Mystery Aboard the Iowa

Was the blast that killed 47 sailors murder -- or suicide?

A few days after a 16-in. gun turret blew up on April 19 during practice firing on the battleship U.S.S. Iowa, the Navy presented one of the heroes of | the disaster at a press conference: Gunner's Mate Third Class Kendall Truitt, 21, who had been sacking powder in a lower-level magazine when the blast took 47 lives. A bespectacled sailor with a mild manner, Truitt calmly recounted his escape from the burning turret. Last week the Navy's inconclusive probe of the explosion took a bizarre twist, and Truitt was shoved front and center again -- but hardly as a hero....

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