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USS Indianapolis (CA-35) – 30 July 1945

USS Indianapolis off Mare Island, 10 July 1945

 

Sadly, four days later after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two torpedoes and sunk within twelve minutes. The ship was without a sufficient number of lifeboats, her disappearance went unnoticed for almost four days and the navy search team was called off early. Therefore, only 316 men of her 1,196-man crew were rescued. This has been considered the most controversial sea disaster in American history.

For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive.  For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated—and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewitnesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own.

part of the Indianapolis crew

It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and launched as the ship of state for President Franklin Roosevelt. After Pearl Harbor, Indianapolis leads the charge to the Pacific Islands, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war.

Then, under orders from President Harry Truman, the ship takes aboard a superspy and embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima.

Vincent and Vladic provide a visceral, moment-by-moment account of the disaster that unfolds days later after the Japanese torpedo attack, from the chaos on board the sinking ship to the first moments of shock as the crew plunge into the remote waters of the Philippine Sea, to the long days and nights during which terror and hunger morph into delusion and desperation, and the men must band together to survive.

Captain Charles Butler McVay III, US Navy

Then, for the first time, the authors go beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle Indianapolis’s extraordinary final mission: the survivors’ fifty-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking.

What follows is a captivating courtroom drama that weaves through generations of American presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and forever entwines the lives of three captains—McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis, who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain.

USS Indianapolis survivors on Guam, August 1945

McVay was found guilty on the charge of failing to zigzag. The court sentenced him to lose 100 numbers in his temporary rank of Captain and 100 numbers in his permanent rank of Commander, thus ruining his Navy career. In 1946, at the behest of Admiral Nimitz who had become Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary Forrestal remitted McVay’s sentence and restored him to duty. McVay served out his time in the New Orleans Naval District and retired in 1949 with the rank of Rear Admiral. He took his own life in 1968.

Read another story from us: After The USS Indianapolis Was Sunk, The Sailors Had To Survive The Worst Shark Attack in History

A sweeping saga of survival, sacrifice, justice, and love, Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative—and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life. It is the definitive account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history.

From: War history on-line, “In Harm’s Way” and the USS Indianapolis official website.

The wreck of the USS Indianapolis was finally found 19 August 2017.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Political Humor – 

DEPENDS ON YOUR POINT OF VIEW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Thomas Buchinsky – PA; US Navy, Vietnam, USS Saratoga

Elihu ‘Al’ Channin – CT; US Air Force, Korea, pilot

David Davis – Granite City, IL; US Air Force, Korea

Clarence Gransberg – Hatton, ND; US Navy, WWII

Joseph Kennedy – Aurora, CO; US Air Force, Flight Instructor (Ret. 30 y.)

Fred Marloff – IN; US Navy, WWII, PTO

James R. Peterson – Mason City, IA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, B-24 waist gunner on “Black Jack”, 43rd/403 Bombardment Squadron

Joachim Roenneberg – NOR; Norwegian underground, WWII, demolition, Operation Gunnerside

Margaret Strautman – Montreal, CAN; RC Navy, WWII, ETO

Henry Wheeler – Buffalo, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO, 12th Army, Intelligence, Bronze Star

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Research for Jeff S. –

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