View Full Version : U.S.S Indianapolis

04-11-2007, 08:49 PM
I just finished reading "In Harm's Way" by author Doug Stanton,This is the true story of Americas worst Naval disaster in recent history.
I first heard of this event 30yrs ago when watching the movie "JAWS" it sparked some interest then but,the movie basicaly took over.
I would encourage anyone interested in WWII Naval operations to seek out this amazing story of the survivors of The "INDY"

04-11-2007, 09:09 PM
I have read about the Indianapolis as well. The story of this ship, her crew and the captain reminds you that not all casualties of war take place during war time. Very sad.

04-11-2007, 10:19 PM
Wasn't the captain posthumously exhonerated recently? As I remember, it was because a high school kid saw Jaws and then contacted the survivors as part of his research for his National History Day project.

04-11-2007, 10:52 PM
Yes Skycat 2,Capt.McVay was exhonerated in 2000,unfortunitaly the capt commited suicide in 1968 because of self guilt and haunting memories of the 880 crew that perished.

04-12-2007, 04:26 PM
And there are some who believed that the Indy was sunk by " Kaitens " which the I-58 was reportedly carrying..explaining why she went down quickly .

04-13-2007, 11:03 AM
On the recent Discovery Channel documentary, the former CO of I-58 was interviewed, and he stated that he fired 6 torpedoes at the Indy, at very close range.

According to one of the surviving crew members, who was also interviewed on this show, the bow was blown off and the failure of all electrical systems and the sound-powered telephone circuits, prevented the bridge from contacting engineering to order the engines stopped.

According to the same crewmember, the ship just kept plowing ahead and scooped-up water until she started to rapidly sink by the bow (estimates by this crewman is she sank in approximately 10 minutes).

Another surviving crewman also stated that the screws were still turning as she went down, and many of the crew members jumping from the stern struck the propellers as they tried to escape the sinking ship. This would appear to agree with the other survivors estimate of the situation.

There was no mention by the CO of the I-58 that "Kaitens" were used.

04-13-2007, 04:53 PM

04-13-2007, 09:27 PM
In the book"In Harms Way"they acknowledge that Kaitens[humans in torpedoes]were aboard I-58 but they were not needed,The Indy was basicly defenseless against sub attacks,she had no Destroyer escorts[with sub hunting capabilities]she was on her way back from a top secret mission[she had just delivered the components for A-bomb Little Boy to the island of Tinian

What really bothers me is on the night she was hit July 30 1945,she did in fact get off 2 S.O.S destress signals,and at least 1 was aknowledged with rescue ships chargeing off to her last location but because of some confusion they were called back!!!The men of the INDY were left to fight off the sharks for 5 days and nights until help finaly arrived.

04-15-2007, 02:45 AM
I saw the program too on the dsc channel. I just don't understand why they sealed off all the hatches leaving the men to die, only to abandon the ship later.

04-15-2007, 12:03 PM
I saw the program too on the dsc channel. I just don't understand why they sealed off all the hatches leaving the men to die, only to abandon the ship later.

Because that is what you do when a ship is in danger, seal everything up to try to keep the ship as watertight as possible. Yes, it is a horrible decision to make, but generally, if you sacrifice watertight integrity (at least that which you have left) to try to save a few more men, you will just end up sinking the ship faster and killing more people in the long run.