INDIANAPOLIS Ind. (WISH) – A stunning discovery took place over the weekend.
Researchers have found the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis. This comes just a few weeks after the few remaining survivors were here in Indianapolis for their annual reunion. The research ship found the final resting place of the USS Indianapolis more than three miles below the surface of the Philippine Sea. It brings closure for the families affected by the ship’s sinking in the final days of World War II.
Known as one of the luckiest ships at the time, the USS Indianapolis had earned 10 battle stars throughout its time on the water. Her final top-secret mission was to deliver parts of the first atomic bomb.
On July 30, 1945, she was hit by a Japanese submarine torpedo. The sinking was the greatest single loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy. Of the 1,196 sailors and marines on board, only 317 survived.
A research team led by Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, found the wreckage. Robert Kraft, the director of subsea, says new research on the exact location led them right to the area.
“New information that’s come to light that early on in Indianapolis’ voyage, she crossed or came in close proximity to another Navy vessel. So, there was noted contact in their log so they were able to fix a place in time where the Indianapolis was so with that new information it actually drove our search area, our grid a little bit further to the west more so than the previous research led them to go.”
Part of the problem finding the location was not having a starting point. On the night of July 30, 1945, no distress call went out before the attack. Researchers say they will continue to survey the site, which they are treating with respect as a war grave.