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Abandon Ship!: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the Navy's Greatest… (1958)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006018471X, Hardcover)In July 1945, the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis put in at the Pacific atoll of Tinian to deliver a rare cargo: several hundred pounds of uranium, the makings of the two atomic bombs that only a few weeks later would be dropped on Japan. Having discharged this duty, the Indianapolis made way for Guam, and thence for the Philippines, in waters that the high command had assured its captain were safe. En route, it crossed the path of a Japanese submarine, which fired six torpedoes and sank the cruiser, killing hundreds of sailors--some of whom were devoured by sharks--and leaving others to float in the open ocean for days.
Almost as soon as the survivors of the Indianapolis were rescued, the cruiser's unfortunate captain, an Annapolis graduate named Charles Butler McVay III, was court-martialed for his alleged failure to practice evasive maneuvers in enemy waters. Eventually exonerated of all but one charge, McVay still could not escape blame for the ship's loss, and he killed himself in 1968. Richard Newcomb's Abandon Ship!, first published in 1958, brought McVay's sad case to the American public's attention with a vigorous you-are-there account that depicts the miscalculations--and willful misrepresentations--that condemned the Indianapolis. The case was recently reopened thanks to the efforts of McVay's family and a bright middle-school student who looked into the matter as a class project. As a result, the scapegoated captain's name has been cleared. In this edition, McVay's case is updated by the noted true-crime author Peter Maas, whose arguments in McVay's favor add to Newcomb's original findings. Superb as historical journalism, the book is also a fascinating document in the annals of military justice. --Gregory McNamee
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:24:58 -0400)
Describes the shipwreck of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, after it was struck by a Japanese submarine, and the drowning deaths of 900 sailors due to alleged errors within the Navy.
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