The following story was copied from the USS Helena Newsletter dated July 2002.
Eugene R. Dilts served on the USS Helena CL-50 in "S" Division from March 1941 - July 1943
FROM Eugene R. Dilts:
This is a story I have been telling for years. When the Helena was hit, I came out of the escape hatch. I climbed through the bunks in the Fourth Division compartment, using the bunks like a ladder, and made my way outside. When I got outside, I only had a 1 foot drop before hitting the water. It was about 2 AM and into the water I went! Although it was dark, I could see the shapes of many others in the water. I talked to them throughout the night, but no one ever answered. When daylight came, I saw Frenchie Kirouac hanging onto a piece of raft. He's the only one I saw, however. I soon learned that the other shapes floating in the water were 6" powder cases. No wonder they did not talk to me!!
Eugene Dilts Military Awards
Navy Unit Commendation