One of the most memorable scenes in the movie “Jaws” was when Quint, after comparing battle scars with Hooper (what guy is not proud of his body scars?), recounts his personal survival tale in the sinking of the USS Indianapolis (you can find that scene on youtube), chilling.
Most guys are familiar with the USS Indianapolis story, a remarkable story. After a top secret mission to deliver the unassembled parts of the atomic bomb to the island of Tinian (The American airfield where it was loaded onto a B-29 superfortress and dropped on Japan), it was later torpedoed on return to the Philippines. Sinking in 12 minutes, most survivors did not have life jackets. 5 days later what was left of the survivors were rescued by a spotter plane who by blind luck was in the area.
About 5 years ago I read In Harms Way, not only a must read for any history buff, but a book that will honestly scare the bejesus out of you and keep you up at night.
So it was with great interest that I read just the other day that the USS Indianapolis has at last been found;
300 sailors are still entombed in the wreckage. I suspect that the ship will be given the grace and respect afforded to others, like the USS Arizona but it will be interesting to see what film footage the finders can capture as they explore the wreckage.
As an aside, about 10 years ago I read the biography of Admiral Ernest King, the alter ego of George Marshall, but on the Navy side. A real SOB, it was his call to court martial the ships captain (The only captain in WW2 court martial-led for losing his ship). He wanted this guy so bad that he had aides fly to Japan, find the Japanese captain of the submarine that sank the ship, fly him to Pearl, and testify. But this backfired when the sub captain testified that the weather conditions were ideal, there was nothing the ship commander could do, and it was an impossibility to miss the shot.
Sadly, the ship captain received a constant barrage of letters from loved ones who died, blaming him for the deaths, and he took his own life in 1968.