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Utah Vet who Survived Days at Sea Dies at Age 87

Utah Vet who Survived Days at Sea Dies at Age 87

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TREMONTON, Utah (AP) -- A World War II veteran who floated for five days after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis has died. He was 87.

In a 2005 interview, Bryan Blanthorn recalled his survival in the shark-infested sea near the Philippines in July 1945.

"Somehow I was raised out of the water and the shark went underneath me. Then it turned around and came again. I was still raised out of the water," Blanthorn said. "How? I'll never know, but I believe in God and angels."

Blanthorn died July 5, two days before a reunion in Indianapolis, wife Bobbie Blanthorn said.

His health had been declining, and "he was ready to go," she said of his death.

"At each reunion they remember those who have died by ringing the bell," she said. "I contacted them and asked them to please toll the bell for Bryan."

The Indianapolis was attacked by a Japanese submarine. Of 1,200 people aboard, only 25 percent survived.

"It's unimaginable for us," son Corie Blanthorn said. "But we could tell he had the utmost respect for his captain and shipmates. He felt guilty he had survived."

After the war, Blanthorn was a rancher and a government trapper. He was buried Tuesday in Grouse Creek Cemetery.

Information from: Standard-Examiner

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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