The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 15 November 1932. The ship served with honor from Pearl Harbor through the last campaign of World War II, sinking in action two weeks before the end of the war. On 30 July 1945, while sailing from Guam to Leyte, Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58. The ship capsized and sank in twelve minutes. Survivors were spotted by a patrol aircraft on 2 August. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once, and the surrounding waters were thoroughly searched for survivors. Upon completion of the day and night search on 8 August, 316 men were rescued out of the crew of 1,199.
We believe we were hit by two torpedoes, one around frame 8 or 10, because the bow was blown off forward around ten. Another one [torpedo] around frame fifty. We believe that they were large torpedoes, that they were running close to the surface, because none of us believe the magazines blew up, that is the only way we can account for the flashes of flame through the ship.
He was able to aft on the starboard side, although badly injured, he didn't get to the main engine room, No. 2 engine room, where he found No. 2 engine had lost vacuum and that was shut down. He did talk to somebody in No. 1 engine room. They told him that apparently the main steamline going through the port side of the forward engine room had been knocked loose. They had no steam and asked for instructions.
All power all lights were lost forward. The fact that the [torpedo] hits were there, at least we think they were up forward, are borne out by the fact we have almost no Marines who were reported in that section of the ship. We have not a single steward's mate and their compartment was up there and we have very few officers that were in their rooms at the time of the explosion. So we believe all of those people were killed almost instantly.