The Portland class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis set out on a secret mission on July 16, 1945, under the command of Captain Charles Butler McVay III. She was delivering “Little Boy” to the Pacific island of Tinian, the atomic bomb which would later be dropped on Hiroshima.
Indianapolis made her delivery on July 26, arriving at Guam two days later and then heading for Leyte to take part in the planned invasion of Japan. She was expected to arrive on the 31st.
The Japanese submarine I-58, Captain Mochitsura Hashimoto commanding, fired a spread of six torpedoes at the cruiser, two striking Indianapolis’ starboard bow at fourteen minutes past midnight on Monday, July 30. The damage was massive. Within 12 minutes, the 584-foot, 9,950-ton vessel had rolled over, gone straight up by the stern, and sunk beneath the waves.
About 300 of Indianapolis’ 1,196-member crew were killed outright…
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