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2012

Truxton Heroism Remembered

Lanier Phillips speaks to sea cadets about his experience after the USS Truxtun wrecked on the coast of Newfoundland.

Lanier Phillips speaks to sea cadets about his experience after the USS Truxtun wrecked on the coast of Newfoundland.

On February 18, 1942, two United States warships -- the USS Truxtun and the USS Pollux -- were returning to America after escorting ships across the North Atlantic when they were hit by a sudden winter storm off the coast of Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula. Both ships ran aground, and suffered heavy losses. Thanks to the heroic actions of the nearby communities of St. Lawrence and Lawn, however, 186 American sailors were rescued.

At a ceremony yesterday in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, the tragedy and the heroism were remembered. Some of the survivors and their families returned to the town to once again thank the town and its inhabitants for their efforts. One of the survivors, Lanier Phillips, spoke of the experience to local sea cadets, telling them how the Newfoundlanders' kindness and generosity in the wake of the disaster changed his life, and helped him understand that racism could be overcome.