We’ll talk with two guests with fascinating stories from the final days of World War II. The conflict ended almost 70 years ago, when atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Emperor Hirohito of Japan to surrender. Our first guest, Edgar Harrell, was a young marine who miraculously survived four days floating at sea in a life jacket without food or water when Japanese torpedoes sank the cruiser Indianapolis. This was just days after the ship delivered the components of the atom bomb to scientists at a U.S. air base in the Pacific. When they were finally rescued, only 317 of the crew’s 1,196 members were still alive. Harrell describes their story in a compelling first-person account called "Out of The Depths."
Later we’ll hear the sad story of Army Sgt. Anthony Marchione, the last American to die in combat. He was killed on August 18, 1945 – three days AFTER Hirohito announced the surrender. Marchione was a crewman on a reconnaissance bomber attacked by fanatic Japanese pilots who ignored the Hirohito’s order to stand down. Author Stephen Harding tells this little known tale in a fascinating new book called "Last To Die."