Lost-at-sea families to stand watch on 74th anniversary of USS Indianapolis

Photo of a Purple Heart. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –  Tuesday marks 74 years since the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. It was the worst sea disaster in U.S. Naval history.

There are 12 remaining USS Indianapolis survivors. Fewer as the years go by, but they are remembered by loved ones and family.

On Tuesday, a family of those lost at sea will stand watch at the USS Indianapolis CA35 Memorial.

Michael William Emery was on the Canal early Tuesday morning. His uncle, William Friend Emery, was on the ship when it sank 74 years ago.

Emery lives in Boston but makes the trip to Indianapolis every year. He says he couldn’t stay back in his apartment on this day when he feels closer to his Uncle Bill in Indy.

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Emery brought with him artifacts from his family, including the last letter his uncle wrote while on the ship, his Purple Heart and a Western Union telegram stating that William Friend Emery was missing in action

In total, 879 men lost their lives when the USS Indianapolis sank in the Pacific Ocean.

Wreckage from the ship was found in 2017 by a 13-person crew led by billionaire Paul G. Allen.

Emery told News 8, he and other lost-at-sea families are already making plans for next year’s 75th anniversary.