In the next podcast I talk to Don Keith about the USS Neosho, which on the 7th of May 1942 was attacked by two-thirds of the aircraft available to the Japanese carrier fleet during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Being the only big tanker available to the main carrier task force, the Neosho had been ordered to sail away to prevent her from being attacked.
Unfortunately on the morning of the 7th May 1943, she was spotted by a Japanese plane and reported as the main fleet they were looking for.
“Both crews fought valiantly, but when the smoke cleared, the Sims had slipped beneath the waves,and the Neosho was ablaze and listing badly, severely damaged from seven direct hits and a suicide crash. Scores of sailors were killed or wounded, while hundreds more bobbed in shark-infested waters. Fires on board threatened to spark a fatal explosion, and each passing hour brought the ship closer to sinking.
It was the beginning of a hellish four-day ordeal as the crew struggled to stay alive and keep their ship afloat, while almost two hundred men in life rafts drifted away without water, food, or shelter. It would be nine days before any of them would be rescued.” Don Keith
The podcast looking at the USS Neosho will be released 1st of June.