On May 3, 1945 a swarm of Japanese suicide planes attacked an American ship, the USS Aaron Ward during the fierce struggle for Okinawa. The ship was all but destroyed and forty-two sailors died in the 52-minute battle. One of those killed was Laverne Schroeder, only two months before his eighteenth birthday. After the war an anchor from the ship was placed in the military section of the Bluff City Cemetery in Illinois. There the anchor remains, a silent reminder of kamikaze pilots who wanted to die and young sailors who wanted to live. This is the story of the Aaron Ward’s gallant fight, a brave young man, and a reporter’s quest to honor the ship’s legacy.