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On August 9, 1942, Navy Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples was aboard USS Astoria (off the coast of Guadalcanal) when the ship was attacked by Japanese cruisers.

The attack provoked devastating explosions. Wounded, and surrounded by water coming from every direction, Elgin quickly grabbed his inflatable rubber lifebelt and strapped it on. More than 200 crewmen died in the attack and sinking of USS Astoria, but thanks to his lifebelt, Elgin survived.

He was later rescued by the destroyer USS Bagley. Shortly after, Elgin closely examined the lifebelt that had saved him, and was surprised to see that it had been manufactured in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. He also noticed an inspector number on the label.

When Elgin returned to Akron, he told his mom about that terrible night, and she informed him that while he was overseas, she had taken a wartime job at the Firestone plant. Stunned, Elgin quickly took out the lifebelt from his duffel bag and said: "Take a look at that mom, It was made right here in Akron, at your plant". After reading the label, she looked at Elgin with tears in her eyes, and said: "Son, I'm an inspector at Firestone. This is my inspector number". Without saying another word, mother and son fell into each other's arms.

Source: time to go home