WWII USS Indianapolis found

WWII USS Indianapolis found

United States Navy heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis  traveling in 1944. Wikimedia Commons.

On August 19, the lost USS Indianapolis ship was found by a search team led by Paul Allen. The ship was found at the bottom of the Philippine Sea after 72 years.

The USS Indianapolis’s last moments were after it delivered components of the atomic bomb, the Little Boy, to the island of Titian which helped end the war. The sinking was a result of being hit by two Japanese submarine torpedoes. Most of the sailors and marines had survived the ship’s sinking in 1945; however, after several days in the freezing water, without hydration and with shark attacks, only 317 survived out of the 800 that had remained.

The sinking of the USS Indianapolis was the most fatal moment in the history of the US Navy. Only a fourth of the total 1,196-member crew onboard survived the sinking and being stranded in the water.

“It’s amazing how one person could assemble a search team and actually find something that’s been at the bottom of the sea for all these years,” junior business major Joe Suppa said.

Allen’s search team found the wreckage of the ship by studying research from a naval historian which pointed to a region of the sea where the ship had been seen before its final moments. There were only 13 people in Allen’s search team that found the ship 18,000 feet beneath the surface.

Paul Allen tweeted about uncovering the USS Indianapolis.

Allen, after finding the USS Indianapolis, went to Twitter to break the news to the public. He then later shared photos of the ships wreckage that included an anchor and bell.

“Finding the ship was one of many of the survivors and their families’ goals,” Maria Bullard, the daughter of the now-deceased survivor Harold Eck and chair of the USS Indianapolis Second Watch Organization, said in a statement.

Families who had lost loved ones from this were skeptical finding out from social media, as it was a sensitive subject and this was their relatives’ final resting place.

“I can definitely see it being a sensitive subject and to find out from social media must be rough,” Alyssa Scott, junior accounting major, said. “You don’t know if anything is true from social media in today’s world,” 

The search party has continued working with the Navy to make plans for the remaining 22 USS Indianapolis crew survivors and family members. They have been searching the site of the ship and they have announced plans to schedule a live tour of the wreckage in the next few weeks.