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REMEMBERING the U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS and HER CREW (1945)
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: Vette Theater
Presenter: Dick Campbell
She was a ship of destiny. Sailing across the Pacific Ocean, this battle-scarred heavy cruiser just delivered a secret cargo on July 26, 1945, to Tinian Island that would trigger the end of World War II. She continued traveling westward from Tinian to Guam, and then set out for Leyte on July 28. When halfway to her destination, unescorted with any other ships, she was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in the early morning minutes of July 30. In twelve minutes some 300 men of its crew of 1,195, went down with her. About 880 men made it alive into the sea. Miraculously, only 316 survived. This story provides a chilling answer to what happened to the survivors five horrific days and nights in the ocean, with no water or food, until discovered accidentally by a Navy combat patrol plane. Also, it covers the bitter controversy over the Navy’s handling of the disaster afterwards, and the fate of her surviving captain. It stands as the largest single disaster at sea suffered by the U.S. Navy in its long and honorable history.
As a point of interest, I have added new information and photo images, that were released on August 19, 2017, by a team of civilian researchers, showing that the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis (CA 35) has been found on the floor of the Philippine Sea at a depth of 18,000 feet, (3-1/2 miles). An amazing discovery 72 years after it was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945.