Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The USS Indianapolis Sinking Was A Disaster Of Epic Proportions

     Indianapolis at Mare Island, on July 10, 1945                                                        
The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) delivered critical parts and Uranium for the atomic bomb "Little Boy" which would later be dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during the final days Of WW2. After delivering her Top Secret cargo to the island of Tinian on 26 July 1945 the Indianapolis was directed to depart for the Philippines to prepare for the immanent invasion of Japan.

On 30 July 1945, midway between Guam and the Philippines, she was hit by two torpedoes fired by a Japanese submarine. The ship went down in about 12 minutes, carrying approximately 300 crewmen to their doom.

The remaining 800 crew members made it into the water alive before she sank. Few life rafts were released in the chaotic aftermath that followed the torpedo attack. Most survivors wore the standard kapok life jacket issued by the US Navy. Shark attacks began with sunrise of the first day and continued until the men were rescued, almost five days later.

Of the nearly 800 men who went into the water alive after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, only 321 were rescued and ultimately only 316 survived.

The survivors suffered from lack of food and water, exposure to the elements, and shark attacks. Although some of the casualties of the disaster were from men killing one another (unintentionally) in various states of delirium and hallucinations, it is widely believed the Indianapolis sinking resulted in the most shark attacks on humans (at one time) in history, and attributes the attacks to the oceanic white tip shark species.

One survivor reported, "The worst part of the ordeal was waiting for my turn to be pulled out of the water..." - and how the sharks kept biting away until they couldn't reach him anymore.

                              Survivors of Indianapolis on Guam                                    

On 2 August 1995 The USS Indianapolis National Memorial, located in Indianapolis was dedicated to the memory of the men who were lost in one of the US Navy's most disastrous events of WW2.

The video below is only intended to illustrate the horrible ordeal that the men of the USS Indianapolis endured, and is not intended to minimize or diminish that moment of sacrifice the brave men of  the Indianapolis gave up. God Rest Their Souls.