Survivor's Story: U.S.S. Indianapolis

The City of Amarillo and America supports you Texas, the group that promotes awareness of our military service members and veterans are hosting a reunion for the survivors of the worst naval disaster in United States history.

L.D. Cox was born in Sydney Texas where he graduated high school at the age of 16 before he went to Tarleton State.

After three semesters there Cox anticipated being drafted into the military, instead he chose to volunteer for the Navy.

Little did he know at the time, he would be part of one of the biggest tragedies in U.S. history, the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis.

I didn't know anything about big ships and this was 610 feet long that's two football fields. It was awful big.

Cox was assigned as a look out in the crow TMs nest where he says he had to see things coming before anyone else did, but something he didn't see coming was the package the ship would be delivering.

It had a marine guard on it night and day...when you had that big box and didn't know what it was, nobody, we just knew that we were headed for the Pacific.

After delivering the mysterious crate, it was not long after that, when the Indianapolis was torpedoed.

Boom, up in the air I went, came down on my stomach on that steel deck on the bridge wondering what in the world happened.

Cox started to get up before the second explosion hit.

Just as I got to my knees, boom another hit.

Not long after that Cox, who had nothing but a life preserver, floated in shark infested waters for five days.

One sailor within three feet of me was taken by a shark and taken down and I never saw him anymore.

Upon their rescue more than 300 survivors were taken to port and checked into a hospital to heal.

It was there they found out what cargo they were transporting.

I think they brought a newspaper into the ward room...said look here, this is what you men carried from the United States to Tinian and the Enola Gay dropped it on Hiroshima, an atomic bomb called Little Boy.

After his service on the U.S.S. Indianapolis cox says he never worked on a ship again.

The U.S.S. Indianapolis set sail with 1,196 six men on board, only 52 are still with us today.

Cox went on tell us that he couldn't be more honored to be reunited with those he calls his brothers.