Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
Sources

Rescue Documents from "Action Reports Western Carolines," NARA II, RG38/370/44/20/5, Box 80 and COMINCH Chart Room, Pacific Dispatches NARA II, RG 38/370/10/25/04, Box 83.

Topic
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

Rescue Operations 

Links to Primary Source Pages 

Painting by Navy Combat Artist Alexander Russo of Ambulance being loaded with Indianapolis survivors at Peleliu Base Hospital No. 20 (NHHC Art Section).
Painting by Navy Combat Artist Alexander Russo of Ambulance being loaded with Indianapolis survivors at Peleliu Base Hospital No. 20 (NHHC Art Section).

The collection of documents that follows provides a picture of how the rescue operations for USS Indianapolis survivors unfolded—from the accidental discovery of survivors in an oil slick on 2 August, through reports on survivors in Base Hospital No. 20 (Peleliu) on 6 August.  The initial rescue ship dispatches impart the urgency of the event.  While the Navy’s rescue was delayed due to failure of reporting Indianapolis’s non-arrival in Leyte, once initiated, participants in the rescue mission showed great initiative, bravery, and efficiency.  The documents summarizing the rescue operations particularly show how well the Navy’s surface and air components coordinated to get survivors out of the water.  Readers of the following documents will also get an understanding of the ordeal Indianapolis’s survivors went through and the devastating loss of life incurred.

Published:Tue Apr 11 12:58:22 EDT 2017