Guardian Angel - A True Story

Three weeks after Pearl Harbor, nine crewmen floundered helplessly on two rafts adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Sharks, forty foot waves, 20 knot winds.

Men who fought for our country. Men who fought for us. They must be remembered.

How Did They Get There?

Chapter One  

Chapter Two  

Chapter Three


Chapter Four


Chapter Five

Guardian Angel - A True Story

Guardian Angel
A True Story

You can get the entire story in booklet form (signed by author) with a gift donation of $75 to the PBY Catalina Foundation.

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How Did They Get There -- A True Story


Chapter Two

This December 27, 2013...

Seventy-two years ago today, 1st Lt. Earl J. Cooper and his B-17C (40-2054) crew spent the night cold, wet, and a long way from base.

Dawn began to spread light onto their situation. Both the aircraft and the tail section had sunk into the sea. Some had Guardian Angel - The Moviegotten sea sick during the night. They had tied the rafts together, and to each other, to keep from getting separated. As the light got better, they turned the rafts right side up and climbed in, with 4 largest men in one and 5 smaller men in the other. The survival food and water was gone but they did have 3 pints of stale coffee, one small apple, one orange, 2 penny bars of chocolate, 1 slice of orange candy, 1package of gum, 4 pistols, one flare gun with flares, and 50 rounds of ammunition. The 9 crew members were stunned, cold, and tossed about in rough seas.

By 10:30 am, they made their first aircraft sighting, but could not get its attention with flares. By noon, the sea sickness had stopped, leaving most of them weak. They lengthened the rope between the two rafts by 20 feet to increase their visibility from air. The seas became calm but the sun was hot, and soon small sharks began to follow them. That night they took their first sip of coffee, just enough to wet their lips, and the rafts began to leak air. They had lost their pump, so they had to wait to be able to inflate the rafts via their own power. As it got darker, they settled in with calm seas, but Mother Nature began to call and there were no toilets nearby. Some went over the side, but others had to have help or they would have fallen in while taking care of business. While waiting for sleep, they looked into the night sky and found the North Star and the Big Dipper. This was a familiar image also found on the ceiling of the foyer at the Hickam Field mess hall. It was some comfort as they tried to get some sleep…