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 U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial

U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial

Birth
Death 30 Jul 1945
Burial Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 10210 · View Source
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The U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial was established to honor the men of the USS Indianapolis, both those who died and those who survived four days in shark infested waters after the ship was sunk by a Japanese Submarine in WWII. An experiential reference to the Indianapolis was made by "Quint," the character portrayed by actor Robert Shaw in the movie "Jaws." The survivors continue to seek justice for the ship's late captain who was shamefully court-martialed. A few days after departing from Tinian Island where it delivered key components of the atomic bomb dropped by the Enola Gay on Hiroshima, the Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,196 men on board, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remainder, about 900 men, were left floating in shark infested waters with no lifeboats and most with no food or water. The ship was never missed, and by the time the survivors were spotted by accident four days later, only 316 men went on to survive. The ship's captain, the late Charles Butler McVay III, survived and was court-martialed and convicted of "hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag" despite overwhelming evidence that the Navy itself had placed the ship in harm's way,despite testimony from the Japanese submarine commander that zigzagging would have made no difference, and despite that fact that, although 700 navy ships were lost in combat in WWII, McVay was the only captain to be court-martialed. Recently declassified material adds to the evidence that McVay was a scapegoat for the mistakes of others. On October 30th 2000, President Bill Clinton and the 106th United States Congress, posthumously exonerated Captain Charles B. McVay III, and his naval record was expunged of any wrong doing by Secretary of the Navy, Gordon R. England, in July 2001. On August 20th, 2017, the wreck of the USS Indianapolis was found, 18000 ft (5.5km) at the bottom of the Philippine Sea.

Bio by: Warrick L. Barrett


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 28 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10210
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial (unknown–30 Jul 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10210, citing U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .