Last surviving Marine of USS Indianapolis dies at age 96

·2 min read

The last surviving Marine of the USS Indianapolis, the U.S. Navy ship that sank in July 1945, died this weekend.

Edgar Harrell was 96 and lived at the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Clarksville, Tennessee, the official Facebook page of the ship posted Saturday.

Harrell was one of 316 crew members who survived the attack by Japanese forces, waiting for help in shark-infested waters for four days.

MORE: Oldest survivor of USS Indianapolis has died at 98

"During his time aboard ship, he helped guard components of the atomic bomb. After the torpedoing, he was a hero amongst his shipmates," the post said.

PHOTO: World War II veteran and survivor of the USS Indianapolis, Edgar Harrell greets crew members of the future USS Indianapolis on Jan. 7, 2019 at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Fla.  (Rick Wilson/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: World War II veteran and survivor of the USS Indianapolis, Edgar Harrell greets crew members of the future USS Indianapolis on Jan. 7, 2019 at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Fla. (Rick Wilson/AP, FILE)

Born on Oct. 10, 1924, in Trigg County, Kentucky, Harrell joined the Marines during World War II and was stationed aboard the USS Indianapolis in the Pacific. Harrell chronicled his experience during the war in a book that he co-authored with his son David. The book was called "Out of the Depths."

After returning home, Harrell worked as a distributor with Pella Window Company, according to the Facebook post. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and received an honorary promotion to the rank of sergeant in 2018.

Harrell is survived by his son, two brothers, a son-in-law, eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Obituary for Edgar HarrellEdgar Alvin Harrell, age 96 of Clarksville, Tennessee, died Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the...

Posted by USS Indianapolis on Monday, May 10, 2021

Funeral arrangements are scheduled for Saturday at Calvary Bible Church in Joelton, Tennessee, followed by a burial at Murray Memorial Gardens in Kentucky.

PHOTO: Sgt. Edgar Harrell, U.S. Navy (Ret.) shakes hands with Commander Colin Kane, soon to be commissioned as Captain of the USS Indianapolis, Oct. 24, 2019. (John J. Watkins/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: Sgt. Edgar Harrell, U.S. Navy (Ret.) shakes hands with Commander Colin Kane, soon to be commissioned as Captain of the USS Indianapolis, Oct. 24, 2019. (John J. Watkins/AP, FILE)

The attack on USS Indianapolis killed 880 sailors and Marines and is known as one of the worst disasters in U.S. naval history. The story of the USS Indianapolis has inspired books and movies, including a speech from the 1975 film, "Jaws."

MORE: Wreckage found of USS Indianapolis, sunk by Japan, killing nearly 900

The remains of the ship were found resting on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean in August 2017.

As of today, there are only five surviving crew members of the attack.

Last surviving Marine of USS Indianapolis dies at age 96 originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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