Thursday, July 30, 2009

U.S.S. Indianapolis

Today is Thursday, 30 July 2009.

On 26 July 1945, the U.S.S. Indianapolis (CA-35), a Portland-class cruiser, delivered the cores of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs to Tinian Island in the Pacific, from whence they were delivered to their targets.

On this date in 1945, the Indianapolis was torpedoed, sinking in 12 minutes, carrying approximately 300 men with her. The remainder of the crew of 1,196 was stranded in shark-infested waters. Through incompetence and malfeasance, the SOS was ignored. Only by chance did a patrol plane on 2 August spot the survivors, numbering 321.

More sailors perished than in any other event of the U.S. Navy.

Several years ago, at the Hobby Lobby store at 51st and Harvard in Tulsa, I bought, on sale, which perhaps tells us something, a scale model of the Indianapolis. Most of the year, it resides on a shelf in the Family Room, which, I suppose, since the TV is there located, might also be called, in the spirit of our times, the “TV Room”. Each year, from this date to 9 August, it is moved to a place of memory in the middle of the room.

In memory of all victims of the First Atomic War.

Note: the character of Quint, the professional shark hunter in Jaws, played by Robert Shaw, is a survivor of the Indianapolis.


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