Memorial held for 21 soldiers who drowned in 1944 - WKRN News 2

Memorial held for 21 soldiers who drowned in 1944

Posted: Updated: March 23, 2014 05:19 PM

It has been 70 years since 21 U.S. Army soldiers drowned while attempting to cross the Cumberland River north of Lebanon.

Sunday, the men were recognized during a memorial service conducted by historians from Wilson, Trousdale and Davidson counties.

The event included a color guard from American Legion Post No. 281, remarks from dignitaries and a wreath-laying ceremony in the middle of the river by the Wilson County Sheriff's Department.

The memorial service was held at Averitt's Ferry where the soldiers boarded a small boat into the river for the last time.

It took authorities more than two months to complete recovery efforts to find their bodies. One was found over 80 miles away in the portion of the river near Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville.

Officials stated it was one of the worst stateside training accidents during all of World War II.

Between the years of 1941 and 1944, more than 85,000 soldiers participated in simulated combat across Middle Tennessee.

The so-called "war games" were divided into seven different maneuvers, the last of which is when the 21 soldiers lost their lives.

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