A sailor who survived a explosion aboard the battleship USS Iowa and then later was implicated in the fatal blast has filed suit against the Navy and NBC News, a newspaper reported. The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported in its Monday editions that Kendall L. Truitt filed the suits in Detroit on May 24. He is asking an unspecified amount over $50,000 from NBC and $10-million from the Navy.
Truitt, then a Navy petty officer whose family lived in Land O' Lakes, was in the lowest level of the No. 2 turret aboard the battleship when an explosion ripped through the gun compartments killing 47 of his shipmates April 19, 1989.
Truitt later became a focus of a criminal investigation into the blast after investigators learned that he was the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy taken out by one of the men who died.
Truitt's suits contend that the Navy released false information and that the network used it in reports that wrongly said he was a homosexual and involved with his lover in a murder-suicide plot that led to the explosion.
Truitt has since left the Navy.