The Legacy of the USS Indianapolis

The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) on station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1937.

The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) on station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1937.

The USS Indianapolis (CA-35), was sunk on this day sixty-nine years ago. As a former sailor myself, just thinking about what the Indy’s crew went through in the coming days after having their ship sunk from underneath them, still gives me shivers.

Also, I have never understood how the Navy held Captain McVay responsible for the loss of his ship and the majority of his crew due to enemy action. “He didn’t zigzag enough or at all,” is such a horrible and almost laughable charge, if it wasn’t so tragic in the end for McVay, who blamed himself for the tragedy for rest of his life. The article by Captain (retired) William J. Toti, does a great job explaining why McVay was court-martialed and why the entire debacle was unfair. The surviving crew of the Indy sought justice for their captain for years, whose earthly torment only ended with his suicide in 1966.

Captain Charles McVay

Captain Charles McVay

Legacy of the USS Indianapolis

Survivors from the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), onboard the USS Bassett (APD-73) after being rescued.

Survivors from the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), onboard the USS Bassett (APD-73) after being rescued.

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3 comments on “The Legacy of the USS Indianapolis

  1. John D Carter, DSC(SW/AW) USN (RET) says:

    Even today, the DOD is always looking for a scapgoat. I remember when the USS Interprise went aground in San Francisco Bay. Even though the PILOT was at fault, the CO took it in the shorts.

  2. Very good site. Thanks for posting it.

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