Monday, Oct. 24, 2011
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A handful of survivors of the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf, considered the largest naval battle in American history, have gathered on the South Carolina coast for a reunion.
The five survivors served on the destroyers Johnston and Hoel which were lost when they attacked a far stronger Japanese force in Oct. 1944 to cover the escape of other U.S. ships and carriers in the Philippines.
Both destroyers sank and the survivors endured more than 50 hours in shark-infested waters awaiting rescue.
The group holds a memorial service Tuesday at the Summerall Chapel at The Citadel and also will visit the Civil War submarine Hunley during the reunion. The sub is at a conservation lab in North Charleston. It was the first submarine to sink an enemy warship.
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)