USS Indianapolis (CA 35)
Heavy cruiser of the Portland class
|Navy||The US Navy|
|Built by||New York Shipbuilding Corp. (Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A.)|
|Laid down||31 Mar 1930|
|Launched||7 Nov 1931|
|Commissioned||15 Nov 1932|
|Lost||30 Jul 1945|
|Loss position||12° 02'N, 134° 48'E|
This was one of the more famous losses of the war, made into many made-for-TV movies/shows. She was returning from Tinian after delivering top-secret nuclear-weapon components for dropping on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One of the more sensitive missions in the war.
She was sunk by Japanese submarine I-58 (offsite link) (Lt.Cdr. Mochitsura Hashimoto, later promoted to Commander for the same attack) in the Philippine Sea in position 12º02'N, 134º48'E. The men were not missed until 2 August (she was to return to Leyte on 31 July) and aircraft on routine flight spotted the survivors in the water on that day. Rescue operations did not complete until 8 August.
Only 316 survived from her crew of 1199 officers and men.
Commands listed for USS Indianapolis (CA 35)
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|1||John Morris Smeallie, USN||15 Nov 1932||10 Dec 1934 (1)|
|2||Capt. Henry Kent Hewitt, USN||16 Mar 1936||5 Jun 1937 (1)|
|3||Capt. Thomas Cassin Kinkaid, USN||5 Jun 1937||1 Jul 1937 (1)|
|4||John Franklin Shafroth, Jr., USN||1 Jul 1938|
|5||Capt. Edward William Hanson, USN||1941||Aug 1942 (1)|
|6||Morton Lyndholm Deyo, USN||11 Jul 1942||12 Jan 1943|
|7||Captain Nicholas Vytlacil, USN||12 Jan 1943||30 Jul 1943|
|8||Einar Reynolds Johnson, USN||30 Jul 1943||18 Nov 1944|
|9||Capt. Charles Butler McVay, III, USN||18 Nov 1944||30 Jul 1945|
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Notable events involving Indianapolis include:
At the time of her sinking the ships commanding officer Captain McVay was blamed for her loss and the loss of so many men. But information was withheld from Cpt. McVay about submarine activity in the area and especially about how navy policies at the time precluded the navy from even realizing the ship was lost for days. In one of the most shameful episodes in maritime history US Navy brass tried to make him a scapegoat for their own failures in procedure and omission. By now history has exonerated Cpt. McVay. (2)
31 Mar 1945
Seriously Damaged by Japanese Kamikaze off Okinawa.9 of her crew were killed and 26 were wounded.
30 Jul 1945
She was hit by two torpedoes at 12:05 am, one blowing off most of her bow, where the officers slept. About 900 of the 1,196 on board survived the sinking, which lasted 12 minutes. 316 would later survive the dehydration, the sharks, and the heat. The ships commanding officer, Capt. McVay survived, only to commit suicide in 1968 by reasons of receiving hate mail. The survivors attend a reunion every 5 years, starting in 1960. (2)
- Personal communication