Posted: Oct 20, 2012 11:15 AM by Kristen Holloway
Updated: Oct 20, 2012 11:19 AM
Survivors of the last ship to go down in World War II are in Acadiana today. These survivors say they look forward to this reunion every year.
During the Iwo Jima Invasion, The U.S. Navy Ship, Bismarck Sea, was sunk. Two Japanese Kamikazes hit the ship, sinking it and killing more than 300 crew members on February 21, 1945. Today survivors are in Acadiana celebrating life with family and friends.
"It was wonderful, absolutely fabulous. we've been doing this many many years and we never miss one," said Richard Miller Bismark Sea Survivor.
One survivor says he looks forward to the reunions where he can relive the excitement on the ship, but the memory of the first suicide plane hitting very close to him and his crewmate still haunt him.
"It threw us down 30-40 yards and I never saw my friend again. I later found out he was hit in the back and was paralyzed from the waist down," said Steven Marusich Bismark Sea Survivor.
Rudy Moraga says he was severely injured and losing a lot of blood by the time the captain said "abandon ship." Rudy says he stayed in the water about four hours before rescued.
"Once I got in the water I guess the cold water must have stopped the bleeding because I didn't bleed anymore till the next day," said Rudy Moraga.
Even though this reunion is a celebration for most, it's still hard to talk about such tragic events.
"Well I usually can't make through this kind of talk without tears coming through my eyes which is happening now," said Richard Miller.
Next year the veterans will meet in Denver.