Returned to the Sea

My wife shared this wonderful story from World War II with me Saturday morning. Here are a few excerpts from the Associated Press article:
When the submarine USS Ohio surfaced at sea and Machinist Mate 1st Class Jason Witty emerged from the hatch to look around, he saw calm, blue water under a peaceful sky — perfect for the solemn task he was about to perform.

On the map, the Ohio was afloat in just another indistinguishable expanse of the Pacific Ocean. As Witty stood on deck holding a silver pitcher, the vessel was alone.

Just like the ill-fated USS Indianapolis, 63 years earlier.

The pitcher contained the ashes of Witty's grandfather, Boatswain Mate 2nd Class Eugene Morgan, who had survived the sinking of the Indianapolis — one of the worst tragedies for the U.S. Navy in World War II.

Morgan had died of a heart attack in June at age 87, just before Witty went to sea, and among his last wishes was the desire to be rejoined with his shipmates at roughly the same spot in the Pacific where the Indianapolis went down.
Witty went on to recount the story that his grandfather had shared with him of how the USS Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine and how he survived for four days in shark infested waters. His grandfather held this horrific story in his heart for over 40 years. Once he shared it with his grandson he continued to share the story in schools and with other groups.. and I share it with you today.. check his story out here.


  1. Our Pap-pa had a similar experience on the USS Hornet and has only talked once about it, and fortunately that was recorded. The men on the ship have always been with him and he celebrates every year with the Marines who rescued them. The band of survivors is getting smaller every year. Thanks for sharing this KB, it touched my heart.

  2. Horrible and wonderful. This has always been a fascinating page in history.

  3. Thank you for posting this, Bob. As a born and raised Hoosier, the story of the Indianapolis became very significant to me from the moment I first learned of the tragedy. I am glad Eugene Morgan was allowed to join and rest in peace with his lost shipmates and his grandson was allowed the honor. God bless him and all the men and women who go/have gone to the sea in ships.

  4. Very touching memorial. I'm glad he was able to honor his grandfathers wish.

  5. Oh my goodness Bob. What a touching story and what a tribute to his grandfather.

    These men who lived and died for our freedom.... I say again and again Thank you.

    Saying prayers for you and your wife.



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