JERUSALEM (Oct. 23)
Israel was in solemn mourning today as funerals with full military honors were held for 14 officers and crew members of the destroyer Elath sunk by Egyptian missile craft off the Sinai peninsula Saturday night.
Even as the dead were buried, the massive sea-air rescue operation that had recovered the bodies and lifted 150 survivors from the choppy waters continued to press its search for 36 crew members still missing. But at last reports, hopes for their rescue were fading. Nevertheless, Israeli ships and planes maintained their vigil–and their presence–in the waters where disaster had struck.
Haifa, Israel’s chief seaport and naval base, was the scene of six funerals. The bodies of six of the Elath’s complement, including two officers, were landed there last night by a torpedo boat. Funeral services were conducted at the base by Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Chief Chaplain of Israel’s armed forces, as hundreds of relatives waited anxiously for the survivors to be landed. They were landed in groups and immediately issued new uniforms, pocket money and granted half-day leaves to visit with their families and to attend the funerals of their comrades.