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Indianapolis : the true story of the worst sea disaster in U.S. naval history and the fifty-year fight to exonerate an innocent man
Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, the USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese to... Full description
Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, the USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive. For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated. Following a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewitnesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own. The survivors fight for fifty years on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. The courtroom drama weaves through generations of American presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and forever entwines the lives of three captains: McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis, who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain.
578 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 475-540) and index.
Sara Vladic, an acclaimed documentary filmmaker, is one of the world's leading experts on the USS Indianapolis , having become obsessed with the story at the age of thirteen. Over the next two decades, Vladic met and interviewed 108 of the ship's survivors, and in 2016 she released an award-winning documentary film on the disaster, USS Indianapolis: The Legacy. She has published new research on Indianapolis in Proceedings , the official journal of the US Navy, and appeared as an expert commentator on PBS's USS Indianapolis: Live from the Deep , which explored the ship's wreckage. She and her husband, Ben, live in San Marcos, California.