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Maurice Bell: Kamikaze attack
A kamikaze pilot dove straight where Maurice Bell stood aboard the USS Indianapolis.
Interview outtakes from THE WAR:
"And this one particular morning, we was bombarding and they secured us from battle stations that morning and I was sitting on the bridge and I had to wait for my relief to come up before I could be relieved. And while I was sitting there, I looked up to my right and there was one small cloud up there and just as I looked up, I saw a plane come out of this cloud and it was a Japanese kamikaze plane. He was out there to, with a suicide pilot to crash into any ship he could to try to sink the ship. It, and, the very instant I saw him up there, he must have spotted our ship because he turned into a dive, instantly, and was coming straight down. And it looked like he was coming just as straight to the very spot where I was sitting. And so as this plane was coming, diving right at the spot where I was at, a man back there started firing at it with a twenty millimeters, and you could see the tracers hit it. The plane actually bounced off the ship, but the motor and the bomb went through the deck. Went through number three mess hall and right down there was three or four or five men sitting at the table eating. Well, that motor and that bomb went through that table they was eating at and it killed all of them. And the bomb went all the way through the ship into the water and then exploded back up through. They said the hole all the way through was large enough to drive a eighteen wheeler through. I thought my time was up when that plane was coming straight to me there for a moment until I saw it actually turn just a little bit from being hit by those. I could see the tracers going into it when I saw it turn just a slight amount and I jumped down off the stool that I was sitting on and got down on my knees behind a shield and when the plane hit back there, course the bomb exploded, the fantail went way down and come back up and it just throwed me and I scooted right down the deck for maybe five or six feet on my stomach."