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65 Years ago today

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  • 65 Years ago today

    On this date 65 years ago the crew of the USS Indianapolis experienced a torpedo attack which sent over 800 men into Shark infested waters. I'm posting this more as a remembrance for those lost and rescued at sea.

    You might remember the monologue seen in the movie Jaws:

    Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte... just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by looking from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know, was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin', so we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it was kinda like old squares in the battle like you see in the calendar named "The Battle of Waterloo" and the idea was: shark comes to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be living... until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and they... rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon, the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He swung in low and he saw us... he was a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come in low and three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and starts to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened... waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, July the 30th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
    Last edited by Delta*RandyShugart*; 07-30-2010, 09:59 PM.
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  • #2
    Re: 65 Years ago today

    Good Post..
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder where did I put my keys?


    • #3
      Re: 65 Years ago today

      Need to kind of take a second to really consider the enormity of it. 880 go into the water, 317 come out.

      Long time to be in the water, wondering if you're next to be taken under.


      • #4
        Re: 65 Years ago today

        I read a book about this. It was the account of the ordeal from several different perspectives. It was so crazy. What you failed to mention in your post was that by the time they were heading home the bombs had been dropped and the war had been officially declared over. And yet the submarine still sank their ship - AFTER the cease fire had been declared. . . Now aint that some sh**.
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