Survivor Recalls the USS Indianapolis Sinking

Edgar Harrell recalls his remarkable experiences on the USS Indianapolis.  The USS Indianapolis (CL/CA-35) was a Portland-class cruiser of the United States Navy. She was named for the city of Indianapolis, IN

She was the flagship of Admiral Raymond Spruance while he commanded the Fifth Fleet  in battles across the Central Pacific. Her sinking led to the greatest single loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy. On 30 July 1945, after delivering parts for the first atomic bomb 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 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship.

The remaining 900 faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater and shark attacks while floating with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. The Navy learned of the sinking when survivors were spotted four days later by the crew of a PV-1 Ventura on routine patrol. Only 317 survived.

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