Saturday, May 10, 2014

USS Indianapolis Survivor Edgar Harrell-- Part 8: Sinking Ship

Edgar Harrell went to midship where he saw an officer who had been flash-burned in the explosion and whose flesh was just hanging down.  He knew the ship was sinking and since he didn't have a life jacket (strapped to the side of the ship), he asked a Marine lieutenant for permission to grab one, but was refused because orders to abandon ship hadn't been given.

All ship communications had been destroyed in the explosions, but finally word filtered that they were to abandon ship.  Harrell grabbed a life jacket, prayed and jumped overboard (which was not too far of a jump as the ship was rapidly sinking.

The life jackets were called "Kapon Jackets" which the men referred to as "horse collars" because of their shape.

The ship was going down fast by now and Harrell remembers seeing the huge screws still turning as it went down.

He got into a group which included two other Marines.  One, with broken bones was dying and lived but for a little while.  Making matters worse were the ten foot high swells they found themselves in.  Every attempt was made to stay together, but that was extremely difficult.   Somehow, they made it through the night to the next day.


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