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Research

Crew Member Info Submission

USS Indianapolis Survivors, Lost at Sea families, and Rescue & Recovery groups are working together to build a complete database to include contact information for ALL members of the USS Indianapolis crew and rescuers.  

 

This information will not be shared publicly, but will be used as a way to contact those men, and their families regarding reunions, USS Indianapolis Events, and any news concerning the Indy. 


If you are a family member of the Indianapolis crew (Survivor or Lost at Sea), Rescue / Recovery crew, have information to share, or would like to stay updated on Indy-related news and events, please click below. 

Lost at Sea Crew Resource List

Open this list to locate a LOST AT SEA crew member’s name. Scroll to the right to find his name in any of 15 books and one video. This list was researched by the Legacy Education Committee members and produced as a gift to descendants and friends of the 888 men lost at sea in 1945 while aboard USS Indianapolis CA-35. Questions?:  contact us at Project888@USSindianapolis.org. Marilyn Henry, Chair, Legacy Education Committee, USS Indianapolis CA-35(a501c3 not-profit)

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Click Here to Join the Search for Photos

Click Here for the list of the 288 Missing Photos for Project 888

Project 888

Battling The Myths

#1.  Battling the Myths that have emerged around USS Indianapolis- Introduction
04:01

#1. Battling the Myths that have emerged around USS Indianapolis- Introduction

That line from the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” accurately describes what happens to a great number of our historical events in America. It doesn’t matter how remarkable, how unbelievable a true historic event is, additional mythology often emerges around that event to embellish reality further. I’ve come to understand this personally based on my presence in the Pentagon during the September 11th attacks. So many myths have emerged from that event that I spend more time dealing with the fictional narrative than what really happened. And the same can be true for the history of the World War II cruiser, USS Indianapolis. The story of the Indy is incredibly compelling: - She was President Roosevelt’s ship of state during the 1930s - She earned ten battle stars in places from the Aleutians to Okinawa - She served as Admiral Spruance’s 5th Fleet flagship - She was hit by a kamikaze during the pre-invasion bombardment of Okinawa - She delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian - And of course, there was her sinking in the Philippine Sea by IJN submarine I-58 - The nearly five days the survivors spent in the water, suffering severe deprivation - The miraculous rescue - Captain McVay’s unconscionable court-martial - And then there was the decades of PTSD that the survivors experienced, resulting in suicide for some, to include Captain McVay himself With all that true history, you would think that no embellishment of their story would be necessary. And yet, a mythology has emerged around the ship, some crafted by authors who didn’t have the correct information when they wrote their books, some crafted by people who simply accepted statements that later proved to be untrue, some created by those who simply wanted to exploit the horror the survivors experienced in order to make money, and of course I’m talking about the Discovery Channel and shark week here. Regardless, in too many cases the fiction has come to overwhelm the truth. So let me say this clearly: it does no service to the courage and sacrifice of the crews of USS Indianapolis to exploit the mythology and amplify the fiction. Quite the contrary—in my view it diminishes the crews’ real bravery and true accomplishments. The USS Indianapolis Legacy Organization has therefore decided to create a series of videos where we will deal with some of the most pervasive myths. In so doing, we hope to create a database for writers, documentarians, podcasters, and other researchers so you can separate fact from fiction, and suppress, rather than amplify, that mythology. Because in the end, it’s the crewmembers who must be celebrated, not the industry of lurkers who have emerged to deform and exploit their heroism for personal gain. I’m retired captain William Toti, former commanding officer of the USS Indianapolis submarine, current chairman of the USS Indianapolis Legacy Organization, and I hope you join me in our journey of seeking the truth in the story of the Indy-maru.
#2.  Battling the Myths
00:49

#2. Battling the Myths

That line from the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” accurately describes what happens to a great number of our historical events in America. It doesn’t matter how remarkable, how unbelievable a true historic event is, additional mythology often emerges around that event to embellish reality further. I’ve come to understand this personally based on my presence in the Pentagon during the September 11th attacks. So many myths have emerged from that event that I spend more time dealing with the fictional narrative than what really happened. And the same can be true for the history of the World War II cruiser, USS Indianapolis. The story of the Indy is incredibly compelling: - She was President Roosevelt’s ship of state during the 1930s - She earned ten battle stars in places from the Aleutians to Okinawa - She served as Admiral Spruance’s 5th Fleet flagship - She was hit by a kamikaze during the pre-invasion bombardment of Okinawa - She delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian - And of course, there was her sinking in the Philippine Sea by IJN submarine I-58 - The nearly five days the survivors spent in the water, suffering severe deprivation - The miraculous rescue - Captain McVay’s unconscionable court-martial - And then there was the decades of PTSD that the survivors experienced, resulting in suicide for some, to include Captain McVay himself With all that true history, you would think that no embellishment of their story would be necessary. And yet, a mythology has emerged around the ship, some crafted by authors who didn’t have the correct information when they wrote their books, some crafted by people who simply accepted statements that later proved to be untrue, some created by those who simply wanted to exploit the horror the survivors experienced in order to make money, and of course I’m talking about the Discovery Channel and shark week here. Regardless, in too many cases the fiction has come to overwhelm the truth. So let me say this clearly: it does no service to the courage and sacrifice of the crews of USS Indianapolis to exploit the mythology and amplify the fiction. Quite the contrary—in my view it diminishes the crews’ real bravery and true accomplishments. The USS Indianapolis Legacy Organization has therefore decided to create a series of videos where we will deal with some of the most pervasive myths. In so doing, we hope to create a database for writers, documentarians, podcasters, and other researchers so you can separate fact from fiction, and suppress, rather than amplify, that mythology. Because in the end, it’s the crewmembers who must be celebrated, not the industry of lurkers who have emerged to deform and exploit their heroism for personal gain. I’m retired captain William Toti, former commanding officer of the USS Indianapolis submarine, current chairman of the USS Indianapolis Legacy Organization, and I hope you join me in our journey of seeking the truth in the story of the Indy-maru.