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(AP)   Sacrifice: USS Indianapolis survivors are attending their last big reunion. Thirty-eight of the 317 men who survived the ship's July 1945 sinking and five days in the Pacific's shark-infested waters are still alive   (hosted.ap.org) divider line 101
    More: Hero, USS Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Pacific, Indianapolis survivors, U.S. Naval, loading  
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4049 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Aug 2013 at 3:23 PM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-03 10:12:50 AM
Anyway,  they delivered the bomb.

fare well,  gentlemen.
 
2013-08-03 12:48:43 PM
I were on the U.S.S. Minneapolis when we ran aground, and the men had to sleep ashore.
Very first light, the hamsters came, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the squares in the old calendars like the Battle o' Waterloo and the idea was the hamster come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and sometimes that hamster he go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away.
Sometimes that hamster looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a hamster is he's got really cute eyes. When he comes at ya, he seems to be actin' cuddly ... 'til he nibbles ya, ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The sand turns red, and despite all your poundin' and your hollerin' those hamsters come in and... they nibble you ever so gradually.
You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men to hamster bites and one to a paper cut fillin' out all the forms about it. I don't know how many hamsters there were, maybe ten, eleven million. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin', Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. Reached over to wake him up. Tapped him on the hand, and then I saw the blood on me own hand. Well, he'd been nibbled, and one of his cuticles was gone completely. Noon the fifth day a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin' for my turn. I'll never go into a pet store again. So, eleven hundred men went onto that beach.
Three hundred and sixteen men come back home with their fingers and arseholes fully intact, the hamsters took the rest.
 
2013-08-03 12:50:46 PM
They should totally have the reunion at a theater showing "Sharknado"
 
2013-08-03 12:56:57 PM
True Heroes
 
2013-08-03 01:39:34 PM
www.thesoundsofhistory.com
 
2013-08-03 02:18:04 PM
I was talking to a friend about Eugene Sledge's book yesterday and I got to thinking how fortunate I am to have been born to a WWII vet and to have grown up around as many as I did. My uncle was USN and was at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, my best friend's Father was wounded at Enewitok, next door neighbor was Army infantry in Europe, three across the street flew Marauders, Mitchells and Super Fortresses. My landlord in college was captured at the fall of Corregedor and spent 4 years in a Japanese POW camp. In my little town I became acquainted with quite a few others...a Lodge Brother that earned a Silver Star as a Marine in the Pacific, one that was Army in the Philippines, a neighbor that flew P40s over Normandy, his Brother that, like my Father, was a USCG combat vet. A few of my customers as well. One that was a navigator on a Flying Fortress that was shot down over France, one that had survived a kamikaze attack in the Pacific and one that  lived through Okinawa as did Sledge. Funny how most of them never really talked much unless asked (one local man who was captured in Phillipsburg, Germany in January 1945 and spent 'only' 5 or so months as a POW absolutely REFUSED to say anything about it to his dying day) and even when they discussed it the common thread was they 'did what had to be done'.

As Stephen Ambrose wrote in Band of Brothers, "They had been kicked around by the Depression, had the scars to show for it. They had grown up, many of them, without enough to eat, with holes in the soles of their shoes, with ragged sweaters and no car and often not a radio. Their educations had been cut short either by the Depression or by the war.
  "Yet with this background, i had and still have a great love for my country," Harry Welch declared forty eight years later. Whatever their legitimate complaints about how life had treated them they had not soured on it or on their country."

Subsequent generations will suffer for not knowing these fine men and women.
 
2013-08-03 03:24:47 PM

Shadow Blasko: Three hundred and sixteen men come back home with their fingers and arseholes fully intact, the hamsters took the rest.


You win the Internet today!
 
2013-08-03 03:25:20 PM
Here's the Indianapolis speech from Jaws.
 
2013-08-03 03:26:41 PM
Wow - ironic that this is the week Discovery Channel picked as 'Shark Week?'
 
2013-08-03 03:27:03 PM
My grandfather was transferred off the Indianapolis just before it got orders for that mission.  Dodged the shark bullet, so to speak.  He passed several years ago, but had a lot of texts and histories about the ship.
 
2013-08-03 03:37:13 PM
Fatal Voyage: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

This is a fantastic book on about the sinking and everything that went wrong for those poor bastards. The author does an excellent job of telling the story from all of the angles, from the Indianapolis crew, the Japanese sub commander that sunk them and the rescue effort.

Shadow Blasko:

i1082.photobucket.com

Dancin_In_Anson: Subsequent generations will suffer for not knowing these fine men and women.


Agreed
 
2013-08-03 03:41:45 PM
Sharks can live up to a century, and let us not forget the brave men of IJN I-58!! A lot more than 317 survive.
 
2013-08-03 03:43:27 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: I was talking to a friend about Eugene Sledge's book yesterday and I got to thinking how fortunate I am to have been born to a WWII vet and to have grown up around as many as I did. My uncle was USN and was at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, my best friend's Father was wounded at Enewitok, next door neighbor was Army infantry in Europe, three across the street flew Marauders, Mitchells and Super Fortresses. My landlord in college was captured at the fall of Corregedor and spent 4 years in a Japanese POW camp. In my little town I became acquainted with quite a few others...a Lodge Brother that earned a Silver Star as a Marine in the Pacific, one that was Army in the Philippines, a neighbor that flew P40s over Normandy, his Brother that, like my Father, was a USCG combat vet. A few of my customers as well. One that was a navigator on a Flying Fortress that was shot down over France, one that had survived a kamikaze attack in the Pacific and one that  lived through Okinawa as did Sledge. Funny how most of them never really talked much unless asked (one local man who was captured in Phillipsburg, Germany in January 1945 and spent 'only' 5 or so months as a POW absolutely REFUSED to say anything about it to his dying day) and even when they discussed it the common thread was they 'did what had to be done'.

As Stephen Ambrose wrote in Band of Brothers, "They had been kicked around by the Depression, had the scars to show for it. They had grown up, many of them, without enough to eat, with holes in the soles of their shoes, with ragged sweaters and no car and often not a radio. Their educations had been cut short either by the Depression or by the war.
  "Yet with this background, i had and still have a great love for my country," Harry Welch declared forty eight years later. Whatever their legitimate complaints about how life had treated them they had not soured on it or on their country."

Subsequent generations will suffer for not knowing these fine men and women.


I know exactly what you mean. My Dad served in both the Pacific and European theaters with the Army. He was with the Alaska Defense Command in the Aleutians, then was transferred to Europe as part of the Rainbow Division. He was hospitalized for frostbite, then was shot in the head (bullet bounced off his forehead, just above the hairline) by a German patrol and assumed dead. He recovered from that. His only stories were the "funny" things that happened: shooting rats in Dutch Harbor as the tide went out, going to a movie with a British girl and having a language barrier regarding a slingshot (catapult), showing Errol Flynn how to look at blood under a microscope and his comment that "If that were mine it would be 80 proof". What we know is mostly from his service records and letters his superiors sent to my Grandma.
 
2013-08-03 03:44:06 PM
The sinking of the USS Indiannapolis was, in part, the basis for the concept and original theatrical screenplay of Sharknado.
 
2013-08-03 03:45:50 PM

One Bad Apple: They should totally have the reunion at a theater showing "Sharknado"


Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

+eleventy and one scratched DVD of "Jaws IV: The Revenge"
 
2013-08-03 03:45:50 PM

hardinparamedic: [www.thesoundsofhistory.com image 300x335]


This.  My grandfather was from near Hardin (KY) and was on E Santo recovering from wounds when the atom bombs hit.  He was slated to be part of Operation Downfall, so these crewmen from the USS Indianapolis are part of the reason I'm probably here.  Thanks, guys!
 
2013-08-03 03:51:03 PM
horrorcultfilms.co.uk
I know who's not going to make it this year.
 
2013-08-03 03:51:15 PM
I think of my father who was lucky in assignments and ended up serving in the states the entire war, first hunting u-boats off the east coast and then at training bases while his classmates were sent over seas.  Just before he died we were sorting through his effects and found his high school yearbook; he just went flipping through telling where they all died (I remember 7 at Tarawa in particular), and it made me realize how lucky I was to even exist as one different transfer order and boom I am gone.
 
2013-08-03 04:00:30 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-03 04:01:08 PM
I find it hard to believe that when I was a wee lad, so many of these heroes were alive and still young enough to be working still... And now they're very old, dropping like flies.

Time is the fire in which we burn.
 
2013-08-03 04:03:24 PM
www.hyscience.com


// How we measure courage and sacrifice today !
 
2013-08-03 04:07:47 PM

One Bad Apple: They should totally have the reunion at a theater showing "Sharknado"


Better than my "Jaws" thought. Leaving satisfied.

/alternate history: Indy sinks, sharks eat the bomb, radioactive mutant sharks invade Imperial Japan
 
2013-08-03 04:11:27 PM
And to cover their asses for the loss of life, the Navy court-martialed Cap. McVay.
 
2013-08-03 04:13:36 PM
The sharks remember and are waiting:

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-08-03 04:13:58 PM

OtherLittleGuy: One Bad Apple: They should totally have the reunion at a theater showing "Sharknado"

Better than my "Jaws" thought. Leaving satisfied.

/alternate history: Indy sinks, sharks eat the bomb, radioactive mutant sharks invade Imperial Japan


You better copyright/trademark that idea before SyFy makes it.
 
2013-08-03 04:14:34 PM
317 survivors and the area code in indianapolis is 317. Can we get Brad Meltzer to decode this coincidence?
 
2013-08-03 04:22:37 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: I was talking to a friend about Eugene Sledge's book yesterday and I got to thinking how fortunate I am to have been born to a WWII vet and to have grown up around as many as I did. My uncle was USN and was at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, my best friend's Father was wounded at Enewitok, next door neighbor was Army infantry in Europe, three across the street flew Marauders, Mitchells and Super Fortresses. My landlord in college was captured at the fall of Corregedor and spent 4 years in a Japanese POW camp. In my little town I became acquainted with quite a few others...a Lodge Brother that earned a Silver Star as a Marine in the Pacific, one that was Army in the Philippines, a neighbor that flew P40s over Normandy, his Brother that, like my Father, was a USCG combat vet. A few of my customers as well. One that was a navigator on a Flying Fortress that was shot down over France, one that had survived a kamikaze attack in the Pacific and one that  lived through Okinawa as did Sledge. Funny how most of them never really talked much unless asked (one local man who was captured in Phillipsburg, Germany in January 1945 and spent 'only' 5 or so months as a POW absolutely REFUSED to say anything about it to his dying day) and even when they discussed it the common thread was they 'did what had to be done'.

As Stephen Ambrose wrote in Band of Brothers, "They had been kicked around by the Depression, had the scars to show for it. They had grown up, many of them, without enough to eat, with holes in the soles of their shoes, with ragged sweaters and no car and often not a radio. Their educations had been cut short either by the Depression or by the war.
  "Yet with this background, i had and still have a great love for my country," Harry Welch declared forty eight years later. Whatever their legitimate complaints about how life had treated them they had not soured on it or on their country."

Subsequent generations will suffer for not knowing these fine men and women.


When the war broke out, nobody wanted to go. They weren't sucking the flag every chance they got. They went because the had to, and grumbled about it the whole way. Then, when the war was over, they could play the Real American Hero who wanted to go to war all along.
 
2013-08-03 04:24:54 PM

Primitive Screwhead: The author does an excellent job of telling the story from all of the angles, from the Indianapolis crew, the Japanese sub commander that sunk them and the rescue effort.


What about the sharks' angle?
 
2013-08-03 04:26:03 PM

catmandu: His only stories were the "funny" things that happened


This was my landlord that I referenced in my img1.fark.net . He only recounted two stories to me of his experience. One was of a picture that is on the back cover of a Time Life book of the war. It's a picture of POWs being release in Japan and in the background is a gaunt looking man staring at a Japanese woman who was forced to stand and watch the procession of prisoners (I guess to shame the population as was done to Germans who lived around concentration camps). He pointed at it and said "That's me. Right after that picture was taken I spit in that Jap biatches face." Now I knew Richard to be a bit of an asshole but this was a bit much for a sheltered suburban white kid all of 19 year old to handle. The second story put it in perspective. He thought it to be funny as hell.

He was forced into labor in the coal mines of Japan and lived on very little food "Rice and maggots" was how he put it and water. One morning a group of POWs were taken to the docks and told to spit shine the deck of a ship where "a bunch of Jap brass" was going to meet. On the deck was a table set with a white tablecloth nice china, silverware, crystal etc. In the middle of the table was a bowl of apricots and the urge got to be too much for a guy who had been living on "rice and maggots" for over a year and he walked past the table a few times and as he did he'd snag an apricot. After a few passes a Japanese officer saw him grab one and eat it. The officer pulled him aside and proceeded to berate him going as far as to hit him with a baton a few times. Well, as it were the apricots were a bit much for the digestive system of a guy who had eaten little more than "rice and maggots" and he "threw up every last one of those apricots all over that little Jap bastard." As he told me this his face lit up and he started laughing. "They beat me for days", he said, "but it was worth ever lick they gave me to see that little slant eyed mother  farker covered in my puke."

We think our lives are hard...
 
2013-08-03 04:26:35 PM

whither_apophis: And to cover their asses for the loss of life, the Navy court-martialed Cap. McVay.




After years of being sent hate mail. Cap. McVay committed suicide in 1968 using his Navy-issue revolver. It only took a act of Congress 2000 before the Navy fixed McVay's record and cleared of all wrongdoing in 2001.
 
2013-08-03 04:29:36 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Funny how most of them never really talked much unless asked


My dad was infantry in Europe. Germany,Brussels,France. He never would talk much. Had five medals, one a purple heart. (almost lost his feet to frostbite) the others for ground campaigns. Said he loved the German country side. Reminded him of home. Also said they were good cooks. But would never talk about the fighting and what he saw. Did say the boat ride over there was rough. They went through a huge storm and the waves would take them way up and then drop them *boom*. But he would never talk about the really bad stuff.
 
2013-08-03 04:29:46 PM

Apik0r0s: When the war broke out, nobody wanted to go.


I did a video history with my Dad in 2003. I asked him about the prevailing attitude at the time. He told me that up until December 6th no one...and he meant NO ONE wanted to get involved. "It wasn't our problem but that all changed a day later."
 
2013-08-03 04:30:14 PM

elchip: I find it hard to believe that when I was a wee lad, so many of these heroes were alive and still young enough to be working still... And now they're very old, dropping like flies.

Time is the fire in which we burn.


This
 
2013-08-03 04:30:28 PM

Dr.Mxyzptlk.: [www.hyscience.com image 510x298]


// How we measure courage and sacrifice today !


You don't sound like someone who served.
 
2013-08-03 04:34:06 PM

elchip: I find it hard to believe that when I was a wee lad, so many of these heroes were alive and still young enough to be working still... And now they're very old, dropping like flies.

Time is the fire in which we burn.


Yeah WWII generation is about gone sadly, I liked them more than the WWI generation before them or the korea and boomer generations after them.
 
2013-08-03 04:37:32 PM
Brave men who went through a shark filled hell for us all.
 
2013-08-03 04:37:42 PM

Hobodeluxe: But he would never talk about the really bad stuff.


This was the local man who was in a German POW camp. He gave his war "mementos" to the man who posted the linked obituary. To my knowledge, he is the only person that Reid ever told about his time in the service and as a POW...and that was all of one story.  Told Jim to "burn it"...thankfully he didn't. There's not a lot but what little there is is a treasure trove.
 
2013-08-03 04:38:47 PM

elchip: Time is the fire in which we burn


Hey stranger! Long see no time!
 
2013-08-03 04:38:53 PM

whither_apophis: And to cover their asses for the loss of life, the Navy court-martialed Cap. McVay.


His grandson avenged him by bombing the Oklahoma City federal building.
 
2013-08-03 04:41:32 PM

Disgruntled Goat: Primitive Screwhead: The author does an excellent job of telling the story from all of the angles, from the Indianapolis crew, the Japanese sub commander that sunk them and the rescue effort.

What about the sharks' angle?


Oh yeah, them too. Chapters 5, 7 & 13 consist solely of the words "OM NOM NOM NOM" repeated over and over for about 10 pages.
 
2013-08-03 04:45:41 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Apik0r0s: When the war broke out, nobody wanted to go.

I did a video history with my Dad in 2003. I asked him about the prevailing attitude at the time. He told me that up until December 6th no one...and he meant NO ONE wanted to get involved. "It wasn't our problem but that all changed a day later."


My Dad lied about his age to join the marines. Somehow you could get away with things like that....or they just didn't care. But like others mentioned he wouldn't talk about the actual fighting. Just lots of other stuff. The characters he met, making a still, stuff like that.
 
2013-08-03 04:47:25 PM

One Bad Apple: whither_apophis: And to cover their asses for the loss of life, the Navy court-martialed Cap. McVay.

His grandson avenged him by bombing the Oklahoma City federal building.


DAMMIT Apple! First beer of the evening all over the place!
 
2013-08-03 04:48:28 PM
i.telegraph.co.uk

Meet Mr. Oceanic White Tip, probably the scariest farking creature in the ocean. They're literally attracted to noises of distress like explosions and boats/planes going down and have no problem having a light meal of a struggling, scared, and probably injured survivor.
 
2013-08-03 04:51:36 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: catmandu: His only stories were the "funny" things that happened

This was my landlord that I referenced in my [img1.fark.net image 54x11] . He only recounted two stories to me of his experience. One was of a picture that is on the back cover of a Time Life book of the war. It's a picture of POWs being release in Japan and in the background is a gaunt looking man staring at a Japanese woman who was forced to stand and watch the procession of prisoners (I guess to shame the population as was done to Germans who lived around concentration camps). He pointed at it and said "That's me. Right after that picture was taken I spit in that Jap biatches face." Now I knew Richard to be a bit of an asshole but this was a bit much for a sheltered suburban white kid all of 19 year old to handle. The second story put it in perspective. He thought it to be funny as hell.

He was forced into labor in the coal mines of Japan and lived on very little food "Rice and maggots" was how he put it and water. One morning a group of POWs were taken to the docks and told to spit shine the deck of a ship where "a bunch of Jap brass" was going to meet. On the deck was a table set with a white tablecloth nice china, silverware, crystal etc. In the middle of the table was a bowl of apricots and the urge got to be too much for a guy who had been living on "rice and maggots" for over a year and he walked past the table a few times and as he did he'd snag an apricot. After a few passes a Japanese officer saw him grab one and eat it. The officer pulled him aside and proceeded to berate him going as far as to hit him with a baton a few times. Well, as it were the apricots were a bit much for the digestive system of a guy who had eaten little more than "rice and maggots" and he "threw up every last one of those apricots all over that little Jap bastard." As he told me this his face lit up and he started laughing. "They beat me for days", he said, "but it was worth ever lick they gave me to see that litt ...


There are CSBs and there are  COOL STORIES BRO.

Yours is the latter.
 
2013-08-03 04:52:10 PM

of the because: 317 survivors and the area code in indianapolis is 317. Can we get Brad Meltzer to decode this coincidence?


Let it go, man.
 
2013-08-03 04:56:57 PM
I served aboard the USS Indianapolis (SSN 697). Met many of the survivors. The stories still give me the chills.
 
2013-08-03 05:08:14 PM
I guess they opted not to have their reunion on a cruise ship...
 
2013-08-03 05:12:41 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Apik0r0s: When the war broke out, nobody wanted to go.

I did a video history with my Dad in 2003. I asked him about the prevailing attitude at the time. He told me that up until December 6th no one...and he meant NO ONE wanted to get involved. "It wasn't our problem but that all changed a day later."


my dad lied about his age and went in at 16 yrs old. he said they weren't picky. if you were big enough to carry a gun you were good to go.
 
2013-08-03 05:13:50 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Apik0r0s: When the war broke out, nobody wanted to go.

I did a video history with my Dad in 2003. I asked him about the prevailing attitude at the time. He told me that up until December 6th no one...and he meant NO ONE wanted to get involved. "It wasn't our problem but that all changed a day later."


Exactly right.

That's how it happened for WWI, too:  There was a large majority in the US who didn't want to get involved in a "European War", even after the sinking of the Lusitania.  There just wasn't any real reason for the US to get involved on one side or the other, until the Germans started thinking about re-starting their unrestricted submarine warfare.  Aware that such a campaign might cause the US might join the Entente, the German foreign secretary, Arthur Zimmermann*, sent a secret telegram to their embassy in Mexico proposing that if the US declares war on Germany, Mexico should declare war on the US, and that Germany would support them getting Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas back.  The British decoded the message, and passed it to the US.  When it was made public, it caused an uproar, but a lot of people in the US were skeptical.  After all, it could be a British subterfuge to trick the US into entering the war.

Then Arthur Zimmermann confirmed that he sent the telegram.  Why he would confirm it's authenticity, I have no idea.

After that, the majority of the US was clamoring for war, and very soon after, we did indeed declare war on the Central Powers.

That quintessential American trait of isolationism pretty much died during WWII, though.


*Drink!
 
2013-08-03 05:24:17 PM

One Bad Apple: whither_apophis: And to cover their asses for the loss of life, the Navy court-martialed Cap. McVay.

His grandson avenged him by bombing the Oklahoma City federal building.


HQ of the 104th Fighting Landlubbers.
 
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