The Raft (Mezzanine)
In January 1942, the crew of a TBD Devastator torpedo bomber, flown by Aviation Chief Machinist's Mate Harold Dixon, became lost while on patrol from the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6) Operating under strict radio silence, lest the position of the ship be compromised, those in the aircraft realized that the end of their fuel supply meant banishment to the harshness of Mother Nature. For 34 days after ditching their aircraft, this raft was home to the three men, their growling stomachs and parched lips eased only by rainwater they caught and the occasional fish or bird they could kill. Each day they noted, by a tally mark etched in pencil on the raft, the progression of their ordeal at sea, which ended only when they washed up on the shore in the Cook Islands. Their journey had taken them some 900 miles.