first thought. Then I noted a number of men with life jackets, but I now guess a swimmer would not want one, or not for some swimming jobs at least - though maybe a rope (or whatever it is he is holding in his left hand?). I suppose he is ready should the airmen roll out of the raft, or not manage the transfer to the ladder?