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The Sinking of USS Indianapolis

The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 15 November 1932. The ship served with honor from Pearl Harbor through the last campaign of World War II, sinking in action two weeks before the end of the war. On 30 July 1945, while sailing from Guam to Leyte, Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58. The ship capsized and sank in twelve minutes. Survivors were spotted by a patrol aircraft on 2 August. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once, and the surrounding waters were thoroughly searched for survivors. Upon completion of the day and night search on 8 August, 316 men were rescued out of the crew of 1,199.

Related Resources:

Boyd, Carl. "Attacking the Indianapolis: A Re-examination." Warship International 13, no.1 (1976): 15-25.

Brown, Chip. "Terror of Shark and Sea, 35 Years After." Washington Post ( 6 Aug. 1980): E1-E3.

Burlingame, Burl. "Historian: McVay Didn't Have Spy Data." Honolulu Star Bulletin ( 4 Nov. 1993).

Ethridge, Kenneth E. "The Agony of the Indianapolis." American Heritage 33, no.5 (Aug.-Sep. 1982): 81-96.

Haynes, Lewis L. and George W. Campbell. "We Prayed While 883 Died." Saturday Evening Post ( 6 Aug. 1955): 28-29,76,78,80.

Helm, Thomas. Ordeal By Sea: The Tragedy of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1963. OCLC 1349965. [Includes final sailing list with survivors indicated.]

Kurzman, Dan. Fatal Voyage: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis. New-York: Atheneum, 1990. OCLC 20824775.

Lech, Raymond B. All the Drowned Sailors. New York: Stein and Day, 1982. OCLC 8668901.

Moore, Katherine D. Goodbye, Indy Maru: A Navy Wife Remembers. Knoxville TN: Lori Publications, 1991.

Mueller, Michael "Lost at Sea." American History Illustrated 20, no.4 (Jun. 1985): 28-35.

"Navy Reports on Court Martial and Gives Account of Indianapolis' Loss." Army and Navy Journal 83, no.27 (2 Mar. 1946): 815, 828, 831.

Newcomb, Richard F. Abandon ship! Death of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. New York: Holt, 1958. OCLC 173257, 2177577.

_____. "Four Nights of Terror." American Legion 111, no.2 (Aug. 1981): 16-17,40-41.

Norwitz, Steven. "Remembering the Hunger and Thirst, the Sharks and the Screams." Washington Post ( 5 Aug. 1975): B1-B2.

The above books and articles should be available in local libraries, or obtainable through interlibrary loan.


To order a microfilm or fiche copy for the prices indicated on the Naval Historical Center fee schedule, please complete the duplication order form and send an appropriate check or money order payable to Department of the Navy, to the following address:

Operational Archives Branch
Naval Historical Center

805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard
Washington DC 20374-5060

9 February 2001