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Sinking of the USS Indianapolis: July 30, 1945

In the early morning of July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis, on its way from Guam to the Philippines, was struck by two torpedoes fired by a Japanese submarineFold3 Image - First page of summary of USS Indianapolis's service and quickly sank, resulting in the largest loss of life at sea in U.S. Navy history.

On July 16, the Indianapolis, a cruiser, left San Francisco headed for the island of Tinian in the Marianas. On board was a secret cargo that included parts to be used in the atomic bombs that would be dropped on Japan. Having received repairs in San Francisco for damage done by a kamikaze attack, the Indianapolis made record time to Tinian, then headed for the Philippines by way of Guam.

Forced to sail without an escort—and uninformed that there was a likelihood of Japanese subs in the area—the Indianapolis generally maintained the mandated zigzagging course, except on the night of the 29–30, when visibility was poor.

Just after midnight, in the early morning of the 30th, 300 miles from the closest land, the Indianapolis was hit by two torpedoes from a Japanese sub. After the extent of the damage to the ship became clear, the commander, Charles McVay III, gave the orders to send out distress signals and abandon ship.

The ship sank fast, going under in 12 minutes. The speed at which it sank meant that about 300 men of the crew of nearly 1,200 went down with the ship; the remaining roughly 900 made it into the water. Although about half of the men had life jackets and 12 of the ship’s 35 life rafts (as well as some floater nets) were deployed, many men drowned or died of injuries, dehydration, or exposure while they were in the water. Others were killed in attacks by the sharks that swarmed the area.

Fold3 Image - Rescue of the men of the USS Indianapolis
The men were in the water for four days, since the Navy had not found it remarkable that the Indianapolis had not arrived to the Philippines on time and did not know to look for them. Finally, on the afternoon of August 2, the men were noticed by chance by an American patrol plane that observed first the oil slick, then the men in the water. Once the men of the Indianapolis were spotted, a rescue effort was launched, but the length of time since the sinking meant that when the last man was pulled from the ocean on August 3, only 317 men had survived.

Did you have family who served on the USS Indianapolis? Share their story with us! Or learn more about the ship by searching or browsing on Fold3.


  1. Tina Beaird says:

    Earl J. Rockenbach, known as Rocky was aboard that fateful day. He was a Petty Officer 1C in charge of the 6 cooks in the galley. Born in Seward Township, Illinois, he was raised in Plainfield, IL where he enlisted in the Navy in October 1942. Rocky participated in 11 major battles including Tarawa, Tinian, Saipan, Gilberts, Marshalls, Pelileu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Indianapolis had been struck by Kamikaze in April 1945 and returned to the states for repairs. Rocky returned to Plainfield for a 21 day leave. That was the last time he would ever see his family. His parents received word by telegram on August 13th that he was MIA. Another telegraph arrived on September 18 stating that he was officially pronounced KIA as there would have been no chance for survival after so many weeks. Thank you to Rocky and the millions of soldiers and sailors who do their duty to protect us, every day.

    • Pat Caruthers says:

      Amen, and in his honor Thank YOU for sharing his story!

    • Jackie Brown says:

      Thank you for sharing this. We know so little of these unsung heroes. Their duty should not be forgotten. Thank you Rocky!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. My second cousin son, was killed at the Battle of Pelieu. He was only 17 years old. Thank you soldiers for your brave service to keep America Free. May all of you Rest In Piece.

    • Hi. My father had served on the USS Indianopolis also. But it was before this time, It was during the second world war though.

      My father served on the USS Indianapolis also. It must have been before it was sunk. It is interesting to find information such as this.

  2. Carla Christensen says:

    My great uncle, Erwin (“Erv”) Frederick Hensch, was a survivor of the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis. He was a brave man and one of the lucky ones! I know he didn’t really talk about this nightmare and his experiences until many years after the war. One of the best books about the USS Indy sinking is that by Doug Stanton, “In Harm’s Way.” I know my Uncle was interviewed by Stanton for the book. Unbelievable what these men went through! Unfortunately, Uncle Erv died in 2013 at the age of 93. He is buried at Fort Ripley, Minnesota. God Bless America and those that make the ultimate sacrifice for us!

  3. Anne Landis Swann says:

    My dad, Donald Ray Landis of McDowell County, North Carolina, was a young Gunner’s Mate aboard the USS Bassett, one of the first rescue vessels to reach the Indianapolis. Dad said the wave swells were very high & the sea rough when his ship arrived. The sailors began rescue operations in the dark and managed to bring many of the injured men on board. Everyone on board the Bassett gave up their bunks to give the wounded a place to lie down. I believe he said the Bassett was a rather small ship and couldn’t handle too many, but accommodated more than forty of them. The ship physician was a young doctor just out of med school. He managed to get all of the rescued men to port without losing a single one. Dad remembered that he was part of a “chain” of sailors who lined up to hand the injured from one person to another to get them placed on board. He would shed tears when he recalled that the extended exposure to salt water & the shark attacks caused the skin of some of these men to just come off in his hands. Another memory was of one of Dad’s shipmates named Bill VanWilpe. Dad said he was a big strong fellow “much of a man” in his words, and was pulling two men at a time into his rescue boat. He saved many men single handed. Bill’s wrote a book about his experiences before he passed away. Dad died in 2012. Too many heroes gone.

    • Henry Haynes says:


    • Anne Swa. says:

      Oh WOW! So pleased to hear from you! Can tell you from Dad’s comments that the crew was very impressed with his abilities. What a story! Thanks so much.

    • Carol Schmitt Smith says:

      Donald Ray Landis, a true hero, thank you Sailor, you will not be forgotten. My father was on the Franklin, CV13, when it was hit,(he was 17 years old) he was trapped in the mess and rescued to bring his ship back to Brooklyn Navy yard along with 703 of his fellow sailors. I mention my dad, who died at age 55, because I picture him being welcomed into Heaven by his fellow shipmates. All young and strong and happy. The same for your precious dad, they were waiting for him.

    • Anne Swann. says:

      Thank you Carol. What special dads we were blessed to have! And you’re quite right. They’re all together.

      Bless you,

    • Dale L Kenyon says:

      That was a great, and horrible stories I’ve heard, the skin coming off I mean. My dad was in Africa to the battle of the bulge.he was a tank driver.

    • Jackie Brown says:

      Dale – was he in the 82nd?

  4. Kerry says:

    I have had the honor and privilege to attend two of the USS Indianapolis reunions here in Indianapolis, Ind., over the years. I have autographs of many of those who attended. James E. “Jimmy” O’Donnell was an Indianapolis resident and my personal hero. I often saw him at a small table set up around the downtown area where he sold books and other memorabilia to raise money for the USS Indianapolis Survivors Organization, which created the memorial along the city’s Canal walkway. A bronze statue of him was erected near the City Market to honor him, though he was so humble that he looked at it more as paying homage to those who did not survive. After returning to civilian life, Jimmy became a firefighter for the city and retired in 1981. He was 92 when he passed in 2013, a loss that touched me deeply.

    • Barry Gangi says:

      Jimmy was a hero…..RIP. LTC (Ret) Old Boot

    • Joseph HURD, M.D. says:

      Dr Haynes I worked with your father at Lahey Clinic in Boston for many years. Lew and Margaret lived near me in Newton Lower Falls (Wellesley). Although reluctantly, he occasionally told us stories of his time treading water after the boat sank, trying to keep his men encouraged and fighting off the sharks. The book “In Harms Way” is very well done, including the story of the trial of the commander of the Indianopolis.

  5. Marian Frank Kingsbury says:

    My cousin, William “Bill” Alexander Haynes, was on the Indianapolis. Tall blond-headed
    handsome boy. Raised on a farm and used to hard work. If he had survived the blast I know that he would have been right there helping the others. I worked at the V.A.M.C for many years and have have many visits with the vets. I met a vet that was one of the survivors. He had heard of Bill but did not know him.
    God bless our vets!

  6. Shirley Bunn says:

    My husband’s uncle, Horace Bunn, was on this ship and lost his life during that time. He was from Alabama.

    • Don Bible says:

      Was your husband Sgt. Jim Bunn…U.S., Army in Germany between 1966-69. He was from Alabama.

  7. Carolyn Troillett says:

    In my 20’s, I briefly dated an Indianapolis survivor, Thomas “Tom” Reed. What he felt was okay to talk about was rough to hear. He gave me a book about it to read for the rest. He was sleeping on deck because he had been trapped earlier in the war when his ship was torpedoed. The torpedo did not go off. When the ship was hit, he grabbed his clothes from the radio shack only to see his buddies there trapped when barrels broke loose, blocking the door. The vast majority of the crew got off the ship. The ship was not missed due to the secrecy of movement during the war. Everyone just assumed the orders had been changed. Even when the pilot of the plane spotted the oil slick, he assumed it was a sub that had gone down, that is until he saw the number of people in the water. The rescue ships also had a hard time believing that it was the Indianapolis that had gone down.

    Tom was an amazing person. The last I heard, he had gotten married. If anyone knows the before and after stories about him, please add to this narrative.

    God bless our vets! Thank you for protecting our freedom.

    • Carolyn Troillett says:

      Thank you to each person who has added to this memorial blog. There is another site which you may be interested in checking out regarding information on the Indianapolis: The final crew is listed there. The man I knew is listed as Thomas W. Reed, EM3.

      Since I was born after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, my first memories are of the aftermath of the war. Several of my cousins and relatives served during this horrific war, most in the Navy, so have heard many stories of experiences from this time. All of these, however, were of the more positive experiences. I also left out of my first post the more graphic details which Tom felt it was okay to share, the things that gave me nightmares.

      For those who have chosen this blog to rant against the government, please remember that in America WE are the government. The government does not grant us our rights, WE do. One of the main reasons for the federal government to exist from our country’s beginning is to protect the people. Our military is the main reason we have the rights we do today, freedom that no other country on earth has ever had. The men and women who serve deserve our support and gratitude, so do their families. If you don’t like the leadership we have, get informed and vote.

    • Jackie Brown says:

      Well said Carolyn!

  8. CAPT Alexander N. Gansa MC USNR Ret says:

    My father was the C. O. of the USS Antares, an old Navy store ship that was attacked by two Japanese submarines on a run between Saipan and Pearl Harbor on 28 June 1945., being attacked around 1:30 PM. In the ensuing engagement the Antares sank a suicide mini sub and avoided torpedoes. My father, LCDR Nicholas Gansa USNR brought the ship home with no loss of life. A Navy destroyer, the USS Sproston came to the rescue and continued the fight against the attacking sub. Subsequently the Japanese sub commander brought his sub home home; one of the few that returned home. He is honored as a Japanese naval hero in Tokyo today. My father and his ship had all the luck in the world. I am sorry that the heavy cruiser did not share that luck. So many good men died.

  9. Jim Keil says:

    I’m pretty certain, one of my mentors, Captain Paul Reed, USN, was aboard. He rarely said much about his service (though his wife did), but when I sought his counsel as to my own choices for serving in the military, he told me during his time in the navy (he served in WW1, WW2, Korea, and the run-up to Vietnam), that he always had clean sheets on the bed, and three squares, with the exception of the hours he spent treading water in burning fuel with sharks taking some of those around him. He convinced me to enlist in USNOCS right then. God bless his soul, and may he RIP.

    • Donald says:

      I believe no person by the name “Paul Reed” (or any variation thereof) is carried on the ship’s muster roll at the time of its sinking. There was a LCDR John Reid, though, who survived the sinking.

  10. Pamela Cantrell says:

    My cousin Billy George Cantrell, F2 was Lost At Sea, he was only 18. So many of the crew members were so very young. God Bless the men of the Indianapolis.

  11. Lawrence Martin says:

    My Uncle Grover Carver was one of the few survivors. This is the saddest story in Naval history. So many young men lost their lives.

  12. James A. Rotert says:

    I lost a cousin of mine Thomas Leon Barksdale. A Fire Control Tech on board. Perished with the rest.

  13. Leo Souders Lawrence, Kansas says:

    Thanks for sharing all of the personal stories about these heroes. May God Bless our USS Indianapolis Boys who are now protecting our Heavenly Waters and also say THANK YOU to our boys who are still with us. Thanks Fellas for your Naval Service.

    Thanks to all our Soldiers here and abroad for their gallantry and service to Old Glory.You will never be forgotten by me. May God Bless you all.

  14. Jackie Brown says:

    Well I have to post again & thank everyone of our friends, families & loved ones who fought in this war (and every for that matter). Whether at sea, land or in the air, we don’t find these names in history books and everyone of them should be honored. My father was in the 82nd Airborne & never talked about the war and he passed away way before I was old enough to understand anything about war. This past year I had the humble pleasure to see my father honored by a small museum in Germany just outside the Heurtgen Forest where he fought the Battle of the Bulge and for every yard of that forest he walked, there was a dead soldier! I learned so much about him and EVERY veteran deserves to have their hand shaken to thank them for their service. There are so few WWII vets left. Don’t pass them by without thanking them. They deserve to hear that they changed the world!

    • J.L. Barnes says:

      My DadClifford D. Marshall Jr.Army, too walked the European Theatre. leading 8 battles as an expert marksman. He came home injured with a Bronze star. I am so very proud of our military and sorry that more stories were not told and heard by those of us wanting more. As stated above. We are lucky to be the families of these great people, only because they came home. I have recently grabbed onto the tail of the folks creating The Honor Bell Foundation, here in Ft. Logan National cemetery , where we visit my Dad You can read about this mission, by searching. the title as written at .org.It is a humbling honor to our vets with much work still to come. Each week many of the greatest generation are laid to RIP. our thanks to all.I enjoy reading all of these remarkable stories.that you are sharing. I am trying to study and learn all that I can.Regards,J.L. Barnes

    • Jackie Brown says:

      He must have then been at Normandy & Market Garden too. My dad was in the 505th & crossed the Elbe River capturing 150,000 soldiers with only 14 others! That happened at the end of April, 1945 right before the Germans surrendered. Each and every person who has a loved one that served should grab as much info on them as possible. If you can afford to make a trek and follow in their footsteps you will forever feel connected to their mission and appreciate what you may not have known. I wish I could share more and learn more. These stories are history that has barely gone from one generation down. We must preserve what they said, what we know and tell their stories! These are amazing people whom the world has never known because their names are too many to state. Please document what you know and pass them down for generations. They were all brothers (and sisters) in uniform which makes us all related in the way in which we can honor them. Thank you. Please keep posting!

  15. Roy Munroe says:

    As it was for many of our veterans through our history one thing comes to mind reading your stories and I remember when I was young my father who had served on the islands did what several of you have mentioned here and that is the fact that very rarely did anyone ever talk about their experiences unless it happened to be with another veteran involved in that conflict! My father when I was very young around five or so used to pull out this box he kept hidden from us but on a few occasions would bring it out and show me some of the pictures he had from his experiences and he never said a word except a few words about any particular picture. Well these pictures were of Japanese soldier who had been killed attacking my fathers perimeter! I won’t relate what the pictures showed but it was graphic and bloody to say the least. After a while he would take the pictures put them in their box and put them away. For almost my entire life (72 yrs) I never understood why he was showing me these casualty’s of his war until recently in my life. In 1966-1967 I found myself in a place no one had even heard of called Vietnam with the 4th Inf Div Arty and spent a year doing what I assumed my father had been called to do which in reality was lose your innocence and youth and become something that no one could ever have prepared me for. When I came back I was not the same and my view of that time spent in war now defined me as a person good or bad. For years my brothers who are Vietnam veterans themselves had been trying to get me to go to the VA for help but I had always thought what’s the use at this point BUT about ten years ago I was sitting in a local bar having a drink with one of my closest friends when someone yelled something up at the bar which for some odd reason made me stand up shed my coat and start towards whoever had yelled…….as I got right in front of my friend he casually said: “Nope no anger there is there Roy?” It stopped me in my tracks & I turned and said “What did you just say?” which he repeated. At that moment I knew that I was indeed still in a place that wasn’t helpful to anyone let alone myself so the very next morning I went to the VA swallowed my alter pride and asked for help only to find out there were millions of us NOT just me! Once I had gotten some much needed help I became much more user friendly even to me. So for over 45 years after my war I said nothing to anyone except with those several Vietnam buddies of mine, then one day I just happened to be sitting in the same bar in the same darn chair with, once again my closest brother when it hit me like a ton of bricks……All of those years my father showed me those pictures was the only way he could reach out and tell someone part of his story, for he too had lost his youth and was shoved into manhood with dire consequences for mind, body and soul! I finally understood why he did what he did and that revelation made me remember him in a whole new light. I’ve never thought badly of him since then for my whole growing up experience with him was all about his deep rooted anger and no way to vent except against the family. I would hope that each and every one of you have come to the point where others lives were changed so much that their world was never the same and they reacted in accordance to that change. May God bless all of you and those you hold dear in your hearts and thoughts always. Please honor those who served by helping our veterans who are coming home from the two wars we are still involved in and if you can try to help raise the consciousness of those around you for all the new veterans who we are LOSING EACH AND EVERY DAY 20 ON AVERAGE A DAY TO SUICIDE DO TO THEIR PAIN AND CHANGES IN THEIR LIVES!

    • Jackie Brown says:

      This was beautifully written & I have tears reading what you have endured. My brother served in Vietnam @ 18 and has Agent Orange as a memory along with all the others he’s buried & harbored. He is 64 years old now and runs a VFW hall so he can give a place to Vets to share their pain & worries for this generation as they don’t utilize a social outlet where everyone understands. I am sorry you have carried this with you and cannot thank you enough for sacrificing your youth for our government’s decisions. May you find people who acknowledge your bravery & treat you with the respect you earned and were denied upon your return. May your higher power bless you all the days of your life. Thank you!

    • Barry Gangi says:

      Roy….you are a hero and represent the best in America. I served 27 years in the Army. Part of that time was during the Vietnam era….you guys never got your due…you did your job during a dirty war with very little support or appreciation from the American public….I salute you..continue your medical recovery and know you are loved, especially by your brothers and sisters in uniform. Hooah.

    • Roy Munroe says:

      Thank you Barry that means a great deal to me and I thank you for your service!! Concerning how we came home at first I was extremely angry and did not feel like I belonged to anything so I drugged into a fog for about 30 years but then one day I was reading something on Vietnam along with some of the articles concerning those who had protested our involvement and it slowly came to me that I should not be angry at most of the protesters for there were two maybe three distinct factions involved. The first one, the one everybody remembers with either hate and or loathing were the one’s who decided that they would protest through anger and doing stupid stuff to make their points and they are the same bunch of idiots who called me “Baby Killer” when I came home and to those I will also never forget them for not even trying to understand why we went in the first place. On the other side of that coin were those citizens comprised of mom’s, dad’s, grandparents, neighbors, and millions of others who were not protesting my involvement but rather they understood the seriousness of what Congress and our other top leaders had done to us with their lies and half truths given out like candy to kids. Now to be sure some of them were taken in like we were so I can’t hold them responsible for that war! We answered a call from our leaders right or wrong and to be sure I am proud that I went, however, I’m not proud of some of the things I did but that was a matter of survival! I remember when I told my then Father-in-law that I had just received orders to ship out in 1966 he did not say anything but the look on his face was forever etched into my head. He was a retired top Marine Gunny who before his retirement happened to be doing the planing stages for the Marines involvement in Vietnam and I was somewhat taken aback by that look but soon realized what it meant and I am sure he was feeling a little sick to his stomach! The part of that war that I will always be angry about were those like Halliburton and other war companies who made billions of dollars stepping over my brothers and sisters bodies to enrich themselves like they are still doing today and for that I will never in a hundred life times forgive those who lied and made that money while sitting safely in their cushioned chairs counting their money! OK I’ve said enough for now as I seem to have a propensity to write novels when emailing! I hope your life is full of love and comfort and surrounded with those you love……take care!

    • Cliff Schott says:

      Thank you Roy for sharing. Thank you for the time out of your life, to be in that hell hole, thank you for your service. I personally think the VA is a very good healing place. I am 84, a veteran, and have used their services many times. Our son, a Navy Vet, had a gall stone go left instead of right, lodged in his pancreas and he spent 4 months and one week in intensive care at the VA and passed away on the first day of Summer in 2013. They tried everything to save our son, brought in specialist from outside the VA, from some Universities, all to no avail. Some of his nurses came to his funeral. He had a military funeral and is buried in a Military Cemetery. God Bless you Roy, God Bless the men and women of the VA and God Bless America.

    • Roy Munroe says:

      My heart and thoughts go out to you Cliff and your family for your lost son and for your uncle too! I’ve always believed that the men who sailed and fought aboard ships were a special kind person as you can give me good ole Mother Earth to stand on! I spent several weeks on board the “General John Pope” troop transport in 1966 and felt almost helpless at time in rough weather as we had to run through a Monsoon and believe me that was just plain scary but we made it and man were we clad to stand on firm ground so my hats off to all of those who lost their lives fight about our navy’s ships. I guess I’m just a “Land Lover” and thank you Cliff for your service and sacrifice’s through the years! I’m 72 now and hope I have at least some time left to just enjoy life and this world! You take care and please give your family my regards! Bless you and your family!

    • J.L. Barnes says:

      Stay strong and seek is out there. Otherwise find me as a [email protected].

  16. Tom McHugh says:

    I “missed” my war in Viet Nam as I had a high number in the last year of the draft. I had grown up read reading WWII history and always admired the stories. Better late then never, I Commissioned in the USAR as an Army Nurse at age 38 in 1989. I had two active duty deployments and have many good memories of 14 years of service.
    Years later I had an emptiness, and wound up volunteering with the USO, driving a 200 mile round trip for my shift. but it allowed me to connect with “my family”.

    Again skip forward in time, as a health care professional I saw the lack of understanding of recent combat Veterans, in receiving care in the civilian systems. I moved cross country to accept a position with the Veteran’s Administration, I was pleased to find many of my new colleagues are also veterans. In my interactions everyday I share stories with co-workers and patients. I never press a point but you would be amazed at the conversations that start with a simple question “What branch were you in”, from shared experiences to good natured inter-service rivalries.

    With the rhetoric of the last few years I would like to point out the true 1% are not the wealthy, but those who have answered the call to Protect and Defend the rest of the citizens of the nation.

    • Roy Munroe says:

      Thank you for your service for you answered your call and as a professional nurse you have helped many veterans find some measure of peace! Your job was one in which I could never have done as I was more of creating your job for the other side! You are right about the 1% most of them would either buy their way out of a service commitment or daddy would and their sole motive for existing is Greed, Money and Power and that will eventually come back to bite them all in the behind at some point! I am assuming that you are still a nurse and caring for our hero’s and would like to say that your job, to me, is one of the greatest calls in life you can choose so I thank you for that because you are needed in no uncertain terms and with the advent of our current service personnel who have so many wounds that can’t be seen and is the reason we now lose 20+ of our soldiers daily to suicide which to me is the Bush/Cheney legacy and it’s on their shoulders no matter what they say so Bless you my friend for finding your calling and sticking with it!

  17. Jeff Launiere says:

    I just want to thank those who have posted hear. I was saddened to hear these stories, but at the same time encouraged just how strong are service members are. They have gone through and seen hell, but we are all better for their sacrifices. My dad served as a Marine in Iwo Jima. He would never speak about his service to me, and the first I ever heard about the war he fought in was when he died and two men he fought with from California, and one from New Jersey showed up to honor my dad. I truly honor those who served on the Indianapolis, or any other service to our nation. I also honor the family members. Thank you all for your stories.

    • Harry Mustard says:


      My dad was on Iwo too–a battalion surgeon with 1/21 Third Marine Division. His letters home to his parents vividly describe action as seen from his unique point of view there as well as earlier on Guam. These letters were donated to the University of South Carolina Caroliniana Library.Their website has a summary.
      It’s no wonder they didn’t talk about their experiences–nobody could understand as the public was shielded from the gore and carnage. We only realize in recent years the great damage done by war. Thomas Childers, a historian, has written several books on this subject.

  18. Todd Kennedy says:

    The sinking of the USS Indianapolis is now the most notable US Naval tragedy of WW11, since the event was kept secret for so long due to its involvement with the nuclear bombing of Japan. Over the years I have read several books that my father had in his collection, including ABANDON SHIP by Richard F. Newcomb , ORDEAL BY SEA by Thomas Helm and others. My dad (who left us Dec 26, 2015 at 94) was already a survivor of a ship sinking when the Indianapolis went down. On January 4, 1945 his ship the USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) was hit by a kamikaze and turned into an inferno. With burning planes and exploding ammunition and torpedoes directly behind them, dad and his shipmates dropped from the hanger deck sponson into the water 30′ below. Later in the evening they were picked up by the USS Helm and the next day transferred to the USS Columbia. The day after that the Columbia was hit by a kamakazi on the after turret. More members of his crew were killed because they were out on deck without a duty station to man. Out of 860 men on the Ommaney Bay they lost 96 at the time of the sinking, including two men on another destroyer that was trying to help put out the fires when a torpedo blew up and threw shrapnel at them. It wasn’t until I attended a ships reunion in the 80’s that I heard a more complete story of the sinking from other survivors of the ship. Even though I was a Navy Viet Nam Vet I still had to pry info out of dad one year at a time. Loosing shipmates obviously effects every sailor for a very long time. Though my dad’s experience was not of the extreme of those sailors on the Indianapolis it does affect each man deeply and in a lasting way. My dad, “Jack” Kennedy, stayed in the Navy Reserves, was my Naval Sea Cadet unit commander and a member or the Ohio Naval Auxiliary. I think of him and his experiences every day.

  19. b person says:

    I attended several reunions of my father’s WWII Navy VPB Squadron reunions with him. At one, another Navy veteran came up and spoke to one of the men at “our” reunion when we were at breakfast. He mentioned he was on the Indianapolis and my dad’s squadron-mate (if that’s the correct term) was deeply affected and I thought he said he recalled having flown over the wreckage. I did not know the history or I might have asked what he witnessed -or asked for an explanation. I know the sqadron was on Tinian around this time. Daddy was on the island when the Enola Gay took off-only later knowing of its importance. Thankful to have been able to share in some of his memories as he reunited with his mates. They were a wonderful group of men -and their wives were great. Truly The Greatest Generation.

    • K O'Brien says:

      D person, my father-in-law was on Tinian at the same time. He said he made Tibbets a sandwich from some span he had tucked away. He passed away a year ago at 94 years old. He began telling his stories near the end of his life, some we doubted somewhat, but found each one to be true when investigated. So sorry it took so long to open up and finally tell of his experiences. He would cry each time he spoke of his friend who was killed.
      Such sacrifices! Broke my heart. He believed he survived sharks after his ship sank by swimming in the oil spill. He was wounded three times, loosing a kidney. A piece of wood was pushed into his wound to stop the bleeding as he waited for the hospital ship that took him to Pearl Harbor.

  20. Deborah A. Allen says:

    My Grandfather James W. Farley was on board. My mother was 2 at the time. We lost contact with his family and I am now searching for my Farley family. It breaks my heart to think of how he and so many other men died. Such a sad story. God bless the ones that survived and the families that had to live without their men. My mother has recently passed and I found his Purple Heart, I hold it with mixed emotions.

  21. Mary Bellis says:

    It is so strange to open this website for the first time today, and I find this story on the USS Indianapolis. In my recent search on I found that my uncle, Elgin Gordon, my father’s only brother, served and died on this ship. It was last December when my husband was watching a program about Pearl Harbor that I heard a story about the USS Washington, and I commented that my father served on that ship. That led me to a search to find out what ship his brother had served on, too. We know little about my uncle. We were told that he was a radioman, and that he went down with the ship. However, the book of casualties that I found him listed in say he was a Coxswain, so I don’t know exactly what he did on the ship. He was 16 years old when he joined the navy (with a copy of his older brother’s birth certificate), and was 21 when he died. This ship has an unbelievable story.

  22. Carol Schmitt Smith says:

    I often think of these brave men and the courage they had. The Indianapolis will never be forgotten. May they be at peace and resting in the arms of our Savior, Jesus

  23. Sylvia M. Hertel says:

    Did anyone notice the number of errors in procedures that occurred with this mission?
    “Forced to sail without an escort (1st error)—and uninformed that there was a likelihood of Japanese subs in the area (2nd error)—the Indianapolis generally maintained the mandated zigzagging course, except on the night of the 29–30(3rd error),…”
    “….since the Navy had not found it remarkable that the Indianapolis had not arrived to the Philippines on time (4th error)….”

    How many men come home from war knowing many soldiers (friends) died unnecessarily? How many men come home understanding the senselessness of war? Roy Munroe hits the nail perfectly on the head.

    In the case of the USS Indianapolis, many hundreds of men died unnecessarily. We are told to honor our servicemen for their bravery and sacrifices, which is nothing but a tactic to keep our minds off the wastefulness of war – made for the sole purpose of monetary or power gain for a very few men. They should be honored for their sacrifices, but not as sacrifices to the evil of greed for money and power. War is 100% all about the worship of other gods.

    Thank you, Roy, for pointing this out in such great detail. The Bushes were/are among those few who gain(ed) monetarily from the wars in the middle east. Money and power are far more important to them than people’s lives, and the sorrows of the families who lost their loved ones, physically or emotionally – because of their greed.

    • Ed Karnes says:

      Sylvia, ever been in a war? Your comments here sure put a sour note on what is being talking about and that is remembering those men and women who gave their all to defeat the “Japanese Empire”. As a Navy veteran and serving in Vietnam, I know what it is like when you are fighting a war by politicians thousands of miles away and then being ridiculed by the American public as if it was my fault. I served with honor and doing my job to the best of my ability and “PROUD” to have served. It may have not been an honorable war but we as sailors, soldiers, marines, Air Force, reservist and Coast Guard did what we were told and served with respect and honor. The men of the Indianapolis were serving with honor and what they went through deserves our respect. Next time you want to be negative about something do your full research and think about the complete picture. Yes, there are wrong doing but the men and women who are serving need our support and respect. You need to shake the hand of a military person and thank them for their service and be thankful you have the right to be negative .

      As a veteran, I am ashamed of your post. Go to the Arizona memorable and think about the sailors still inside and tell them it was all because of greed and they will haunt you til your end.

      The USS Indianapolis was a tragedy and what those men went through brings tears to my eyes from reading all the post of those who had loved ones on board. My uncle spent over 300 straight days on the front lines just before and during the Battle of the Bulge and his stories are not for the faint of heart. The hair stands up on my neck and NEVER would I say to him that he was there because of greed when the last thrust of the Nazi might was barreling down on him.

      Wise up, research, read before you speak.

    • Todd Kennedy says:

      Thank you Ed. I too, believe that Sylvia’s comments should not be on

      This site is for finding information and stories on the men and women who have served our country, from the Revolutionary War to present times. So many have served without questioning and so many have died without questioning. Politics and the right or wrong of war are other issues for other websites. This thread was about the USS Indianapolis. Everyone who has served or has not is amazed and ashamed of the circumstances that led to so many losses of life from the sinking of this ship. We all wish that they rest peacefully and we are saddened at their sacrifice.

    • Sylvia M. Hertel says:

      I think Fold3 should be more dedicated to the truth, and not the propaganda of the U.S. government. This site is supposed accurately represent the military service of our men, but it refuses to acknowledge the number of men who died unnecessarily, and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis is a prime example. Why were there so many errors on the part of Navy before the ship was torpedoed, and the lack of attention when they were late on arrival in the Philippines?

      If my father had been killed on this ship, I would most definitely be asking “Why?” and demanding the truth, not some made up story. Fortunately, he wasn’t, but I’m still asking “Why?”

      Why aren’t you asking “Why?”

    • Jackie Brown says:

      Pardon me Sulvia but please take your battle where it belongs. Because you are, like you keep cramming in your posts, pulling the rest of us into a battle we should not be involved in here. You are insulting many people for the wrong reasons and fail to realize that this blog is to HONOR these people for what they gave to the War. My father busted his butt day in and out in the 82nd because one week before Pearl Harbor, he was discharged from the Navy and was stationed on the ship that now lies buried in Hawaii. This made him join the Army and do the unthinkable for putting an end to the war being discussed in this blog. EVER stand in a foxhole where they slept and get up every day to go fight and do the same thing over and over again not knowing when the end was near and NEVER complaining about it? Bet you complain about getting to Friday each week but these HEROES never did. They did it so you can. Please take your political views someplace else and leave this blog for people to honor and glorify the men and women of all military. They deserve ONLY that. Please allow us to read the untold stories and keep this place respectful.

  24. Sandra L. Scholler Powles says:

    My son’s grandfather Chief Pharm. Mate John Macon Powles born Jan. 31, 1920 in Pinetown, N.C. was the son of Irish-English immagrents who first came to this country in the early 1900’s. Their son enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Raleigh N.C.
    He went to school in Brooklyn NY for his training as Chief Pharm. Mate where he met his wife Virginia Irene McLean who worked there. They married in July 1940.They had a son Richard John Powles born April 23, 1941. His father only got to hold once until he was shipped to the Submarine Base in Pearl Harbor Hawaii.
    His mission on the submarine USS Gudegeon (SS 211) was lost off the coast of Sipan on March 31, 1942. John was the youngest son of Walter John Powles and Alice Bireman Powles.
    His son was declared missing May 4, 1944 and presumed dead May 5, 1946.
    He did leave behind a son Richard John Powles Sr. but his garndson Richard John Powles Jr. born Dec. 21, 1973 died on Nov. 20, 1989. I made sure he knew of his grandfather who’s Navy picture hung on our bedroom wall.
    The only information I got from the freedom of information act was that this was a secret mission, and details could not be given out. I later learned from Virginia (John Macons wife) that he knew he wasn’t coming back, but volunteered anyway.
    What a hero, to leave a wife and son for his country. I never knew him, but I will always respect him. My family were all in the service of all branches, my daughter and nephews and nieces included and thank God they all came back home safe.I wish I could have met him.
    I saw his name inscribed on the Navel Monument at the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Hawaii. GOD BLESS ALL WHO SERVE OUR GREAT NATION!
    Love from a daughter in law he never got to know.

  25. Juan Kantil says:

    Any positive impact and value from the stories related above was drastically diminished by the obvious political motives of some of the writers. There are other venues for this kind of vitriol.

    It’s discouraging to see how many readers seem to be learning about the Indianapolis for the first time. Obviously their schools didn’t do their jobs.

    • Jaye Franchell says:

      You are correct. I was taught little to nothing about our wars while in 12 years of school. Thanks to all who have posted these stories, here! They are highly interesting, horrific, and humbling. My father was career Air Force, but that was much later. I was honored to be a “dependent.”
      God Bless such incredible, unimaginable bravery of these men and women.

  26. Donald says:

    Charles B. McVay III, commander of the Indianapolis, was scapegoated and outrageously court-martialed for the ship’s sinking. Finally worn down by the weight of his crew’s loss, as well as the recent loss of his wife to cancer, he committed suicide with his service revolver at his home in Connecticut on November 6, 1968. In October 2000, McVay was formally exonerated by Congressional resolution. G-d bless every person among the ship’s complement.

    • Sylvia M. Hertel says:

      Exonerated – AFTER he committed suicide. What a heartless government we have! Drive a person to suicide, and then set him free of the guilt he never deserved in the first place!

      I’d like to know why people can’t see the sickness in this whole mess. Patriotism? To a government that does these sort of things to it’s loyal citizens? Are you aware of the extreme treasonous activities Franklin D. Roosevelt was into? If the U.S. public had know of his activities while he was still alive, he would have been hung on a moments notice, and I mean literally hung – from the gallows.

      As far as our schools teaching us what we SHOULD know? I knew when I was 12 or 13 that they were teaching us lies, and my teachers taught us the same government mandated curriculum that you heard when you were kids.

      Feel sorry for these poor men and their families, but never believe, much less make excuses for a grossly corrupt government headed by the kind of Communists the Roosevelts, the Bushes, the Clintons, and many other of our presidents have been. We’ve been fed so many lies, no one knows the difference between a lie and the truth anymore.

      It’s long passed time to wake up and smell the roses!!! They’ve sold us down the river!!! Wake up, America!!!

  27. Daniel Rivera says:

    Reading all this comments and stories from the different people that connected here bring tears to my eyes, may God bless u all, the United States of America and may God bless all those vet/heroes who tragically died in the USS Indianapolis on July 30, 1945.

  28. Lisa says:

    For years I had a newspaper article about one of my dad’s Krug cousins, her husband was lost at sea. It was just recently that I discovered the actual circumstances of his death. Ancestry through the Pennsylvania archives, has released the WW1 (1934) and WW2 (1950) Veteran Compensation Application Files for bonuses paid for service during these wars. As soon as I saw the words “USS Independence” on his widow’s application, I knew how he had died.

    Ebensburg Mountaineer-Herald, Ebensburg, PA, TH 23 AUG 1945
    James Patrick Conrad, 28, electrician’s mate third class, has been lost at sea, the Navy Department notified his family at Wilmore. He is a son of Mrs. Zena Conrad and the husband of Mrs. Josephine (Krug) Conrad, R.N., who is working at a hospital on the West Coast at present.

    His family placed a Cenotaph in St Thomas Cemetery, Ashville, in remembrance.

    After graduating from high school, my dad joined the Navy in 1948. He served on Submarines and used to tell stories about life on the boats. He enjoyed it but said some men wigged out with claustrophobia, due to the small spaces.

  29. Helen says:

    It is very sad but inspiring to read the posts from families of brave service men. May they rest in peace and for those that return plagued by demons from their experiences may they find their own peace.
    My only brother was an Australian army regular in Vietnam. He had a troubled family history so service in any war was an additional weight to carry.
    He died aged 54 after years of drug abuse and alcoholism.
    Of course I miss him and give respect to his memory but we had no place in that war.
    As many have said , political choices by those in power lead us to lose brave valiant young men and pass on pain and grief to their families.
    We still experience death and horror in today’s wars.
    Thank you to our heroes but no thanks to the world leaders who serve their own agendas.

  30. Bill Wilcox says:

    Had an uncle (twice removed) that served aboard the Indianapolis but was reassigned just before the ship left Calif. for it’s destiny.

  31. Doreen McLain says:

    My Father-in-law Patrick McLain was on the ship when it sank. He was only 17 years old having talked his mother into allowing him to enlist. He was one of the survivors but spent months recovering from the ordeal. He told his story only once, to our daughter, who was working on a college assignment about someone who was heroic to you. No one else was allowed in the room when he told his story. He was troubled by this for his whole life, The heroes of war, most of the time, are silent sufferers who even though they survive their ordeal are still casualties of war.

    • Todd Kennedy says:

      Patrick McLain is one the men of legend who endured this experience and for the rest of his life. I am sorry for his experience, his lost of shipmates and for having to endure the pain of it all for the rest of his life.

  32. My father Paul C Barnes F/2 class was killed on this ship.

  33. Pat says:

    In downtown by the canal in Indianapolis there is a beautiful rememberance in memory of everyone who served on the USS Indianapolis. It is a large granite stone with a picture of the Indianapolis carved on one side and on the back side is a listing of all who served on the Indianapolis. They may be gone but are not forgotten by the state of Indiana.

  34. Alice Pappas says:

    Thank you for sharing this story, and especially to Mr. Roy Munroe for his thoughtful and inspiring story. My dad was a medic in the Pacific during World War II and would also occasionally bring out old pictures but rarely speak about his experiences. He had good friends from his time in service across the country and we would visit them, but in front of us, they only told funny anecdotes. At home, his rage would come out. As an adult, I could better understand it, but like Mr. Munroe, I wish I could have been there for him the few times those pictures would come out. I am not a veteran–I tried to join the Air Force as a teenager and it was one of the worst fights my dad and I ever had.
    God bless our veterans and what they endure. Mr. Munroe, thank you especially for mentioning how many current vets need our support.

  35. Alec Clement says:

    I had the privilege some years ago of spending an evening with Historian Samuel Eiot Morison who among other things chronicled the history of Naval operations in Ww 2.I had just read a book about the tragedy of the Indianapolis and asked him if he didn’t think the captain had been made a scapegoat to hide the Navy’s procedural failures that probably contribiuted to so many deaths. Morison felt the captain was guilty of failure to zig zag in enemy waters..had all the bulkheads open because of oppressive heat which probably caused the ship to go down so quickly.
    IN my view this was a tragedy of accumulated errors and one of the most stunning aspects was that the one of the chief witnesses at the captains court Marshall was the captain of the Japanese sub that sunk the Indianapolis. No matter how you slice it war is hell and the experience of the few survivors of this tragic episode was particularly hellish.

    • Donald says:

      Samuel Eliot Morison, with whom a poster here spoke, died in 1976, long before later investigations about the events surrounding the sinking of the Indianapolis. And Admiral Chester Nimitz — wartime CinCPac and the leading American authority on submarine warfare during WWII — was vehemently opposed to the court-martial of McVay.

      In any event, the trial of McVay, the skipper of the Indianapolis, was unprecedented in naval history. According to some sources (which I have not independently verified), it was the only time in history that the captain of a USN ship was court-martialed for the wartime sinking of his vessel due to enemy action.

      Without retrying the matter here, I note the following:

      1. The testimony of the highly experienced commander of the Japanese submarine that sank the Indianapolis, who after the war was brought to McVay’s court-martial (itself a controversial, unprecedented action), was that zig-zagging by a surface ship offered no impediment to his ability to sink the vessel, and it would have made no difference to the outcome of his attacking and sinking the Indianapolis. American submarine commanders testified to the same effect in their expert testimony and experience.

      2. The USS Indianapolis Survivors Organization, the only such organization, said: “Captain McVay’s court-martial was simply to divert attention from the terrible loss of life caused by procedural mistakes which never alerted anyone that we were missing.”

      3. After a thorough investigation of all available, declassified documents — and at the request of most of the ship’s survivors — U.S. Congress in October 2000 passed a resolution fully “exonerating” McVay for the loss of the Indianapolis. Shortly thereafter, the nation’s then commander in chief signed the same resolution.

      4. The following year, the then secretary of the navy independently ordered that Admiral McVay’s military records be expunged of all assertions and conclusions finding him at all culpable for the loss of the Indianapolis, as well as events following her sinking.

      May all the officers and men of the USS Indianapolis who have passed away rest in peace, and may all the ship’s complement be forever held in the highest regard and favor by a grateful nation.

    • Ed Karnes says:

      Great information, Donald. Thank you.

      May the memory of those men and what they had to endure never be forgotten.

  36. marcus says:

    In the movie Jaws they claimed the reason the ones that survived didn’t get eaten by the sharks was because they played dead in the water

  37. Richard Zagrodnik says:

    My Neighbor Charles McAnelly was on the Indianappolis before and after it was torpedoed. He was the sailor to whom the Chaplain gave his life jacket and then perished in that terrible sea, Charlie never spoke of his experience in that terrible time until we were alone one day and it all came out. He has just moved to Arizona and still to this day carries those memories of those who did not survive. God bless all of them For those of you who dont care, dont bother to ask for help when you need it most as you think you are above it all

    • Donald says:

      No person by the name “Charles McAnelly” (or any apparent variation thereof) is carried on the ship’s roster posted at

    • Jackie Brown says:

      To those who feel their family members may have been on the ship but names do not appear on the roster on the referenced website, go to the US National Archives website and request a copy of your relative’s Personnel file. Be warned that the building that housed all the Military records burned down in 1973 so you need to ask for their personnel record. They are piecing together information upon request but they will do their best to confirm. The rosters online are not always accurate as I learned in my research for my father that had my father’s and his brother’s name reversed. Don’t be frustrated in the research. As .you are most likely aware, this is not an easy task recreating history.

    • Donald says:

      Richard, another crew roster that was published in a well-regarded book by an Indy survivor is located here:

      This crew roster is sourced to the list in the Congressional Record, as well as Doug Stanton’s bestseller “In Harms Way” and the Indy Survivors Organization, which is the only such organization and has taken great pains over the decades to maintain a complete list.

      If a person is not listed in any of the foregoing lists, he was almost certainly not among the ship’s complement at the time of her sinking.

    • Carolyn Troillett says:

      Thank you, Donald (and also Jackie Brown), for your additional information concerning the USS Indianapolis crew. There were over a thousand men aboard the USS Indianapolis when it was torpedoed, most of whom made it off the ship before it sank. The list at the website I mentioned does not list the names of that many people, so could not possibly be a complete listing of the crew. I’m sorry if I gave that impression in my previous post.

      As family researchers, we all know the pitfalls of information posted on the web, including information from courthouses which has been digitized from hard copies of documents. Transcribers are human, and as such, they make mistakes. Also, fires and wars have obliterated large sections of information leaving gaps; pre-Civil War documents in the south are a good example.

      Thank you again, Donald and Jackie, for giving us your Insights.

    • Carolyn Troillett says:

      When I checked the other website, I learned that Thomas W. Reed apparently was not one of the survivors, but Tommy L. Reid, RDM3 was. The Tom I knew in my 20’s (I’m now in my 70’s) must have been Tom Reid. They both deserve to be remembered, but as themselves and not each other.

  38. Pamela Cantrell says:

    Thank you Donald.

  39. JT says:

    One evening after a good days work cutting grass and burning leaves In 1980 or 81 a neighbor of mine in Alabama, whom I looked at as just a hard difficult old man told me of the amazing horrific tale of how he survived the sinking of his ship the Indianapolis. At the time I had not heard of it. He told me of how the mission they were on was a transport for the bomb for Japan. They had no escorts. He spoke of the radio silence and how no one looked for them for days. He spoke of how his shipmates disappeared during the night. Mr. Foster to me is all I knew him by and I never looked at him the same after knowing what he went through. I was just a young boy and the event seemed unbelievable. Thank you Mr. Foster for your sacrifice.

    • Phil says:

      However I’m not US and not an army Vet (and now my tears have dryed), I feel to contribute after reading all that so moving, sincere and simple words about USS Indianapolis sad fate and noble individual sacrifices and ordeals.
      I am French, living in New Caledonia (French Republic overseas territory in the South Pacific).
      My land shares a large war history with the USA, as the Allied Forces COMSOPAC was located here from early 1942 to its closing in 1946.
      So, New Caledonia was largely involded in the early major war actions (i. e. Coral sea or Guadalcanal battles).
      And for many years was the major logistic US base on the south line from Australia to San Francisco.
      Most famous US commanders commanded here as Admiral “Bull” Halsey (oct 1942 – june 1944).
      I didn’t check, but I can bet my hand (!) that USS Indy had stopped many times in NC like all others major fleet and USN units (Lexington, Yorktown, Missouri…).
      I was deeply moved by the support and the grateful all of you gave to your heroes and their memories.
      And a little bit sad too to read the words of a certain Sylvia so unrespectful to men who where no more than teenagers. 17, 18, 19… Lifetime dedicated to friendship, party and love… Not to die eaten by sharks in the hugly deepness of a dark night.
      May they all RIP amidst the braves and be thanked for giving us the Freedom.

    • Jackie Brown says:

      Thank you Phil! It is so nice to hear from one of our allies. Your words reflect the opinion many Europeans have for our Military. It shows they did not perish without the world’s gratitude. They truly did change the world. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur.

    • Pamela Cantrell says:

      Thank you Phil, from the family of a member of the final sailing crew, sadly Lost At Sea.

    • Lena says:

      July 22, 2011 at 11:15 AM · Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all imraptont infos. I’d like to see more posts like this

  40. Nancy Worth Davis says:

    My Dad, James Gallagher Worth, USAAC, was on Tinian when the Enola Gay landed. The plane, which had been modified to carry the first atomic bomb, was immediately parked at the end of the runway, surrounded by armed guards and put off limits to everyone on the base. Dad and the other guys on base piled into trucks and rode out to the closest point the guards allowed. With binoculars, they attempted to see the details of the mystery plane. This is the only story of his time in the Pacific that Dad shared with us for many years. He opened up more just before his death at age 93. He told me of flying in a formation of hundreds and seeing the plane immediately in front of him hit by ground fire. Dad told me that the hardest thing he ever did was to hold his position in formation and fly on through the debris that was the remains of his buddy’s plane. I only learned the extent of the action he saw when I read his flight log after he passed away. The May and June, 1945 dates of missions were recorded in meticulous detail. But, the log was blank for the months of July and August. It continued in September. In the months left blank, he was flying top secret missions over Japanese territory which he could not record in his log. Dad went on to become an active reservist until he was in his 60’s. He served in Korea and during the Cuban missile crisis, and several more times. As a commercial pilot, he was always available when the Air Force called and always ready. His nephew, Doug Christian, followed Dad’s example and became an airline captain. He flew in for Dad’s memorial service and arrived in his uniform. At the end of his comments, Doug turned to the side where I had placed Dad’s Air Force uniform on the alter. With a slow salute, he said good-bye to Captain Jim, a man who repeatedly answered the call to service. That uniform was hanging in Dad’s closet when he died, ready if needed.

    • Chet Ogan says:

      My father was a navigation instructor in the Army Air Corps. His duty base toward the end of the war was Santa Ana, CA. He did mention one trip he took with a few friends to White Sands, New Mexico. He would not say what he did there or why he was there. I often wonder if he was instructing the pilots who flew one of the atomic bomb missions. I have tried to find his records but they were destroyed in a fire. All I have are the records given him at discharge. One scary thought though, they were traveling in an old Chevrolet with a pull throttle on the dash and they traded drivers while on the road. Cars didn’t have seat belts in those days

    • Libby says:

      An interesting speech is worth account. I cogitate that you should make much for this matter, it strength not be a prcpineectoon subordinate but generally fill are certainly not enough to be able to speak on specified subjects. To the succeeding. Cheers just like your Khmer Karaoke Stars » Somnangblogs.

  41. Andrew Clayton says:

    My Uncle and namesake was lost overboard and never found . Andrew Jackson Holloway may He rest in peace . I was born 11/17/1945 .

  42. Tim Harrell says:

    Thank God for those men and women who answered their Nation’s call. If it was not for their sacrifice I would not be free today. I will always make sure my son knows that true freedom is not free. It must be protected and defended daily. God bless those who serve and their families.

    • Lanette says:

      Hey there! I was interested to know if setting up a blogging site such your own: is tough to do for ineriexpenced people? I have been wanting to develop my own website for a while now but have been turned off mainly because I’ve always assumed it demanded tons of work. What do you think? Thank you

  43. Hugh McGuire says:

    To Fold3:

    You have confused me but I’m finding that at my age (76) I’m getting that way more often. As I recall the book I read years ago about this incident stated that the “goods” had been delivered, the bomb assembled and dropped on Japan which resulted in the surrender of Japan. THEN, the Indianapolis proceeded to the Philippines after all Japanese units had presumedly been told of the surrender. This was stated as one reason the ship had not been zig zagging.

    If my memory is correct, why was this not stated in the above article? If seems to me that a critical part may have been felt out. Please clarify this for me to set the record straight (i.e. in my memory).

    • Todd Kennedy says:

      Sir,. USA Indianapolis was sunk on July 30, 1945 and the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9. The crew of the ship was rescued before the bombs were dropped, around August 3&4. If you were serving at that time you might have heard a variety of “scuttlebutt” to deflect information about the event.

    • Hugh McGuire says:

      Thank you. I guess once again my memory has failed me. Oh well. Thanks again. Hugh

  44. Robert Parsons says:

    My great uncle died from this ship sinking… His name was Preston Hall. Pressy was his nickname…

  45. Tommy L. Surles says:

    I, too, thanks God for all those that served our country, especially during a time of war. I have a brother who served in Vietnam and come home safe, but with diabetes, which he has suffered with even today. He and his batallion were sprayed with agent orange. My brother says he drove a road grader his entire time there. A couple of years ago, he lost his right leg from just below the knee because of the diabetes. He did have a good career as an Iron Worker, then opened his own shop which has done quite well.
    I also have a grandson who served two tours in Alphganastan and came home with memories but not a scratch. Had one very close call with an IED, but it didn’t explode. He is now beginning his 4 th year at University of Florida in Engineering.
    I look for vets wearing their military caps, and thanks all I can get to for their service. Many want to tell their stories, which I listen to carefully and they want some one to talk to about their experiences.

  46. Kurt Niziak says:

    “there on the beaches of Normandy I began to reflect on the wonders of these ordinary people whose lives were laced with the markings of greatness.”

    ― Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation

    “They married in record numbers and gave birth to another distinctive generation, the Baby Boomers. They stayed true to their values of personal responsibility, duty, honor, and faith.”
    ― Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation

  47. Cameron Jackson says:

    My father (W. Newton Jackson, Jr.) served on the the USS Indianapolis as an aviator. He had been transferred to Pensacola prior to the fatal sailing. His best friend, Page Hill, was also an aviator and was on board when the torpedo attack occurred and perished. My brother was named after him.

  48. DMD says:

    Thank you for this sensational and moving historical blog, and for the service of all those of our “Greatest Generation” who ensured our freedom with their sacrifice! DMD

  49. Dennis Wanken says:

    It has been an honor and privilege to read all of these postings. These men served their country with honor and distinction. Nobody in their right minds would ever wish to go to war. But the implications of “what if” outcomes made it imperative that the United States had to enter World War 2.

    When I took my family to Omaha Beach and the adjoining cemetery, I was trying my best to explain what happened there and what would happen if the invasion failed. I consider it my duty to these brave souls that I convey to the next generation of the sacrifice they made so that we may enjoy the fruits of freedom. I will continue my duty to those who served until it is my time to leave this earth. My many, many thanks for their devotion to duty.

  50. Caroline Nisbet says:

    I’m in tears but am grateful to have read all the posts. Thank you.


  51. R Anderson says:

    Our Community of Broomfield, Colorado saw the passing of local hero and Indianapolis Survivor Paul Murphy just this past Feb. He was a special and active part of our community and will be missed.

  52. Donald says:

    The commonly accepted number of seamen, officers and Marines who were among the ship’s complement of the Indy at the time of her sinking on July 30, 1945, is 1196. The well-sourced, published list for which I previously provided a link includes the names of 39 Marines and 1157 officers and seamen of the U.S. Navy, for a total of 1196 men (by my recent count, which I only performed once, without repeating).

    I now again post the foregoing link:

    To all these men I give my profound thanks and all due honor.

    And my highest respect and regards to all who hold them in their memory and hearts.

    From a long-retired U.S. Army officer.

    • S Shulin says:

      Thank you for your service. My husband is a long retired U.S. Army SFC. and I personally thank you for keeping my family safe.

    • Janette Booth says:

      thank you Donald, much appreciated for your service and this link

  53. Marolyn Caldwell says:

    A complete and moving account of this tragedy is contained in a book, Ordeal by Sea, written by Thomas Helm in 1963. Dodd, Mead & Company is the publisher, and the Library of Congress card number is 63-14375. My father’s first cousin, Lieut. R. Adrian Marks, was commander of the PBY that landed beside the survivors and pulled 56 men onto its wings. The final sailing list for the U.S.S. Indianapolis is listed in the book’s Appendix.

  54. Jackie DiVenere says:

    My thanks to all who serve/served and my profound love and respect for all who have perished serving our country. Just know that you are not forgotten and while you may be unknown personally to myself, I love you beyond words just the same.

  55. Larry Hearn says:

    One of the saddest footnotes to this disaster is the conduct of the U.S. Navy for immediately deciding to court martial Captain McVay. The most unforgivable thing they did, I think, was to have the enemy Sub Commander, Mochitura Hashimoto, testify against McVay at his court martial. Monday morning quarterbacks with insufficient information making decisions makes me a bit nauseous. Unfortunately, Captain McVay took his own life in the 1960’s. I can only imagine how the loss of so many shipmates must have haunted him the rest of his life.

    • Denise says:

      I don’t understand what other choice he had

    • Haxo Angmark says:

      as far as I know, Hashimoto’s postwar testimony – to the effect that he had a perfect firing solution on the Indianapolis, and would have hit her whether or not the ship had been zig-zagging – favored McVey. Brotherhood of the Sea and all that. Had I been c/o of the Indianapolis, irrespective of information about Jap submarines, I would have been zig-zagging like a scared rabbit. The greater delinquency is, however, the USN’s: for having no overall system in place to track ships and report when overdue

  56. Nickie Lancaster says:

    The US NAVAL INSTITUTE PHOTO COLLECTION has the photos taken by USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA35) official Navy photographer Alfred Joseph Sedivi, Photo Mate 1c. Part of Sedivi’s collection, over 1,600 photos, were donated 3 years ago to the Naval Institute and most can be seen on their web site. NAVAL HISTORY MAGAZINE has also featured several articles on the INDIANAPOLIS, most recently in their June, 2016 issue. The August 2014 issue features photos from the collection and a bio on Sedivi and his collection. Alfred Sedivi went down with the ship, in his lab, developing photos.
    The Naval Institute also has a traveling exhibit of a select number of Sedivi’s photographs which is available to museums. The collection includes life on the ship from 1942 to 3 days before the sinking: combat photos, recon photos of the Pacific islands, how the crew worked, lived, prayed and played – 24/7.

  57. J turner says:

    There is a great book called “all the drowned sailors” written by Ray Lech. around the early 1980’s ?

  58. John Wagner says:

    Frankly, I don’t remember ever hearing about the Indianapolis either during the war or after.
    In WWII I served from June 1942 to Dec 21, 1945. Except for boot camp I served
    aboard the USS Mervine DD 489. We crossed the Atlantic Ocean 32 times (16 over and 16 back). We were in the invasion of North Africa and Sicily.
    We escorted Battleships (Texas, Massachusetts and N Y) and several Cruisers
    including The Philadelphia and Boston.
    I don’t have a clue about the Indianapolis but it boggles my mind that she took sail
    without Destroyer escort. As a matter of fact on July 16 the Mervine was in New York getting ready for duty in the Pacific. We were in the Panama Canal on Aug 15
    when the Japs surrendered. If the Captain took the Indianapolis out without escort,
    I think that was wrong.
    A tragic loss many brave men.

    • Nickie Lancaster says:

      John, the USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35) earned 10 battle stars in the Pacific and in the Aleutians during WW!! from 1942 – 1945. She was the Flag Ship of the Pacific Fleet under Admiral Nimitz and Admiral Spruance until Admiral Spruance removed his staff after the Kamikaze attach in the battle of Okinawa, March 30th, 1945. She returned to California for repairs and was assigned the ill fated task of delivering the A Bomb to Tinian. Fortunately, she was not torpedoed and sunk until after that task had been carried out or all hands might have been lost. Before WWII, the INDIANAPOLIS had been the Ship of State for a time for President Franklin Roosevelt, where he received his Neptune’s Crossing initiation. The Hyde Park Museum has photos of FDR on Board the INDIANAPOLIS.

    • BROBS says:

      They were without escort because it was a top secret mission. Same reason no one noticed that they didn’t port: There was no log of their arrivals or departures for this mission due to its sensitivity. They were en route to observe the A-Bomb (for which they had delivered parts) drop… still part of the top secret mission.

      It was due to this top secret nature that no one noticed their absence. I can assure you it’s not because it was found ‘unremarkable’ as this blog states.

    • The daughter of a WWII soldier says:

      As a military person, surely you understand that when you are given orders, you obey. You don’t second guess the brass and you certainly don’t refuse! I wonder if the Captain had continued to zigzag and had hit something, would he still have been court martialed? If he’d had escort (which was not his call), would he have been court martialed? I feel that he did the best he could by his men, but what about the person(s) that gave those orders that sent them out without escort? Still getting that brass retirement pay? My heart cries for each and every one that was lost, but it bleeds for those that survived. Peace does not come easily for those that physically “made it”.

    • Todd Kennedy says:

      This is so true. I’ll bet good money that Mcvay did only what he was told to do. In the Pacific there were many shoals and reefs that were in charted that a ship could be put upon due to current changes or other unexpected weather changes . Some like an El Niño effects could certainly put a ship without GPS (non-existant at the time) into a different location than expected. With the lack of visibility that was occurring that day could have certainly driven the Indianapolis IN to another ship or vice versa. This did happen a lot during the war. As a final word on whether the lack of zigzagging had any effect in the sinking, the court martial board called the Japanese submarine Commander Hashimoto (brought in from Japan after the war) on to the witness stand and asked him if the lack of zigzagging had any effect in the sinking. Hashimoto said no it wouldn’t have made no difference to him he. He still would have been able to sink the Indianapolis since when a ship is zigzagging it does not make as much forward progress so all Hashimoto would have had to do was parallel the course for a while and be waiting for the ship to be put in his sites.

    • Mary says:

      Yes, you are right. When given an order you have to follow through with it even though you agree with or do not agree with it.
      Yes, what about the Brass? I just wonder in the back of my mine, with the survivors, did they make a report about it? If they did, what was done, if anything about it.
      Was there a hearing? If so, was the big brass acquitted? I do not know if we will ever know about it.

    • Bill Huffman says:

      Some of the escorts were sunk in Typhoon Cobra.
      Bill Huffman
      I was aboard SubChaser733. We servived. We were 110ft long & all wood. I have pictures of the SC, lut.jg our Captain & the Cook that didn’t read nor right, but he was a great Cook.
      [email protected].
      Wenatchee Washington 98801

  59. Lew says:

    I was a boy of 12 when the war ended and had built a model of the USS Indianapolis which sat on my desk all during the war. While I was an avid reader of two daily newspapers during the war, I was disappointed in rarely seeing any news about my favorite cruiser.
    As I best recall, it was probably in the 1950’s that I learned the whole story of the fate of the Indianapolis and a thousand sailors that went into the ocean for four days.

  60. Linda Collins says:

    This indeed is a tragic story, and all thanks, and honor due to these brave men. My uncle, Lt. Densmore Collins went down on the USS Reid, in Leyte Bay, and our family still mourns his loss. Our heartfelt sympathies to the families of those who perished on the Indianapolis.

  61. Susan Grosor says:

    My uncle, Calvin Seamands, was serving on the Hilandia who was assigned to bring the survivors of the Indianapolis tragedy from Guam to Hawaii to continue their recovery. The patients often sat on the deck sunning themselves and resting. One day, my uncle was walking out on the deck when he heard someone call his name. He turned and saw that it was one of the survivors calling to him. As they talked, they realized that they had played basketball against each other in high school. Now these two boys each came from a small town in Nebraska (Population approximately 350) about 30 miles apart. How ironic that these two sailors came together in te middle of the Pacific Ocean to remember better times and, for a few minutes, escape the horror of war.

  62. Christopher Grant Hamlin says:

    Fiancées’ great uncle was on the Indianapolis, he was a survivor. From the stories I heard, that wasn’t s good thing for him. The protestors wanting free stuff have no idea the price pre-paid for them….. I had the opportunity to hold his service medals, and explain what had happened to these men. Brought tears to my eyes. Very moving.

  63. Marion Harcourt says:

    The movie Jaws grew out of the stories of this sinking. An eleven-year old Florida school boy named Hunter Scott saw the movie, in which Quint retold the story of the USS Indianapolis. With his parent’s encouragement he read about the subject and entered his school History Day competition in 1997. He interviewed survivors, read original material, became convinced the captain was wrongly court-marshialled. The next year, along with the survivors organization (who had been trying to clear McVay’s name) he presented detailed information before a Congressional committee asking for a reversal of McVay’s conviction. Scott’s work, along with that of the Idianapolis survivors, succeeded and a resolution exonerating the Captain was passed by Congress and signed by Clinton in 2000.

  64. Sally A Outen says:

    So tragic that so may perished. I can’t begin to imagine what they endured. I pray the day will come when there will be no more wars.

  65. Jonathan P Alter says:

    What is really tragic, is that distress signals were ignored.

    The troop transport BUCKINGHAM , at the time INDIANAPOLIS was struck – was 60 miles away and heading in the direction of the sinking ship. Two hours later BUCKNGHAM was 40 miles away. These distances were calculated by the BUCKINGHAM officers after news of the INDIANAPOLIS sinking broke out.

    Perhaps…by 5 or 6 AM, the ship was how close to INDIANAPOLIS ?

    My Papa, a Boat Officer on the BUCKINGHAM, was standing watch that night. He told me, weather wise, it was the darkest night he ever saw at sea. Meaning, you could not see anything out there over the ocean.

    As to the signals…I was told by a Coxswain who was on BUCKINGHAM , that the Captain was jittery and thought the signals were a Japanese trick.

  66. kerri horton says:

    My grandfather, Ralph Ellis Underwood, was one of the survivors. My 15 yr old son, Graeme, found a book on the floor of his classroom at school. The name is
    LEFT FOR DEAD, A Young Man’s Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis

    This book chronicles a 12 yr old boy, Hunter Scott, curiosity into the sinking of this ship. Hunter ends up interviewing the last hundred or so survivors and inadvertently starts a process of healing for all generations involved. It’s a must read! I’ve posted a picture of the book and the trailer to the movie starring Nicolas Cage as McVay, coming out November 11, 2016.

    • kerri horton says:

      this link isn’t working….but the two links I was trying to post are posted below by Donald…..thank Donald!

  67. Donald says:

    For those folks who still have enough interest in the Indy to continue monitoring this thread, I now provide a link to a 4-minute YouTube video of Robert Shaw’s mesmerizing monologue from the movie Jaws about the tragic ordeal of the men coping with the sharks. Although there are a few details that are not quite right, the piece is chilling, given it is mostly true. (BTW, the video may begin with a brief advertisement.)


  68. Donald says:

    And here is a link to a 3-minute YouTube video having the trailer for the upcoming movie about the Indy starring Nicholas Cage. (Again, there will be a brief advertisement at the beginning):

  69. john kennedy says:

    i am english and have always known the story of the indianappolis and am proud that my nans cousin ALLEN CHARLES STRICH WO2 and a radioman 2nd class served and died on her.we do not know if he was killed in the torpedo attack or in the water.during th e war there was a three way correspondence between my nan and her family in the US and Australia.all famillies fought but sadly on the US side cousins were killed at PEARL HARBOR andTARAWA but we have no details of them but a post war letter mentioned ALLEN and HIS cousin LYLE who was killed at vella levellas in the solomons .we had dates of death their mothers names and grandp;arents but no surnames.luckily thanks to the indianapplois forum and the us military attache in London i have confirmed that Allens surname was streich and lyles was Weidner as was our cousin Ralph who stayed with the family while flying in the 8th Air force.We are and have always been proud of them.the letter from Allens aunt gertrude stated that Allen had been in 10 major actions and on his last leave prior to sailing to Tinian had a premonition that he wouldnt return.his father also drowned accidentally on 15 jun 1947 in mishawaka indiana. the families lost contact in the 1950’s but i have traced our australian family but sadly cannot contact the streichs or weidners.the saddest thing is our cousin GERTRUDE GEHIKE gave us all the info that helped us trace Allen and Lyle,and who gave us allher details including addresses and dates of birth for herselfher husband and her children cant be traced outside of the 1920 chicago census.if anyone could put me in touch with her children rex who joined the US COAST GUARD in 1948,ruth,george and mary louise i would be deeply grateful and can fill them in on their English roots.also if Ralph Weidner has any surviving relatives it would be great to hear from them.please contact me JOHN KENNEDY on [email protected].

  70. David Corbin says:

    Read “In Harms Way”. Solid account of the Indianapolis & her crew; before during & after the sinking. You won’t put it down. On a footnote. In the movie Jaws Quint played by legendary actor Robert Shaw erroneously gives the date of the sinking as June 29, 1945. “Anyway…… We delivered the bomb”