The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis.
The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine just after midnight. The blast was so powerful it split the ship and sunk it in about 12 minutes; there were 1,196 men on board.
The ship went down halfway between Guam and Leyte Gulf in shark infested waters. There were 300 men trapped inside who never made it out, 900 men made it into the water, but only 317 men survived.
Help did not arrive until 4 days later, when an anti-submarine plane spotted the men in the water on August 2nd. Why did the United States withhold information of this horrific event until August 15th?
On July 26, 1945 the USS Indianapolis completed their mission by delivering the cargo on board to Tinian Island a US air base in the south pacific. The mission was so secret that the crew didn’t even know what the cargo was. What was the cargo and why was it so secret?
August 6, 1945 just four days after the 317 survivors were taken to Guam, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan. The bomb destroyed better than 60 percent of the city, killing over 130,000 people. On August 9, 1945 the United States dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki Japan.
On July 26, 1945 the USS Indianapolis delivered the parts to assemble the first atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima. Their mission was complete and the ship was returning to Guam when they were torpedoed. The sinking of the Indianapolis is the greatest single loss of life at sea in US Naval history.
The government withheld this tragedy because they didn’t want this news to be more important than the President’s announcement of the surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945.
Do we really believe this to be true? This writer believes the government withheld the story because they could not risk information leaking as to what the mission was.
Wait there is more to this story; Captain Charles McVay was court-martialed in November of 1945. The charges were failing to sail a zigzag pattern to avoid enemy submarines. McVay is the only Captain to be court-martialed for loosing a ship, and in 1968 McVay committed suicide.
Congress cleared his name in 2000, 55 years later.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR. SAM MONACO