SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans
WILLIAM FLURY (4183-1995)
Cook, Merchant Marine
Survivor of atrocity of I-8 and JEAN NICOLETE
|WILLIAM FLURY was an 18 year old kid serving as a cook aboard the Liberty Ship JEAN NICOLET when that ship was torpedoed and sunk on 2 July 1944 by I-8 under command of Tatsunosuke Ariizumi. FLURY was one of the 23 survivors of this action and all survivors were brought aboard I-8 only to be forced to endure unimaginable butchery at the orders of Ariizumi.
The survivors all had their hands tied behind their backs and were forced to kneel on the foredeck. Then, one by one, they were brought to the afterdeck where Ariizumi and the other officers sat in deck chairs while each survivor was forced to run the gauntlet between two rows of sailors who were armed with machetes and clubs. If any made it to the end of the gauntlet, a very large Japanese sailor stood poised holding a rifle with fixed bayonet…..this sailor would spear the victim like a side of beef and pitch him overboard.
Ariizumi was forced to crash dive when a destroyer came over the horizon. Naturally the living survivors still on the foredeck, FLURY among them, had I-8 dive out from under them – all with their hands still tied behind their back. One of the survivors, a U.S. Navy officer, had a small pen knife in his waistband with which he managed to free himself then many of the men in the water. The men in the water were picked up by the destroyer. FLURY was the last living survivor of this atrocity.