Public Square

U.S.S. Indianapolis

On my first trip to Europe alone, I sat next to the wife of a serviceman, who was stationed overseas, and whom she was going to Spain to see. 

We chatted for a good portion of the flight, and she offered me the best travel advice, I have ever been given.  “You will not see everything you want or should; but do not worry, you will be back.”

I have applied her philosophy to my travel life; I always assume if I miss something this time, I will catch it next time.  It is a belief which has served me well. 

The first time I tried to see the U.S.S. Indianapolis memorial; we got lost and ended up in what looked like a sketchy area, late at night.  As there was no parking lot, readily available, I decided I would see it next time.  I am so glad I did.

On a particularly bright day, before covid-19, with the aid of GPS, we went in search of the memorial, and found it!

From Wikipedia:

“USS Indianapolis (CL/CA-35) was a Portland-class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, named for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Launched in 1931, the vessel served as the flagship for the commander of Scouting Force 1 for eight years, then as flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruance in 1943 and 1944 while he commanded the Fifth Fleet in battles across the Central Pacific during World War II.

In July 1945, Indianapolis completed a top-secret high-speed trip to deliver parts of Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever used in combat, to the United States Army Air Force Base on the island of Tinian, and subsequently departed for the Philippines on training duty. At 0015 on 30 July, the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship.[4] The remaining 890 faced exposuredehydrationsaltwater poisoning, and shark attacks while stranded in the open ocean with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. The Navy only learned of the sinking four days later, when survivors were spotted by the crew of a PV-1 Ventura on routine patrol. Only 316 survived.[4] The sinking of Indianapolis resulted in the greatest single loss of life at sea from a single ship in the history of the US Navy.[a]

On 19 August 2017, a search team financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen located the wreckage of the sunken cruiser in the Philippine Sea lying at a depth of approximately 18,000 ft (5,500 m).[5] On 20 December 2018, the crew of the Indianapolis was collectively awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.”

I so loved the way these people were looking at the memorial, reading the list of the sailors who served on the ship, during the final sailing. 

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