Neighbors

Florence survivor of USS Indianapolis sinking dies

Posted 11/26/21

Florence resident Adolfo “Harpo” Celaya, one of only 316 crewmembers who survived the Japanese sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, has died. He was 94.

Celaya died on Thursday, …

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Neighbors

Florence survivor of USS Indianapolis sinking dies

Posted

Florence resident Adolfo “Harpo” Celaya, one of only 316 crewmembers who survived the Japanese sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, has died. He was 94.

Celaya died on Thursday, Nov. 25. Celaya, one of the last living survivors of that naval tragedy, told his story this past Veterans Day during an event at McFarland Historic State Park.

“I’m so sorry to report that Harpo passed away last night,” said Sherry Crosslin of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. “I’m so thankful that he had one more opportunity to share his story with us at McFarland.”

In “Surviving a Nightmare” Celaya talked about his World War II experiences, including his survival in shark-infested waters after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in July 1945.

The event featured a one- to one-and-a-half-hour video presentation followed by a Q&A with Celaya. The venue was filled to standing-only capacity be residents eager to hear Celaya’s story.

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