Army & Navy - COMMAND: High Numbers Canceled

On a day in July 1943, a sorry looking group of Navy men—officers and blue-jackets, all lucky to be alive—waded ashore on a Pacific island. Among them was Charles P. Cecil, tall, cold-eyed skipper of the heroic cruiser Helena (TIME, Nov. 1), which had been torpedoed in the July 7 Battle of Kula Gulf. With the others. Captain Cecil had floated for hours in the oil-covered waters. He had refused to be picked up until his men were rescued.

It was the second ship Cecil had lost to the enemy. In the Battle...

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