A Special Warship Wednesday
Pausing our regular coverage to acknowledge the 75th anniversary of the tragic loss of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, a vessel we have covered in past Warship Wednesdays.
WASHINGTON (NNS) — Today, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday sent a message to the fleet asking for a moment of silence on July 29, between 11:03 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. EDT, to honor the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis (CA 35).
Below is the text of his message:
“On July 30, 1945, just three minutes after midnight, the heavy cruiser USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA 35) was struck by two Japanese torpedoes in the dark of night while conducting a solo transit of the Philippine Sea. Despite their best efforts, the ship went down in 12 short minutes. While around 900 of the 1,195-member crew escaped the ship that night, tragically only 316 were rescued.
While much is written about the crews four harrowing days in the waters of the Pacific waiting to be found with few lifeboats, over-exposure to the elements, and almost no food or water, one thing is certain: those brave Sailors and Marines endured impossible hardships by banding together. And we must do the same today.
So, I ask you to pause and take a moment on July 29, between 11:03 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. EDT, to remember the brave Sailors and Marines of INDIANAPOLIS. Remember their courage and devotion to each other in the face of the most severe adversity. Remember their valor in combat and the role they played in ending the most devastating war in history. Honor their memory and draw strength from their legacy.
America. Has. A. Great. Navy. Our nation counts on you and so do I. Never more proud to be your CNO.”
The current USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) held their own ceremony in Mayport last week.
Finally, Congress has presented the Indy’s crew with a Congressional Gold Medal for their service. (Nevermind Nancy)