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The USS Indianapolis - Jaws

No better speech, dialouge, or statement could every truly present the horror that was one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the US Navy like this one.

"On 30 July 1945, shortly after delivering critical parts for the first atomic bomb to be used in combat to the United States air base at Tinian, the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, sinking in 12 minutes. Of 1,196 crew aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remaining crew of 800 faced exposure, dehydration and shark attacks as they waited for assistance while floating with no lifeboats and almost no food or water. The Navy only learnt of the sinking when survivors were spotted by accident four days later. Only 316 sailors survived. Indianapolis was one of the last US Navy ships sunk by enemy action in World War II. (USS Bullhead was attacked by Japanese aircraft with depth charges and probably sunk on 6 August 1945.)"

After major repairs and an overhaul, Indianapolis received orders to proceed to Tinian island, carrying parts and the Uranium for the atomic bomb Little Boy which would later be dropped on Hiroshima. Indianapolis departed San Francisco on 16 July. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 19 July, she raced on unaccompanied, reaching Tinian on 26 July. Indianapolis was then sent to Guam where a number of the crew who had completed their tours of duty were replaced by other sailors. Leaving Guam on 28 July, she began sailing toward Leyte where her crew was to receive training before continuing on to Okinawa to join Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's Task Force 95. At 0014 on 30 July, she was struck by two torpedoes from Japanese submarine I-58 under the command of Mochitsura Hashimoto. The explosions caused massive damage, causing Indianapolis to sink in just 12 minutes. The Japanese submarine had gone undetected prior to the attack due to the lack of effective submarine detection equipment on the American ship.

About 300 of the 1,196 men on board died in the sinking. The rest of the crew, 880 men, with few lifeboats and many without lifejackets, floated in the water awaiting rescue. However, the Navy command had no knowledge of the sinking until survivors were spotted four and a half days later, at 1025 on 2 August by pilot Lieutenant Wilbur (Chuck) Gwinn and copilot Lieutenant Warren Colwell on a routine patrol flight. Only 321 crew came out of the water alive, with 316 ultimately surviving. They suffered from lack of food and water (some found rations such as Spam and crackers amongst the debris), exposure to the elements (hypothermia, dehydration, hypernatremia, photophobia, starvation and dementia), severe desquamation, and shark attacks, while some of the men killed one another in various states of delirium and hallucinations. The Discovery Channel has stated that the Indianapolis sinking resulted in the most shark attacks on humans in history, and attributes the attacks to the oceanic whitetip shark species. The same show attributed most of the deaths on Indianapolis to exposure, salt poisoning and thirst, with the dead being dragged off by sharks.

Gwinn immediately dropped a life raft and a radio transmitter. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once. A PBY Catalina seaplane under the command of Lieutenant R. Adrian Marks was dispatched to lend assistance and report. En route to the scene, Marks overflew Cecil J. Doyle and alerted her captain, future US Secretary of the Navy W. Graham Claytor, Jr., of the emergency. On his own authority, Claytor decided to divert to the scene.

Arriving hours ahead of Doyle, Marks' crew began dropping rubber rafts and supplies. Having seen men being attacked by sharks, Marks disobeyed standard orders and landed on the open sea. He began taxiing to pick up the stragglers and lone swimmers who were at the greatest risk of shark attack. Learning the men were the crew of Indianapolis, he radioed the news, requesting immediate assistance. Doyle responded she was en route. When Marks' plane's fuselage was full, survivors were tied to the wings with parachute cord, damaging the wings so that the plane would never fly again and had to be sunk. Marks and his crew rescued 56 men that day.

USS Cecil Doyle was the first vessel on the scene. Homing on Marks' Catalina in total darkness, Doyle halted to avoid killing or further injuring survivors, and began taking Marks' survivors aboard. Disregarding the safety of his own vessel, Captain Claytor pointed his largest searchlight into the night sky to serve as a beacon for other rescue vessels. This beacon was the first indication to most survivors that rescuers had arrived.

The USS Helm, USS Madison and USS Ralph Talbot were ordered to the rescue scene from Ulithi, along with USS Dufilho, USS Bassett and USS Ringness from the Philippine Frontier. They searched thoroughly for any survivors until 8 August"

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Added: Feb-17-2010 
By: Guvnor
In:
Other, Other
Tags: uss indianapolis, world war 2, ww2, atomic bomb, shark attack, jaws, navy
Views: 13801 | Comments: 17 | Votes: 3 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • "Farewell and adieu to you fair spanish ladies, farewell and adieu you ladies of spain, for we've received orders to sail back to Boston, and so never more shall we see you again."

    -Nice upload Guv, hope all is well with you.

    Posted Feb-17-2010 By 

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  • My all time favorite movie!!!!

    Thanks for posting Guvnor!

    Posted Feb-17-2010 By 

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  • and now...show me the way to go home

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  • Im surprised Spielberg never made this movie. I love jaws, I love this scene especially.


    did you ever see "duel" spielberg movie about a guy in a little red car being chased around the mountainside by a crazed trucker in an 18 wheeler. anyways when he got the script for jaws spielberg was stated as saying "I already made this movie, this is duel" when you watch em side by side there are tremendous similiarities, both good flicks.

    Posted Feb-17-2010 By 

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    • Spielberg directed it

      Posted Feb-17-2010 By 

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    • good flik duel

      Posted Feb-17-2010 By 

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    • lol I know..

      yeah duel was really good, even the hero is a man who is less that butch, in the opening scene of duel dennis weaver is on the phone with his wife who he is driving home to and she is yelling at him and he just lets her, its kind of like the same spinelessness that runs through chief brodies character in jaws, his fear of the water, the way the mayor runs his business, the 'gonna need a bigger boat' makes me think of the little red car in duel. even the sound effect from when the More..

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    • I mean I wonder why speilberg never directed "U.S.S Indianapolis" it has tragedy, it has nationalism, it deals with world war 2 already a subject he is interested in. it would require a master of special effects who also understood when to be solemn and when to make a popcorn movie (example of how to ruin solemn see 'pearl harbor') He could even cast Tom Hanks in it again..why not?

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  • "You're gonna need a bigger boat"

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  • Thanks Guvnor - - - also to the men of the USS Indianapolis ! ! !

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  • Classic movie,thanks for the post.

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  • great scene!

    Posted Feb-18-2010 By 

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  • They didn't zigzag like they were supposed to.They just set a straight course thinking they were safe with being so secretive and all.I think the skipper even committed suicide over it,getting all the blame and shit.

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  • Only thing on par with this is Michael Douglas' "Greed is good" speech.

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  • One of the best scenes from a great movie. Thanks.

    Posted Feb-18-2010 By 

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  • LOL Im such a dumbass I saw uss indianapolis - jews.
    so I watched and I read and Im thinking what is this guy on about?
    Then I looked at the title again and thought I am such a retard!
    LOL good stuff doyle what happened to the survivors of the indy was horrific.

    Posted Feb-17-2010 By 

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  • There aren't enough words in our vocabularies to describe how much that would fukin suck.

    Posted Feb-16-2012 By 

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