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Post Info TOPIC: Death of Survivor Maurice Bell


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Death of Survivor Maurice Bell


It is with great sadness that I pass on the news that USS Indianapolis Survivor Maurice Bell of Mobile Alabama passed away yesterday.   
 
Please keep Maurice and his family in your prayers.   
  
WWII VETERAN MAURICE BELL.JPG

FROM THE MOBILE PRESS-REGISTER:

WWII veteran Maurice Bell, a survivor of the USS Indianapolis sinking, dies in Mobile today

By Roy Hoffman

December 04, 2009, 1:13PM
Maurice Bell, who died Dec. 4, 2009, at age 84, was among the Mobile World War II veterans interviewed for "The War," a 14-hour PBS documentary series by filmmaker Ken Burns. The series, which aired in the fall of 2007, focused on four American cities, including Mobile. Bell, who survived the Japanese sinking of the USS Indianapolis, is shown during an interview with a Press-Register reporter Monday, Aug. 13, 2007, in his home.MOBILE, Ala. -- Maurice Glenn Bell, who endured the shark-infested waters of the Philippine Sea in 1945 after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the fatalities of hundreds of other sailors, died today. He was at home, surrounded by his family.

The Mobile native, who had told his harrowing story to the nation on Ken Burns' PBS series "The War," was 84 years old.

In a 2007 Press-Register interview, Bell recalled being a seaman first class aboard the USS Indianapolis when the heavy cruiser was struck by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine: "Sunday night, just a few minutes after midnight, there was a loud explosion. That was the first thing we knew about a submarine."

A second torpedo struck. With its 1,197 crewmen and officers, the Indianapolis sank in about 12 minutes.

The next five days, to hear Bell tell it, were a nightmare, with men dying from drowning, exposure, and shark attacks. Only 321 would be pulled out alive.

"He'd use his story," said Bell's grandson, Ray Hall, "to give others hope and motivation never to quit, always to have hope, to have faith."

Said John Tyson, Sr., WWII veteran and commander of the American Legion Post 3, where Bell was active to the end: "His story showed the fortitude in a war, always the enthusiasm of the younger generation doing what they had to do."


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Last night (6 dec 2009) it was an honor and distinct privelage to meet the family of the late Mr. Maurice Bell. Attending the wake to pay my respects to a fallen hero and his family brought to me a renewed sense of what being an "American" really is. The words "Courage"
"Duty" and "Honor" spoke strong and distinct from His flag draped coffin . Even in the silence of death, Mr. Bells legacy and the legacy of those that were his shipmates rang loud and clear. Sir, Thank You for your service, on board the Indianapolis and throughout your life . May GOD Rest.

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kenneth c brooks jr


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In honor and rememberance of Mr. Bell, we placed two roses at the USS Indianapolis monument on Dec 7th, 2009.  Steady winds and fair seas, Mr. Bell.

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Jim


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I had the privilege of knowing and serving Mr. Bell as the maintenance director of the senior living community he resided in before he passed. Having read "In Harms Way" before meeting Mr. Bell, I was humbled knowing the horrors that he survived after the sinking of his ship. He told me personal stories of what he went through during his time in the ocean. He described to me seeing the bomb materials being delivered to Tinian not knowing what they were due to the secrecy. I watched the new movie with Nicholas Cage "USS Indianapolis Men of Courage" this weekend which kindled renewed interest in this fascinating story once again. The movie was made in Mobile, Alabama, Mr. Bell's hometown. He would have liked it, but would have pointed out all the discrepancies that only a survivor or a military history buff would have noticed.

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