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?
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Chapter One  

Chapter Two  

Chapter Three

 

Chapter Four

 

Chapter Five


Guardian Angel - A True Story

Guardian Angel
A True Story


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How Did They Get There -- A True Story

 

Chapter Four


This December 29, 2013...


Seventy-two years ago today, 1st Lt. Earl J. Cooper and his B-17E (41-2402) crew spent the night in wild and roughening seas, two leaky rafts and a long way from base…


With the night, squalls had materialized and they were consequently even wetter. They tried to collect some rain water and did so with some success. They also noticed a very big shark occasionally swimming by. Was it the same one or did it have friends?Guardian Angel - A True Story The morning continued the same. About noon, they ate their chocolate, about the size of a laxative, and sipped more of their coffee. It was not long afterward that the water began to churn all around them. They were in the middle of a school of playful dolphins and were afraid they would capsize the rafts, however, they soon moved on. The strain was getting worse; they needed food.


They tried fishing with a bent pin and then used a mosquito net as a surf net but had no luck. About midafternoon someone shot a large sea bird. They skinned it and began eating it immediately. They also found in its gullet a six inch recently caught fish that tasted better than the bird. Between the smell and the rawness, some gagged a little but all ate their share and began to feel a little better - but not for long.


Once again, night descended and the sea was thankfully calm. This would be the fourth night they had to ride the seas cold, wet, weak, and tired. The stress began to break through and the crew began to argue about the navigation SNAFU and whose fault it was. It was getting loud when Castro yelled louder. “This is not going to help!!” Quiet came over the two rafts. “We will be rescued!” Disbelief was the crew consensus. “Yes, we will!! Before I left the States, my mother told me that I had a guardian angel that would protect me and bring me home safe. I believe her!! As long as we stay together, we will all be rescued!!!” The crew looked at each other and recognized that their “hitchhiker” had brought them a bit of hope and that was good enough for now.


It was not long before the wind began to blow harder, the seas began to build higher and sheets of rain began to come down harder. It was going to be a difficult night as the seas became mountainous and the water filled their soft boats. There was no North Star tonight to give them comfort and there would be no sleep tonight…