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"Beating 1,000-to-1 Odds" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2020 1:10 p.m. PST

""Fantastic Feat of Suicide Plane Sank USS Drexler" was the headline of the press release the U.S. Navy sent out on 12 August 1945, three days after the second atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan and two days before that country surrendered. The USS Drexler (DD-741) had gone down more than two months earlier, on 28 May, but because of the grievous losses—158 dead and 52 wounded out of a 350-man crew—notifying the next of kin doubtlessly had taken much time.

Commissioned on 14 November 1944, the Drexler had sailed from Norfolk to Trinidad and then on to the Pacific for more training. In March and April, she was attached to Carrier Division 22 during operations off Okinawa. But on 2 May, she was detached to serve as a radar picket support ship. For a U.S. Navy destroyer in World War II, there was no more dangerous duty than manning the radar picket line off Okinawa, and it was there that the Drexler went down…"

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