AMARILLO, TX - Cleatus Lebow, 94, was welcomed home as a hero Monday evening at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.
Lebow is the last living survivor from the State of Texas related to the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The Indianapolis was struck by torpedoes from a Japanese submarine back in July of 1945.
Sailors were left in shark-infested waters with no lifeboats, food, or water. Slightly more than 300 survived, out of the 1,196 on board.
The sinking of the Indianapolis was the worst naval disaster in American history.
“I don’t claim to be anyone’s hero," said Lebow. “I’m just another sailor that is lucky enough to get to come home.”
Lebow was returning to Amarillo from a reunion in Indiana. The annual reunion honors the lives lost when the Indianapolis went down.
“There are 20 living survivors as of today,” Nextar affiliate WISH-TV said. “Seven total survivors [were] registered to be at the reunion.”
(myhighplains.com contributed to this report. Video from myhighplains.com.)
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