The final days of WWII were fought with a ferocious intensity on from Japan as they struggled to maintain ground. Americans forces pressed ahead towards the mainland and were met with desperate assaults from the Imperial Japanese Navy. One of those attacks led to the destruction of the USS Indianapolis and one of the most horrific ordeals faced by the US Navy at the time. After sitting at the bottom of the Pacific for 72 years the remains of the USS Indianapolis have finally been located.
The USS Indianapolis met her fate on July, 30th 1945 shortly after delivering essential parts for the atomic bomb she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. It took 12 minutes for the heavy cruiser to sink, while the 1,200 crewmen fled for their lives. Many of them escaped but no distress signal was sent out forcing them into a far worse fate. What followed were days of exposure to the sun, dehydration, and shark attacks as they clung on for dear life. Only 312 members of the crew survived to tell the tale and the USS Indianapolis was never seen again, until now.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has a passion for WWII history and leads many expeditions to find lost relics of the war. It seems like if there is a lost ship the Paul G. Allen Foundation will find it and the USS Indianapolis is their latest discovery. The R/V vessel Petrel discovered the wreckage 5,500 down in the Philippine Sea.
“As Americans, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the crew for their courage, persistence and sacrifice in the face of horrendous circumstances. While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming.”
– Paul Allen
The exact location of the vessel remains classified because it is still the property of the US Navy and the Paul G. Allen Foundation complies with their rules. But you can take a look at its wreckage from USS Indianapolis for the first time in 72 years.