MEMPHIS, TX — Seventy-five years after surviving the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, Texas WWII veteran Cleatus Lebow received a Congressional trophy. Lebow is one among now only eight living survivors left from the sinking, one among the worst naval disasters within the country’s history.
“We didn’t have any food or any water … What are you able to imagine doing out there with nothing to try to but lay therein big puddle of water then wait, hope they find you?” Lebow said.
Ninety-six-year-old Lebow was born and raised in Abernathy and currently resides in Memphis, TX. After the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945, the ship sunk in under 12 minutes, killing hundreds and sending about 900 men, including Lebow, into the Philippine Sea.
“They had an enormous ol’ whole therein big ol’ ship,” Lebow said.