USS Indianapolis (CA-35) – 30 July 1945


This reminds me that there are so many similar stories behind pretty well every ex-serviceman’s memories of WWII whether they flew, marched or sailed. Their bravery and gallantry can never be doubted, which is more than can be said for those who manipulated the strings that made the ‘puppets’ dance to the wishes of bureaucracy.

This is but one, though a huge and disgraceful example, of onlookers being credited with more power than they deserved. We are only just coming to terms with the fact that theatres of war – wherever and whenever – take their toll on the combatants – our serving young people, and, to our shame, there have never been sufficient strategies in place to safeguard their best interests.

This attitude is changing, thanks to those who are no longer afraid to speak out and be seen with their war-wounds when they participate in the specially inaugurated ‘Invicta Games’. it is time we looked with pride on their ‘war-wounds’ and stopped looking the other way.

Thank you for shining a beacon of light in the right direction

Pacific Paratrooper

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 

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2 comments on “USS Indianapolis (CA-35) – 30 July 1945

  1. GP Cox says:

    Thank you very much, Maureen, for helping me to share this history.

    Like

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