top of page

USS Indianapolis Survivor Receives Honor, Promoted to Sergeant after 73-Year Delay

Promotions are a common occurrence in the military, but for Marine Corporal Edgar Harrell, it has been a 73 year wait.

The now 93-year-old was promoted on July 29, 1945 while stationed aboard the USS Indianapolis but could not pin on his new rank until the ship docked in the Philippines. Tragically, though, the ship was struck by Japanese torpedos before it ever reached its destination, sinking in just 12 minutes.

Harrell, one of 900 stranded, was lost at sea for four days while many lives around him were lost to shark attacks, hypothermia, salt water poisoning, and dehydration. Harrell was among 315 others that were rescued, but he was never officially pinned due to the chaos that followed the attack and miraculous recovery.

Speaking of his extraordinary survival in Salt Lake City last year, Harrell caught the attention of Captain Scott Montefusco of the US Marine Corps who immediately began working to make the long overdue promotion a reality.

In an August 9 ceremony held at Calvary Bible Church in Joelton, Corporal Harrell became a sergeant, an honor that has been over seven decades in the making.

bottom of page