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Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man

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Instant New York Times Bestseller A human drama unlike any other—the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history. “GRIPPING…THIS YARN HAS IT ALL.” —USA TODAY • “A WONDERFUL BOOK.” —Christian Science Monitor • “ENTHRALLING.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) • “A MUST-READ.” —Booklist (starred review) Just after midnight on July 3 Instant New York Times Bestseller A human drama unlike any other—the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history. “GRIPPING…THIS YARN HAS IT ALL.” —USA TODAY • “A WONDERFUL BOOK.” —Christian Science Monitor • “ENTHRALLING.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) • “A MUST-READ.” —Booklist (starred review) Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive. For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated—and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewit­nesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own. It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and launched as the ship of state for President Franklin Roosevelt. After Pearl Harbor, Indianapolis leads the charge to the Pacific Islands, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. Then, under orders from President Harry Truman, the ship takes aboard a superspy and embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima. Vincent and Vladic provide a visceral, moment-by-moment account of the disaster that unfolds days later after the Japanese torpedo attack, from the chaos on board the sinking ship to the first moments of shock as the crew plunge into the remote waters of the Philippine Sea, to the long days and nights during which terror and hunger morph into delusion and desperation, and the men must band together to survive. Then, for the first time, the authors go beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle Indianapolis’s extraordinary final mission: the survivors’ fifty-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. What follows is a captivating courtroom drama that weaves through generations of American presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and forever entwines the lives of three captains—McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis, who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain. A sweeping saga of survival, sacrifice, justice, and love, Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative—and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life. It is the definitive account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history.


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Instant New York Times Bestseller A human drama unlike any other—the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history. “GRIPPING…THIS YARN HAS IT ALL.” —USA TODAY • “A WONDERFUL BOOK.” —Christian Science Monitor • “ENTHRALLING.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) • “A MUST-READ.” —Booklist (starred review) Just after midnight on July 3 Instant New York Times Bestseller A human drama unlike any other—the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history. “GRIPPING…THIS YARN HAS IT ALL.” —USA TODAY • “A WONDERFUL BOOK.” —Christian Science Monitor • “ENTHRALLING.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) • “A MUST-READ.” —Booklist (starred review) Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive. For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated—and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewit­nesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own. It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and launched as the ship of state for President Franklin Roosevelt. After Pearl Harbor, Indianapolis leads the charge to the Pacific Islands, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. Then, under orders from President Harry Truman, the ship takes aboard a superspy and embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima. Vincent and Vladic provide a visceral, moment-by-moment account of the disaster that unfolds days later after the Japanese torpedo attack, from the chaos on board the sinking ship to the first moments of shock as the crew plunge into the remote waters of the Philippine Sea, to the long days and nights during which terror and hunger morph into delusion and desperation, and the men must band together to survive. Then, for the first time, the authors go beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle Indianapolis’s extraordinary final mission: the survivors’ fifty-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. What follows is a captivating courtroom drama that weaves through generations of American presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and forever entwines the lives of three captains—McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis, who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain. A sweeping saga of survival, sacrifice, justice, and love, Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative—and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life. It is the definitive account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history.

30 review for Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    5+++ Engrossing and Informative Stars! From THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER, 1798: "Water, water everywhere, And all the boards did shrink, Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink."U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS - She was an old girl....just back from repairs after sustaining grave damage from a 1944 kamikaze suicide attack....now, with a new (very) young and inexperienced crew....now, an unescorted, unprotected cruiser (useless against subs) was on the way back from a new mission....a highly classi 5+++ Engrossing and Informative Stars! From THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER, 1798: "Water, water everywhere, And all the boards did shrink, Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink."U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS - She was an old girl....just back from repairs after sustaining grave damage from a 1944 kamikaze suicide attack....now, with a new (very) young and inexperienced crew....now, an unescorted, unprotected cruiser (useless against subs) was on the way back from a new mission....a highly classified special mission....having delivered a mysterious secret cargo....the components for Little Boy. It's July 30, 1945 just after midnight....Captain Charles B. McVay is 47 today; and submarine commander Hashimoto cannot believe his luck as a bit of moon peeks out from the clouds. He can now see a black shape, he dives....and slams two torpedoes into the unsuspecting INDIANAPOLIS. Destruction is catastrophic and chaos ensues aboard Indy; many die upon impact, others are severely burned or wounded. The order is given to Abandon Ship! In the water with the constant swells of the Philippine Sea, the men are spread out over great distances, but some join together in circular groups. Shark attacks, screams of pain, fear of no rescue, dehydration and few rations lead to dissension among the men. Some drink seawater causing hallucinations, swollen tongues and painful death. Madness turns to fights, blood, more sharks and unspeakable acts, but there are also times of camaraderie, group prayer and heroism.Even with Indy overdue, the rescue of the remaining 316 of 879 was indeed fortuitous as there was much incompetence and outright stupidity by navy personnel; and after a farce of a court martial and tortured life for McVay, (OMG the phone calls and letters) survivor's were so outraged that together, with the help of eighth grader Hunter Scott and William Toti (Captain of a modern day sub, Indianapolis) they worked tirelessly to clear his name. "It is not right for one man to bear all the blame for the mistakes of so many others." In 2017, 72 years later, explorers got their first look at INDIANAPOLIS wreckage 3.5 miles below the surface....an amazing find. (don't know how I missed this news ) The well-researched INDIANPOLIS reads like a novel and Lynn Vincent does a superb job of giving the reader a personalized view of crew members and their loved ones as well as providing illustrations of the ship, rescue operations, and survival groups in the water that lead us all the way to a well-deserved posthumous exoneration for Captain McVay. So much information here....so well-written....Highly Recommend! Charles B. McVay, III - July 30, 1898 - November 6, 1968. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for the arc COMING JULY 10, 2017 in exchange for an unbiased review. UPDATE - July 20, 2018 - Watched the 2016 USS INDIANAPOLIS movie. (available on Netflix). Compared to the book, very disappointing. Expected more and poor acting (Nicholas Cage not a fav. of mine) put me off, and for a two plus hour flick, it seemed rushed. Did get to see those horrid life boats though....Good Lord!....and a bit of the rescue operation. 3 low stars for the movie.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    “So, eleven-hundred men went into the water. Three-hundred-sixteen men come out. The sharks took the rest. June the 29th, 1945.” - Robert Shaw, as Quint, in Jaws (1975) “The Japanese Type 95 torpedo carried a huge explosive payload designed to mortally wound battleships and cruisers. The initial pressure blast was meant to buckle the ship’s skin and weaken her internal framing. The warhead’s second effect was to punch a cavernous, temporary hole in the ocean beneath the target. These first- and se “So, eleven-hundred men went into the water. Three-hundred-sixteen men come out. The sharks took the rest. June the 29th, 1945.” - Robert Shaw, as Quint, in Jaws (1975) “The Japanese Type 95 torpedo carried a huge explosive payload designed to mortally wound battleships and cruisers. The initial pressure blast was meant to buckle the ship’s skin and weaken her internal framing. The warhead’s second effect was to punch a cavernous, temporary hole in the ocean beneath the target. These first- and second-order effects created a kinetic ambush: With a well-aimed torpedo, the weight of both the weakened ship and the displaced water would crash back into the void and break the vessel in half…[Japanese sub Captain] Hashimoto’s first torpedo rammed Indy’s starboard bow just below the forward 20 mm antiaircraft guns. Before anyone had time to process what had happened, the explosion was over, its work done, and Indy’s bow was in shambles. Ripped away between frames 12 and 13, the bow clung to the keel of the ship like a hangnail, held there by only a few threads of hull plating. Two seconds later, the second torpedo exploded below the waterline near frame 45, missing Indy’s armor belt by just a few frames. The twin blasts and water cavity effects ruptured the hull, tore open the thin outer strakes, and opened the ship to the sea…” - Lynn Vincent & Sara Vladic, Indianapolis The scene is only about three-and-a-half minutes long, but it is one of the most famous in all movie history. About two-thirds of the way through Steven Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece Jaws, the grizzled old fisherman Quint tells his shark-hunting companions how he was shipwrecked during World War II. Cast into the water, waiting for days, picked off by sharks, Quint ends his horrific tale muttering: “I’ll never put on a life jacket again.” The fictional Quint’s ship was the real-life USS Indianapolis. Just after midnight, on July 30, 1945 (Quint was a bit off on his timing), returning to Leyte after delivering vital atomic bomb components to Tinian, the Japanese submarine I-58 drove two torpedoes into the cruiser’s side. The torpedoes practically blew off Indy’s bow. Within moments, she began sinking. The massive explosions knocked out the power, meaning no distress signals made it off the ship (though this point has been argued through the years). Hundreds of the Indianapolis’s 1,195-man crew spilled into the Pacific. There, they languished for four days and five nights, their fate unknown because Naval officials in Leyte never listed Indianapolis overdue, even though she failed to report. By sheer chance, a Lockheed Ventura flown by Chuck Gwinn saw them in the ocean and raised the alarm. When rescue ships finally arrived, only 316 were plucked from the water. The rest, 879 men, died from exposure, dehydration, and the largest shark attack in history. The loss of the USS Indianapolis was second only to the bombing of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor in terms of lives lost in a single vessel. Nevertheless, the U.S. Navy attempted to downplay the scale of the disaster, and the high-level mistakes that were made. Whether or not they were attempting a cover up (they probably were), the Navy quickly convened a court-martial for Captain Charles Butler McVay III, accusing him of failing to sail a zigzag course (to foil submarine attacks). Though officially he was not blamed for the sinking, the implication was clear. The Navy was also helped in their efforts by the end of World War II, which dampened the outrage that would have otherwise attended such a deadly and avoidable mishap. For awhile, the sinking of the Indianapolis became a lethal footnote. Starting in the 1960s, though, with the publication of Abandon Ship by Richard Newcomb, the saga of the Indianapolis started its journey towards becoming one of the most famous in the annals of maritime lore. Aside from Abandon Ship, there have been many other solid written accounts, including All the Drowned Sailors, Fatal Voyage, and In Harm’s Way. There have been documentaries and movies, including a straight-to-streaming Nicholas Cage paycheck film that redefines the term dumpster fire. And of course, there is Quint’s show-stopping monologue. With such thorough coverage, I had two immediate thoughts upon learning that a new book had arrived to retell this seventy-three year old story. First, is another book really necessary? Second, where is my wallet? Of course, a good book provides its own justification. And with Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic’s Indianapolis, we have a great book. This is not only the best account of the Indy yet published, it provides a blueprint for popular histories to follow. This is massively researched, compellingly narrated, and utterly comprehensive. It is accessible even if you’ve never heard of the Indianapolis before. But it also contains revelations for those readers who have exhausted the lost ship’s bibliography. Vincent & Vladic tell this story using two separate narrative timelines. The first timeline begins in 1945 with the Indianapolis being hit by a Japanese kamikaze. It continues by following the ship back to San Francisco, where she is tasked with delivering part of the Little Boy atomic bomb to Tinian. After delivery, we are with the ship as it sinks, plunging her crew into the sea. The timeline concludes with the court-martial of Captain McVay. The second timeline, which is periodically intercut with the first, takes place in the late 90s and early 2000s. It is centered on Captain William Toti, commander of the nuclear submarine USS Indianapolis. Toti had a natural interest in his sub’s namesake, and became heavily involved in the survivors’ group. Specifically, he helped lead the charge (assisted independently by a then-sixth grade student working on a school project) to exonerate McVay. Early on, I was a bit worried that this framework would irritate me, by cutting away from the essential, life-or-death drama of the sinking. For the most part, however, Vincent & Vladic keep the modern-day stuff short and concise. Indianapolis does just about everything right. This is a disaster book. Thus, it follows the typical genre formula of introducing us to a bunch of people who will be intimately involved in the action to come. Having read my share of this type of book, I have grown used to authors who carelessly throw names and biographical facts down on the page, as though any minimal effort will suffice. Here, Vincent & Vladic take care in introducing the men of the Indianapolis. They find telling and memorable anecdotes and attributes. More than that, they weave these men into the larger story, using them to illustrate and enlighten. For instance, when we meet Ensign John Woolston, he is prowling the decks of the Indianapolis, to which he has just been assigned. The authors use Woolston, an engineering officer, to discuss the ship’s watertight vulnerability: Indianapolis was designed in 1930 with a single “through deck” along wich one could pass from bow to stern without having to climb up and down ladders and make a circuitous route using multiple decks. This design made it impractical to operate completely buttoned up, with maximum watertight integrity – a condition known as “Material Condition Affirm” – since the ordinary duties of sailing necessitated free movement of personnel up and down the length of the ship. Further, Condition Affirm would shut off all ventilation to interior spaces. On a ship without air-conditioning operating in the steamy South Pacific, that could kill a crew as quickly as the enemy. The sinking itself is rendered impeccably. Writing narrative non-fiction is hard, but there is a simple rule that is often ignored. Specifically, you need to deal with both the forest and the trees. Vincent & Vladic do this. As the ship is going down, they jump to all those individuals to whom we have been introduced, describing their efforts to escape. It is visceral and ground-level and often confusing. Every so often, though, they pull back, to give you an overview of big-picture happenings, putting all those personal stories into an overall context. The balance Vincent & Vladic strike is nearly perfect. Their coverage of the hellish aftermath in the sea is just as good. Vincent & Vladic did a ton of interviews with survivors, and it is clear they earned their trust, because some of the information they turn up is dark. One young officer told a group of swimmers that he was going to try to make it to land. So he gathers up some of the healthiest sailors, commandeers a raft and supplies, and then paddles a mile away, in order to avoid the dehydrated and oft-hallucinating masses. The authors also unearthed a deadly pact, made between a group of lucid sailors, in which they would kill those of their shipmates who started going mad. Those men, hallucinating and thrashing, posed a danger to others (and also, I suspect drew unwanted attention from the sharks). According to these accounts, kept anonymous, some of the lucid sailors actually murdered their shipmates to preempt the danger they posed. Vincent & Vladic relate this without commentary. Theirs is a no-judgment zone, the implication being that attempting to overlay normal moral constructs on young, shipwrecked sailors in a shark-infested sea is not fair or appropriate. There were times, though, when I thought the authors were a bit too passive. They tell, for instance, of sailors sexually assaulting other survivors. This kind of beggars the imagination. When you have a bunch of sailors fighting for their very lives, you don’t expect them to have the energy or inclination to act like it’s their first night at Shawshank Prison. But Vincent & Vladic just sort of drop this bombshell and walk away. (At this point, I should mention that the endnotes contain a lot of very interesting and substantive information. However, the authors do not use superscript references to tell you when to head to the endnotes. This sort of drives me nuts. I wish that footnotes would make a comeback). In terms of sheer writing style, the prose is incredibly evocative of the suffering these sailors endured: [A]ll the seawater drinkers died painful deaths. A lack of fluid intake increased salt levels in their bodies, triggering the natural response of greater thirst. When they took in no fluid to decrease the salt levels, water rushed out from their cells to do the job. Brain cells tore loose from their rightful locations, impairing judgment just enough to cause the men to seek poisonous release. Thirst begged their hands to administer water to dilute the salt that was poisoning their bodies. They obliged with seawater, introducing more salt and increasing their thirst to the point of mindless lust. Blood vessels tore and fluid built up in the brain, causing seizures and insanity. They vomited and foamed at the mouth. Some died of kidney failure. Others’ brains short-circuited violently, as when a tree branch hits a high voltage power line. This is the kind of thing you read with ice water close at hand. The aftermath of the sinking, including McVay’s court-martial, is also engrossing. I especially appreciate that Vincent & Vladic quoted extensively from the transcripts. Eventually, though, Indianapolis (which weighs in at 448 pages of text) runs out of steam. This is due to the unnecessarily exhaustive coverage of the quest to exonerate Captain McVay, who was found guilty in his court-martial, and eventually committed suicide in 1968. Though the quest was meaningful to the participants, especially the survivors, it starts to feel a bit quixotic. McVay, after all, did not end up going to jail. Instead, he lost 200 points on the promotion list. Even then, Admiral Nimitz set the punishment aside, and McVay retired as a rear-admiral. In terms of what others lost – their lives – McVay’s experience tends to pale. Part of the reason the endgame drags is because focusing on McVay shows an uncharacteristic lack of perspective. No, what happened to McVay wasn’t fair. But where does fairness figure into any of this? A submarine fires a torpedo over here; a ship blows up over there. A bomb is dropped; a city disappears. Nine hundred U.S. sailors die in the open sea; two-hundred thousand Japanese burn in their homes. Forgive me if I’m not really that interested in Captain McVay’s reputation. There is an impulse, on display here, to “fix” the past, as though slipping a paragraph into a dead man’s service jacket makes everything better. It does not change anything, but it has the potential to distort. In the process of remembering, we may be destroying the memory.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mackey St

    In 1945, the USS Indianapolis was on a covert mission to carry nuclear materials to the Pacific where they would be used against the Japanese. On July 30, the Japanese torpedoed and sank the ship. Hundreds escaped the fiery death trap, only to be stranded for days in the shark infested ocean. Only 316 members of the crew survived. It is the worst maritime disaster in US history. However, the story doesn’t end there…. For over fifty years, the surviving crew members worked to exonerate their cap In 1945, the USS Indianapolis was on a covert mission to carry nuclear materials to the Pacific where they would be used against the Japanese. On July 30, the Japanese torpedoed and sank the ship. Hundreds escaped the fiery death trap, only to be stranded for days in the shark infested ocean. Only 316 members of the crew survived. It is the worst maritime disaster in US history. However, the story doesn’t end there…. For over fifty years, the surviving crew members worked to exonerate their captain who was court marshalled for the disaster. Many questions were raised about the mission of the trip – which took years to have de-classified – and why the captain did not take evasive action to avoid the attack. Despite having a US History degree and spending years studying the end of WWII, it was not until I moved to Indianapolis that I heard about this nightmare, again, the worst maritime disaster in US History. No high school or college text even alluded to the attack and subsequent sinking of the Indianapolis. It is at that point that anyone should start asking themselves “why?” Lynn Vincent, an award winning author, and Sara Vladic, a historian for National Geographic, set out to discover the answers to that very question. What they found were lies, cover-ups, the destruction of the captain’s reputation and, ultimately, the crew – as well as the Japanese captain who sank the ship – who worked tirelessly to exonerate the US Captain of any wrong-doing. The research found within this book is astounding. These authors overcame challenging circumstances to discover the truth about the USS Indianapolis, the captain and its crew. The result is an engaging, well-written account of the crew and their work in finally restoring the captain’s good name. While the book is non-fiction, it truly doesn’t read that way. It is so fascinating that it comes across as a spy novel or thriller. Even if you are not fond of reading non-fiction, this is a book that is well worth your time. It finally answers the question of what happened on that fateful night and why this story took so long to see the light! It is long past time for this story to be told and for Americans to learn of the USS Indianapolis. Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to learn about these men and their story!  

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steven Z.

    A few days ago, I was sitting on the beach with a few friends and we began discussing the 1970s film “Jaws.” Someone referred to Robert Shaw’s crusty performance and a monologue he gave about the disaster that befell the USS Indianapolis at the conclusion of the World War II. Since I was familiar with Doug Stanton’s work, IN HARMS WAY written in 2003 about the sinking of the ship it immediately peaked my interest. When I returned home I saw an advertisement for a new book on the worst naval disa A few days ago, I was sitting on the beach with a few friends and we began discussing the 1970s film “Jaws.” Someone referred to Robert Shaw’s crusty performance and a monologue he gave about the disaster that befell the USS Indianapolis at the conclusion of the World War II. Since I was familiar with Doug Stanton’s work, IN HARMS WAY written in 2003 about the sinking of the ship it immediately peaked my interest. When I returned home I saw an advertisement for a new book on the worst naval disaster in American naval history, entitled of course, INDIANAPOLIS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WORST SEA DISASTER IN U.S. NAVAL HISTORY AND THE FIFTY-YEAR FIGHT TO EXONERATE AN INNOCENT MAN by Lynn Vincent and Sarah Vladic. This phenomenal new book updates Stanton’s effort and presents a more in-depth account based on significant new documentation, interviews, and takes the story through the exoneration of the ship’s Captain, Commander Charles B. McVay III, who for decades was the navy’s scapegoat for the events that occurred at the end of July and early August, 1945. In 1932 the USS Indianapolis was christened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the flagship of the US Pacific Fleet. In the summer of 1945 it was chosen to complete the most highly classified naval mission of the war by delivering two large cannisters of material that was needed to assemble the Atomic bomb that was to be dropped in Hiroshima to the Tinian Islands. Four days after completing its mission it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sunk resulting in over 1193 men either going down with the ship or being thrown overboard with only 316 surviving. The result was a national scandal as the government pursued its investigation and reached a conclusion that was both unfair and completely wrong. Vincent and Vladic’s incremental approach in developing the story is very important as it allows the reader to understand the scope of the tragedy, the individuals involved, and the conclusions reached. The authors delve into the background history of the ship’s actions during the war, mini-biographies of the personnel aboard the ship, and the military bureaucracy that was responsible of the ship’s manifest and orders that consume the first third of the book. After getting to know the important characters in the drama Vincent and Vladic transition to the actual delivery of the weapon components and follows the Indianapolis as she transverses through the Philippine Sea. Capt. McVay asked for a destroyer escort which was standard for this type of operation but was denied, in part because of availability, and in part because he was informed by Admiral Nimitz’s assistant chief of staff and operations officer James Carter that “things were very quiet…. [and] the Japs are on their last legs and there’s nothing to worry about.” What Carter did not mention was that ULTRA intelligence came across the deployment of four Japanese submarines on offensive missions to the Philippine Sea.” Later, Acting Commander of the Philippine Sea Front, Commodore Norman Gillette would characterize the same intelligence as a “recognized threat.” In addition to presenting the American side of events, the authors follow Japanese preparations for the defense of the home islands, and zeroes in on Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Commander of the Japanese submarine I-58 which would sink the Indianapolis. The authors follow the movements of the Indianapolis and Hashimoto’s submarine the days and hours leading up to the attack. Five minutes before midnight on July 30, six torpedoes were fired at the Indianapolis and three hit the ship. Parts of the book read as an adventure story as the authors review calculations dealing with location and speed as the possible target begins to become clearer and clearer. After taking the reader through the attack and resulting sinking of the ship, the reader is presented with at times a quite graphic description of the plight of the sailors who died during the attack, those who jumped off the ship, and the others who abandoned ship under Capt. McVay’s orders. This section of the monograph can be heart wrenching as the men fight for their survival. The carnage and psychological impact of the attack is very disconcerting. After enduring shark attacks, living with no water and little food they resorted to cannibalism, theft, murder, and suicide. The conditions were appalling but others formed groups employing whatever could be salvaged from the ship to create islands of men linked together by netting, rafts, life jackets, or anything else that would float. Apart from men who became delirious and suffered from hallucinations, others found their main enemies to be hunger, dehydration, and sharks who seemed to circle everywhere, and sadly, when it seemed that an individual might be saved a shark attack would take another life. The most chilling part of the narrative is the description of rescue operations that began on August 2nd. At 11:18 am Lt. Wilbur Gwinn flying a routine patrol in a PBM Mariner noticed a huge oil slick below, and after careful observation noticed a 25-mile oil slick. The spotting of the men below sends chills down the spine of readers as the authors details of the rescue as word spread that there were hundreds of men over an 80-mile area. Sadly, many men would die even as rescue operations commenced as they had little reserve after four days in the water. The question must be asked, when the Indianapolis went missing from July 30 onward no one was tracking the ship carefully to report that she had not arrived at her destination? The navy would investigate and reach a conclusion that the authors would totally discredit. The last third of the book is devoted to the legal battle that surrounded who was responsible for the sinking of the Indianapolis and once the decision was reached the authors spend their time describing how a wrongful conviction was finally overturned. The authors follow the investigation and different hearings and the final court martial and analyze the testimony, conclusions, and final reports that were issued. They point out the inconsistencies and outright lies offered by certain naval officers as they tried to rest all the blame on Capt. McVay to cover their own “asses.” In describing the conclusions reached by the navy Vincent and Vladic point out “what was not discussed was the string of intelligence and communication failures that led to something being amiss in the first place—failures of Carter, Gillette, and Naquin, as well as Vice Admiral Murray, a member of the court, were well aware.” (317) The authors dissect the report that called for McVay to be court martialed, especially the information that was left out. For the navy brass that had two ships sunk in the waning moments of the war resulting in over 1000 casualties, someone had to be found responsible. The materials presented reflect where the real blame should have fallen. At Guam, failure to provide an escort for the Indianapolis. Further, Guam took no action when Fleet Radio Unit Pacific intelligence indicated a Japanese submarine had sunk a vessel in the area that the Indianapolis was known to be present. At Leyte, the Philippine Sea Frontier Organization failed to keep track of the Indianapolis and take action when the vessel failed to appear at its scheduled time when a Japanese submarine was located near its line of course. One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the weak defense put up by Navy Captain John Parmelee Cady who by this time had little interest in being a lawyer and was given little time to prepare a defense. Cady’s approach is highlighted by the testimony submarine combat expert Captain Glynn Robert Donaho whose statement should have helped exonerate McVay, but did not. The entire transcript of witness testimony is interesting particularly that of the man whose ship sank the Indianapolis, Mochitsura Hashimoto. Other fascinating components of the book are some of the heroes involved in publicizing and working behind the scenes to bring about justice for the McVay family and those of the survivors and men lost at sea. Chief among them was Commander William Toti who stood at the helm of the namesake submarine the Indianapolis. Another is Hunter Scott, an eleven year old boy who worked assiduously on the history of the disaster and in the end testified before a Senate Committee. Without their efforts and numerous others, one wonders if the degree of closure that was finally achieved would have come about. As one reads the narrative, you grow angrier and angrier at the US Navy for its malfeasance and outright culpability in ruining a man’s life and providing false information for the families of the victims of the disaster. As the authors press on with their account the redemption that is finally earned it does not reduce the uncalled for actions of so many in the Navy and the US government. The authors do a nice job ferreting out those responsible, but that does not detract from the fact that the lies were seen as truth for decades.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I am ashamed to admit that I knew nothing of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II until I saw a documentary on it during Shark Week on Discovery Channel in 2007. Years of history classes...many on the two world wars....for a college degree....and I knew nothing about the most disastrous sinking in US Naval history. Most stories about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis focus on the sharks that attacked both dead bodies and live sailors in the water after the sinking, but this I am ashamed to admit that I knew nothing of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II until I saw a documentary on it during Shark Week on Discovery Channel in 2007. Years of history classes...many on the two world wars....for a college degree....and I knew nothing about the most disastrous sinking in US Naval history. Most stories about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis focus on the sharks that attacked both dead bodies and live sailors in the water after the sinking, but this book focuses on the entire story, not just the dramatic survival parts. Information on the ship, its officers and crew, the war, its mission just before the ship was torpedoed, the men who died and the survivors who floated in the ocean for four days before being rescued. The intent of the authors is to present the information necessary to prove that Captain Charles McVay III was not at fault. Captain McVay was court martialed after the sinking, but later pardoned. His naval record was wiped clean decades later after his death. The authors definitely did a lot of research. The facts are presented in an interesting and detailed fashion, while still being respectful of the Sailors who lost their lives in the sinking. This book dispels a lot of rumors and misinformation caused by movies and television shows. For example, the sharks did not appear for a couple days after the sinking not instantly as portrayed in a recent movie. The animals were lured in by the scent of corpses and injured sailors in the water. A majority of the deaths after the sinking were not due to shark attack. About 300 men went down with the ship. 900 went into the water. After dehydration, injuries, salt poisoning, lack of food, exhaustion....and sharks....took their toll on the survivors, only 316 sailors survived. The book also explains why Captain McVay was not zigzagging the boat at the time it was torpedoed, and why it took four days for suvivors to be rescued. The Indianapolis had just completed delivery of top secret war materials (uranium and materials for the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan) so it's position and orders were secret. Nobody knew where the ship was and when it was supposed to return to port except for a very, very few people. It took days for them to realize the ship was even missing. Very interesting book! I enjoyed hearing the entire story. I never knew the ship was severely damaged by a suicide bomber just months before a torpedo sank the ship. I never knew why the captain was not zigzagging, as ships were usually directed to do to make it harder to target them. Because I learned about the sinking initially on a Shark Week documentary, I thought most of the men in the water were attacked by sharks. Not true. Some were, but most died of exposure, exhaustion and untreated injuries. All in all, a great, very informative book. I will definitely read more by these authors! **I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eric Hausman-Houston

    This amazing ship and these amazing men who fought for our freedom need to be remembered. INDIANAPOLIS is a captivating retelling bringing new light to this incredibly important moment in history. More than just a riveting, harrowing tragedy, due to such an unlikely series of events so near to the end of the war, it is ultimately a story of survival and redemption. A must read for all!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Doug Phillips

    This is a book that held me quite interested for the first 60 percent, and then lost me like the title ship was for so many long days. Other books have covered the ground of the great toll paid by the many sailors of the Indianapolis. The authors here have done meticulous research and it shows. Part of that research is a careful retelling of the court case that reads like a transcript for the ending portion of the book. I admittedly found myself wishing the book would conclude well before the fi This is a book that held me quite interested for the first 60 percent, and then lost me like the title ship was for so many long days. Other books have covered the ground of the great toll paid by the many sailors of the Indianapolis. The authors here have done meticulous research and it shows. Part of that research is a careful retelling of the court case that reads like a transcript for the ending portion of the book. I admittedly found myself wishing the book would conclude well before the final page. I found it interesting to scan the vast bibliography, index, notes, and recap of the primary men involved with this unfortunate incident and corresponding trial. Again, it shows how the authors relied on primary and secondary research to gain an intimate knowledge of the people who were fighting for their country and then for their lives. The story (and the book) concludes with an ending that makes it ripe for a new interpretation in the form of a Hollywood movie (beyond the scope of the poorly made "based upon a true story" Nicolas Cage interpretation from 2016). The real-life characters show endurance, bravery, and sacrifice that is not seen very often in today's world. This one is recommended for anyone who has an interest in history, or those who look for examples of the human spirit and ultimate vindication.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Lorren

    Indianapolis is an outstanding telling of the ship that was entrusted with the responsibility of carrying the atomic weapons that led to the end of World War II in Japan... and then was sunk shortly afterwards. It is the story of how the men survived five days in in shark-infested waters while the Navy bumbled about, not even knowing that the ship was missing until some of the survivors were spotted by a passing plane. It is the story of how the captain of the vessel was unjustly blamed for ever Indianapolis is an outstanding telling of the ship that was entrusted with the responsibility of carrying the atomic weapons that led to the end of World War II in Japan... and then was sunk shortly afterwards. It is the story of how the men survived five days in in shark-infested waters while the Navy bumbled about, not even knowing that the ship was missing until some of the survivors were spotted by a passing plane. It is the story of how the captain of the vessel was unjustly blamed for everything that happened -- and finally was absolved of guilt for the incident, decades after his death from suicide. At times, this book reads almost like a fiction book. The stories of the sailors being surrounded by sharks, going crazy, and struggling to survive, are exciting and horrifying because they are true. You care for the people in this story as you get to know them, and I admit that I cried at the end when the ship's captain finally received justice. This is a beautifully written story that would be great for history buffs, people that are interested in World War II, and people that like to see good finally triumph over corruption and miscarriages of justice.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Spectre

    The numbers are just staggering in this largely unknown naval tragedy at the end of World War II. The USS Indianapolis is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on a cloudy night and 300 men go down with the ship while 900 men end up in the water. The elements, lack of water and food, fire and oil, dehydration, and sharks lead to the deaths of nearly 600 more enduring four more days in the water before being discovered and rescued. There were 317 survivors including the Captain who was subsequently “ The numbers are just staggering in this largely unknown naval tragedy at the end of World War II. The USS Indianapolis is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on a cloudy night and 300 men go down with the ship while 900 men end up in the water. The elements, lack of water and food, fire and oil, dehydration, and sharks lead to the deaths of nearly 600 more enduring four more days in the water before being discovered and rescued. There were 317 survivors including the Captain who was subsequently “scapegoated” by Naval Authorities with little interest in “spoiling” their well-earned victory over Japan. This account is very well told through the voices of the 317 survivors and the efforts by them and their families to clear the name of their Captain. It was a humbling honor for me, the reader, to share the experiences of these men realizing that efforts of men like them are my heritage and the heritage of my children and grandchildren. The authors were incredible acknowledging the efforts of those earlier historians who wrote of this tragedy who, along with the survivors, guided them to this comprehensive story of heroism and weakness and survival. Read this book and watch the video and you’ll surely be awed. (The USS Indianapolis- A Legacy directed by co-author Sara Vladic). This was a lucky Goodreads giveaway winner- Thank you!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Wow! Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic have crafted an amazing read in "Indianapolis" that puts you in the middle of a seemingly unbelievable tale of war, loss, brotherhood, victory, faith and determination as they unpack the story of the USS Indianapolis. From the time at sea through the secret journey to deliver components for Little Man to the heart-pounding torpedo attack and sinking of the ship through the survivors time adrift waiting for rescue days later, a clear visual picture is drawn of th Wow! Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic have crafted an amazing read in "Indianapolis" that puts you in the middle of a seemingly unbelievable tale of war, loss, brotherhood, victory, faith and determination as they unpack the story of the USS Indianapolis. From the time at sea through the secret journey to deliver components for Little Man to the heart-pounding torpedo attack and sinking of the ship through the survivors time adrift waiting for rescue days later, a clear visual picture is drawn of the surroundings as well as the people involved in this heroic tale. As fascinating as the story was leading up to the rescue, what happened in the months, years and decades since is also an amazing tale unto its own. The dogged determination of survivors and their families to right the record about what happened combined with the involvement of the final USS Indianapolis submarine commander make for a compelling read. Sara Vladic became enthralled with this story as a teenager and she has made it a key part of her life to capture and share the story of this crew - that passion was evident within the pages. Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic pull from myriad sources to tell a story that keeps you interested from the first page until the end (and even the end pages are an interesting read, too) - this book is a great example of a well crafted narrative nonfiction that I find to be some of the best writing around. In the days since reading it, I have already recommended it to at least 3 people and keep coming back to the story in conversation with others. I received an ARC through NetGalley and Simon & Schuster to read in exchange for my honest review. This book is released July 10th. I look forward to buying my own copy of this in hardback for my personal library.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Phenomenal, engrossing, riveting, devastating---all of these (and more) apply to Vincent's book about the USS Indianapolis. Following the ship from just a little while before it was attacked by a Japanese sub and ending as recently as last year, Vincent has arranged an amazingly coherent narrative that gives intricate insight into mission details, the actions and personalities of the crew, and pointed answers, almost in a paint-by-numbers fashion, as to just how the sinking of this ship blossome Phenomenal, engrossing, riveting, devastating---all of these (and more) apply to Vincent's book about the USS Indianapolis. Following the ship from just a little while before it was attacked by a Japanese sub and ending as recently as last year, Vincent has arranged an amazingly coherent narrative that gives intricate insight into mission details, the actions and personalities of the crew, and pointed answers, almost in a paint-by-numbers fashion, as to just how the sinking of this ship blossomed into such an untold catastrophe. It would be easy to focus for the most part on the men's struggles at sea (as that is the most publicized part); I mean, isn't that right? As the book is quick to point out, a great majority of today's awareness of the ship comes from the film Jaws, and I'll raise my hand to that effect, as I'm definitely one among that particular crowd. Vincent seems to be quite aware of the fascination of this part of the story, and gives it proper due without giving in to the temptation of sensationalizing the ordeal. Many pages will be turned over to reveal heart-wrenching deaths, survival against the odds, and humbling conclusions that further cement these men (and their loved ones) as champions beyond comprehension. The final third of the book outlines the court-martial trial of the captain of the Indianapolis and subsequent attempts to reinstate him, despite the verdict and the shaky, shady events that preceded it. Modern proponents and allies of the survivors are highlighted as they take up the mantle, working in tandem with what's left of the crew to secure the ship's legacy, writhing in the agony of a stubborn bureaucracy, and celebrating in the ecstasy of legal victory. You'll close the book and likely have a somber moment (or several) in remembrance for the crew and what they had to endure for over half a century. A lesser book might have either been too clinical or weighed too heavily on the survival at sea (as mentioned earlier); Vincent wonderfully reveals the story in its entirety, showing what adversity can cause us to become, for better or for worse, warts and all. A most supreme recommendation from me. You'll be floored. Many thanks to NetGalley, as well as to Simon & Schuster for the advance read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Casey Wheeler

    I received a free Kindle copy of Indianapolis by LynnVincent and Sara Vladic courtesy of Net Galley  and Simon snd Schuster, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages. I requested this book as  I read a couple of other books on the events surrounding the sinkng of the Indianapolis, but this one carried it forward I received a free Kindle copy of Indianapolis by LynnVincent and Sara Vladic courtesy of Net Galley  and Simon snd Schuster, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages. I requested this book as  I read a couple of other books on the events surrounding the sinkng of the Indianapolis, but this one carried it forward to the present day.  This is the first book by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic that I have read. This is an extremely well written and researched book. The subtitle is an accurate depiction of the contents of the book - The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man. This book reads more like a piece of fiction than history making it an engaging and interesting read. The book covers the events leading up to the sinking of the Indianapolis, the stories of the crew adrift while waiting for resuce, the rescue effort, the hearings after the war and the long fight by the crew to exonerate their captain from blame for the events that occurred. It also points out the inflexibility of the Navy in admitting that they made a mistake even after Congress cleared the captain of any wrongdoing. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a comprehensive history of what took place with the sinking of the Indianapolis and the events afterwardes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lourdes

    I requested and received a free review copy via NetGalley! I really loved this book as it is about history, WWII. The writing is as if you are in the story, and so well defined. The description of the ship, the sailors, their stories, of how it talks about Pearl Harbor, and then the sinking of the Indianapolis. The writing is detailed and vivid, you feel the fear and terror that the sailors felt. Some of our service members so young that join to be a part of our U.S. Navy. The Indianapolis sinking I requested and received a free review copy via NetGalley! I really loved this book as it is about history, WWII. The writing is as if you are in the story, and so well defined. The description of the ship, the sailors, their stories, of how it talks about Pearl Harbor, and then the sinking of the Indianapolis. The writing is detailed and vivid, you feel the fear and terror that the sailors felt. Some of our service members so young that join to be a part of our U.S. Navy. The Indianapolis sinking remains the Navy's second greatest loss of life in World War II. Out of a crew of 1,195, only 317 survived. This is like one of my favorite books I read in a long time. I love history, and being married to a sailor, and listening to them go up and down the ship stairwells and all brought back memories for me. My sailor was on the U.S.S. Sierra that was a destroyer tender part of the WWII also. Definitely pick a copy of this book, you will not be dissapointed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nan Williams

    What an outstanding job the authors did not only to research the history of the Indianapolis, but to research the lives of the men, themselves, and their families. This made the whole accounting much more human than just a clinical dissection of naval history. This was very well written with really nice illustrations. Once the book is published, I plan to buy a hardcopy and read/peruse it slowly, underlining, book marking and digesting it more thoroughly. I received this as an ARC from NetGalley a What an outstanding job the authors did not only to research the history of the Indianapolis, but to research the lives of the men, themselves, and their families. This made the whole accounting much more human than just a clinical dissection of naval history. This was very well written with really nice illustrations. Once the book is published, I plan to buy a hardcopy and read/peruse it slowly, underlining, book marking and digesting it more thoroughly. I received this as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Simon and Schuster.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David Wingert

    I recently finished an advance reader's edition of "Indianapolis" by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic. It is scheduled for publication July 10th. This is the true story of the worst sea disaster in US Naval History and the 50 year fight to exonerate the captain. For those who don't know, this is the ship mentioned in "Jaws". Close to 1,000 men went into the water when it was torpedoed by the Japanese at the end of WWII. Only 317 were rescued 5 days later for lack of food and water, but plenty of sha I recently finished an advance reader's edition of "Indianapolis" by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic. It is scheduled for publication July 10th. This is the true story of the worst sea disaster in US Naval History and the 50 year fight to exonerate the captain. For those who don't know, this is the ship mentioned in "Jaws". Close to 1,000 men went into the water when it was torpedoed by the Japanese at the end of WWII. Only 317 were rescued 5 days later for lack of food and water, but plenty of sharks. The book is a definite read for those into WWII and/or US Naval history.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dick Reynolds

    The story opens on March 18, 1945 when the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) is battling attacks by a Japanese dive bomber. The ship is in a convoy with sixteen aircraft carriers. The Indianapolis had recently supported the Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima and would soon participate in the battle to capture Okinawa. Only thirteen days later, while supporting that battle, the ship would be severely damaged during a kamikaze attack. The damage was so great that it would require extensive repair The story opens on March 18, 1945 when the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) is battling attacks by a Japanese dive bomber. The ship is in a convoy with sixteen aircraft carriers. The Indianapolis had recently supported the Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima and would soon participate in the battle to capture Okinawa. Only thirteen days later, while supporting that battle, the ship would be severely damaged during a kamikaze attack. The damage was so great that it would require extensive repairs back at Mare Island, California. On July 16, 1945, with the Indianapolis now deemed fit for sea duty she heads back into the Pacific at flank speed. This time the ship is carrying a mysterious package, a large box that is guarded continually by Marines. On July 26, Indianapolis made Tinian Island and the contents of the mysterious cargo box, two large metal canisters, were unloaded and taken ashore. One of the ship’s crew, a sailor who had read Time magazine, knew the canisters contained radioactive material. Indeeed, they held components for the atomic bombs to be later dropped on Japan. Indianapolis had been ordered to return to Leyte in the Philippines. The next chapters describing the ship’s passage, without an escort, are filled with tension and fear. The authors switch us back and forth as she is tracked by the Japanese submarine I58 commanded by Captain Hashimoto. At midnight on July 30, Hashimoto found the Indianapolis and fired six torpedoes, the first striking the bow. The scenes which follow are painful to read as men are burned or drowned while fighting to save the ship. Captain McVay finally gives the order to abandon ship. Members of the Annapolis are struggling to stay alive in a dark and dangerous ocean. Reading this is an emotional, agonizing and inspirational experience. There are many instances of heroism as stricken individuals help each other try to survive. An aircraft spots the resulting oil slick and several bobbing live rafts so the search continues. Many rescue ships are quickly dispatched to the scene along with several aircraft. Of the twelve hundred on the ship, some 900 would make it into the water while about 300 went down with the ship. Only 316 would finally survive, including the skipper Captain McVay. But that’s not the end of the story by any means. Navy brass would want to know what the hell happened out there. The entire matter was eventually referred to a general court-martial, the most serious of judicial procedures in the armed forces. Even Captain Hashimoto was brought to the U. S. to testify at Captain McVay’s trial but his remarks seemed to have little effect. McVay was found guilty of failing to zig zag, and lost two hundred numbers in the lineal list of seniority. He eventually retired from the Navy and received a “tombstone promotion” to Rear Admiral. But this is not the end of the story. A teen age school boy, Hunter Scott, began a project to investigate the sinking of the Indianapolis and it soon took on a life of its own. Commander Bill Toti, who had been the skipper of the nuclear submarine by the same name, helped the growing surge to exonerate Captain McVay and managed to get the attention of Senator John Warner. Thanks to the combined efforts of these three individuals along with many others, fighting the Navy’s top brass all the way, Captain McVay was fully exonerated. Sadly, McVay did not live to see this happen. The authors have done an excellent job in researching extensive historical records. Many diagrams and photographs are provided along with a lot of other relevant supporting material.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    One of the most chilling words ever read," For the men who carried the bomb." This is how one crew member of USS Indianapolis signs his checks. Truly amazing read with in depth and personal accounts from those who lived to tell their story. "While her trim skin made her one of the fastest large ships in the Navy, it also meant that the bubble of steam and gas produced by an exploding torpedo could easily crack her in two." With not one but two torpedoes hitting her she went down and was never found One of the most chilling words ever read," For the men who carried the bomb." This is how one crew member of USS Indianapolis signs his checks. Truly amazing read with in depth and personal accounts from those who lived to tell their story. "While her trim skin made her one of the fastest large ships in the Navy, it also meant that the bubble of steam and gas produced by an exploding torpedo could easily crack her in two." With not one but two torpedoes hitting her she went down and was never found until nearly 72 years after her loss by Paul Allan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzs8w... Absolute amazing July 30th 1945 with almost 1200 men on board USS Indianapolis for a top secret mission to deliver the atomic bomb unbenounced to them. Three hundred of those men went down with their ship, while 900 went into the icy shark infested salt water. The salt water was not kind to these men after 4 days in the water before being finally rescued. There in lies the problem, as Rear Admiral McVay was court martialed not only for his failure to zigzag but also in hazarding his ship. Yet the men stand firm with their knowledge that McVay had no knowledge and the truth of the matter is it "must be recognized threat to decide." Unjust is the term used as it may have been legally ok but with negligence you must have implied knowledge. Could this all have been a terrible misunderstanding, a vendetta, a failure to provide the intel that was in their possession? "Of the 1,195 souls aboard Indianapolis, three of every 4 men died." Many suffered shark bites, had flesh burned exposing bone, had simply lost their minds out at sea from drinking the salt water and having gone hungry for 4 days prior to rescue. Sadly, no one was ever disciplined for failure to provide McVay with intel in their possession yet it's documented that officers on each end of Indy's route had information on one or both subs (Hashimoto) and failed to pass it to Rear Admiral McVay. McVay eventually married multiple times, tried to put the blame and shame behind, yet succumbed to it all committing suicide using .38 revolver to the temple. In April, McVay was awarded a 2nd bronze star during a quiet ceremony for his efforts in the Kamikaze strike at Okinawa. The sinking of Indianapolis was second only to Pearl Harbor as the Navy's greatest loss in WWII. On Oct 12, 2000 an exoneration resolution was passed clearing McVay of any wrong doing (House Joint Resolution 48) with help from Hashimoto himself in the form of a letter explaining the situation in detail. Charles McVay IV (Quatro) his living son received the Bronze star. I simply cannot fathom this amount of suffering but I'm blessed in knowing they all fought for our freedom we have today! Thank god for them all! Thank god for their story's to pass on to the next generation. May they never be forgotten. A fab read by remarkable women who took on a task larger than life and did it with justice, integrity, compassion, and love. Thank you Lynn Vincent, her publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this wonderful E-Read ARC copy in exchange for this honest review. I'd also like to share my review for "All the Gallant Men" by Donald Stratton https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This book was hard for me to read at times. Not because it was boring but because the author was able to make the reader feel like they were there. The hardest part to read was how the Navy treated Captain Charles B. McVay III was unbelievably cruel. I don't understand why the Navy did that. He was a remarkably strong man but he was beaten by the anger he encountered not just from the Navy but from the families of the victims. The four days from the sinking of the Indianapolis till the time they This book was hard for me to read at times. Not because it was boring but because the author was able to make the reader feel like they were there. The hardest part to read was how the Navy treated Captain Charles B. McVay III was unbelievably cruel. I don't understand why the Navy did that. He was a remarkably strong man but he was beaten by the anger he encountered not just from the Navy but from the families of the victims. The four days from the sinking of the Indianapolis till the time they were rescued must have been help to the survivors. I was aware of the shark attacks but the worst had to have been the thirst and the excruciating death from drinking salt water. The survivors that came to the decommissioning of the Indianapolis were real heroes for the way they worked to help exonerate Captain McVay. It's sad that Captain McVay was not exonerated during his lifetime but at least his military record was corrected. I highly recommend this book. This is one of the few books I would read again. Thank you Lynn Vincent and Netgally for this wonderful ebook ARC copy in exchange for this honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne Morgan

    Most people today know the story of the Indianapolis, if they know it at all, from the movie Jaws. While hunting a great white shark, boat captain Quint tells Hooper and Brody of being on the Indy (as she was known by the crew) when she sunk, sharks circling until the men were pulled from the water after delivering "the bomb". The full story, told here for the first time, is much more complex, dramatic, and heartbreaking. Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic do full justice to the story of the Indy, her Most people today know the story of the Indianapolis, if they know it at all, from the movie Jaws. While hunting a great white shark, boat captain Quint tells Hooper and Brody of being on the Indy (as she was known by the crew) when she sunk, sharks circling until the men were pulled from the water after delivering "the bomb". The full story, told here for the first time, is much more complex, dramatic, and heartbreaking. Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic do full justice to the story of the Indy, her crew, and her captain in this new book, The Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man. Vincent and Vladic have done incredible, in-depth research with only primary sources- including speaking with survivors- to piece together a saga every bit as gripping and full of personal drama as the sinking of the Titanic or Lusitania. The stories of the crew, how they lived, how they came to be on Indy in the first place, their families and plans for the future connect you to them intimately. Indy's final, famous mission was a series of coincidences and Naval negligence from first to last. Originally she was not slated to carry uranium for the first atomic bomb, but due to damage from a kamikaze strike she was in California finishing repairs and called into action because of the sterling reputation of her captain, Charles McVay III. After successfully delivering the uranium, Indy was slated to travel to Guam for training. Despite knowing there was submarine activity in the route McVay was to take, he was told by authorities the route was safe, and given no escort. The recounting of the torpedo strikes, the sinking, and the five nights the survivors spent in the water are told in a straightforward piecing together of memories. No additional drama is needed to make the tale emotional, dramatic,, and viscerally terrifying and heartbreaking. The story of the Indianapolis does not end when the 316 survivors were pulled out of the water. Vincent and Vladic follow the crew back to the States, and then all too troubling tale of the courtmarshal of Captain McVay for negligence in allowing his ship to be sunk. It took over fifty years and an amazing amount of intense battling before this injustice was rectified and McVay's record cleared. Thoroughly researched and deeply moving, the story of the Indianapolis is a tale of courage, strength, and determination in the face of overwhelming odds. Despite Vincent and Vladic's prose occasionally falling victim to non-fiction book's tendency of dramatically foreshadowing what is to come (the typical "it was a mistake they would soon come to regret" type of chapter ending) and the fact that they can't seem to go more than three sentences without using similes or metaphors in describing anything, The Indianapolis is a well told, compelling story. Fans of Erik Larson's Dead Wake will appreciate the attention to detail not only from the American point of view, but the Japanese as well. An absolute must-read for military history buffs, naval history buffs, or anyone curious about the story behind the tale told in Jaws, The Indianapolis is a powerful, fast-paced, emotionally moving, account of the greatest disaster in U.S. naval history. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    5 stars A wholly American ship, she was built between 1930 and 1932. She first sailed in 1932 and was christened the USS Indianapolis. By 1945, the Indianapolis became master of the seas from Pearl Harbor all the way to Japan. The end of the Pacific War was fast coming when she was tasked with a top secret mission at the end of July to deliver the core of the bomb that was to fall on Hiroshima. Her commander was Captain Charles B. McVay. Four days later, the Indianapolis was struck by two Japanes 5 stars A wholly American ship, she was built between 1930 and 1932. She first sailed in 1932 and was christened the USS Indianapolis. By 1945, the Indianapolis became master of the seas from Pearl Harbor all the way to Japan. The end of the Pacific War was fast coming when she was tasked with a top secret mission at the end of July to deliver the core of the bomb that was to fall on Hiroshima. Her commander was Captain Charles B. McVay. Four days later, the Indianapolis was struck by two Japanese torpedoes and she went down. Three hundred men went down with the ship. Nearly nine hundred made it into the sea. Only three hundred and sixteen men survived the harrowing tale of endurance, determination and sheer luck. What follows in this remarkable tale is the story of the Indianapolis’ war in the Pacific. It tells the story of the grit and determination of Admiral Spruance, the sharp wits of Captain McVay and the bravery of her men. It also tells of McVay’s court martial and the fifty-year battle to clear his name. It speaks of the lack of the Navy’s ability to admit their responsibility in the disaster, the survivors’ struggle to survive in the water against all odds in a sea surrounded by sharks and the loyalty of the surviving men to their Captain is joining the fight to clear his name. This is an extremely well-researched story. The two authors did everything in their power to tell the real story of the Indianapolis – from her birth to her death. It is written in a clear and concise manner, not in overly technical or legalese in language. It is easy for anyone to read, whether an historian or a casual reader who is interest in the Indianapolis’ history. It is a wonderful book and very informative and interesting. I am glad that I read it. Of course, I’ve seen the Spielberg film about the ship and have seen the Jaws film where Robert Shaw speaks his immortal lines. I want to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for forwarding to me a copy of this most remarkable history to read, enjoy and review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Amazing!! Very readable, very inspiring, hard to grasp in some place the horror that these men went through and the courage of many others to see that justice was finally done to Captain Charles McVay.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Romero

    Coming from these two authors, I knew this was going to be a good book. And it was. I don't usually do Military history. But something about this story pulled at me. A true account of what happened to the ship and crew of the USS Indianapolis. After delivering precious cargo that would effectively end the war with Japan, she has limped on a course to complete the repairs that were not finished before they were pulled for a special top-secret mission. But they never made it. Torpedoed by the enemy Coming from these two authors, I knew this was going to be a good book. And it was. I don't usually do Military history. But something about this story pulled at me. A true account of what happened to the ship and crew of the USS Indianapolis. After delivering precious cargo that would effectively end the war with Japan, she has limped on a course to complete the repairs that were not finished before they were pulled for a special top-secret mission. But they never made it. Torpedoed by the enemy and sank.  A story of bravery, of teen-aged boys stepping up when needed. Of the fight to survive for those left alive in the dark water surrounded by deadly oil slicks and sharks. I am not going to lie, it was hard to read some of this but then these young men sacrificed their lives and as we learn more about each one we become invested in their survival. A story of how a crew and an enemy came forward to save their Captain from an unjust court-martial. Any military fans will love this in-depth look at our military history. I know I will never forget this one. Netgalley/ Simon and Schuster  July 10, 2018

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paul Pessolano

    “Indianapolis, The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man” by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, published by Simon and Schuster. Category – Naval Military History Publication Date – July 07, 2018. In the Armed Service the best is considered “outstanding”, in the literary world “must read”, this book fits both categories. Few people know what happened to the USS Indianapolis and its crew on July 30, 1945. This book tells the horri “Indianapolis, The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man” by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, published by Simon and Schuster. Category – Naval Military History Publication Date – July 07, 2018. In the Armed Service the best is considered “outstanding”, in the literary world “must read”, this book fits both categories. Few people know what happened to the USS Indianapolis and its crew on July 30, 1945. This book tells the horrid truth of its sinking and what happened to the 1200 men aboard the ship and the ensueing cover-up by the Navy. At midnight a Japanese submarine put two torpedoes in the Indianapolis and she sunk within 15 minutes. It is estimated that 300 men went down with the ship and 900 made it into the water. These 900 men were adrift on the ocean for five nights and four days. They suffered from dehydration, lack of food, shark attacks, and insanity. It was only through sheer luck that an allied plane discovered the men on the water. Only 317 of the 900 made it to safety. The Navy failed to provide destroyer escort for the ship, did not keep track of her movements, although they knew where she should be at any time, and attempted to lay blame on the ships captain. This is but a brief outline of this tragic event, there is much more to the story than what is written here. Again, this is an “outstanding” and “must read” novel.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cherie'

    Thank you Good Reads and Simon and Shuster for an advanced copy of Indianapolis, The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-year fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic. This book is available today at book stores. Charles McVay is the Captain of the USS Indianapolis, the largest naval fleet in the history of the modern world commissioned in 1932. The ship is like a tank on the water. From bow to fantail the USS Indianapolis was 610 fe Thank you Good Reads and Simon and Shuster for an advanced copy of Indianapolis, The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-year fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic. This book is available today at book stores. Charles McVay is the Captain of the USS Indianapolis, the largest naval fleet in the history of the modern world commissioned in 1932. The ship is like a tank on the water. From bow to fantail the USS Indianapolis was 610 feet, had a beam of 66 feet from port rail to starboard. It spanned 13 presidents from FDR to GW Bush, it inspired filmmaker Spielberg, and a 11 boy name Hunter Scott. On March 19, 1945 the USS Franklin while in the pacific ocean was hit by Japanese Kamikaze's and killed 724 and wounded 265 but didn't sink. The USS Indianapolis was ordered to carry a top secret package to Tinian, which was successful. After leaving to their next location, on Sunday July 31st 1945 the unthinkable happened, Hashimoto's submarine (Japanese) hit the ship with two torpedoes and it sunk and fast. Captain McVay made the decision for all aboard to get a life jacket and abandon ship. Most jumped, a lot drown, some committed suicide, some got stuck and went down with the ship. One particular guy got lucky SFC Outland got tangled in a line and the ship dragged him under water and he almost died, just at the last second somehow the line untangled and he got free. On the water the ones that didn't have life jackets would let others put their arms of someone in front of them. These men fought to stay alive despite watching others getting eaten by sharks and hearing the screams of that horror. Despite the horror, some men managed to keep somewhat of a sense of humor with witticism. They talked a lot to each other, some fights broke out and some men didn't want the ones that were bit by sharks near them due to the blood. They talked about the most humane way to kill a friend when they were starting to hallucinate, dying from burns, shark bites, dehydration, and pain. The men were covered in so much oil and you couldn't really tell whom most were. Even though the SOS was sent it was ignored by George Atteberry whom recalled the rescue boats saying it could be an enemy trap "jap trap." No one reported that the Indianapolis did not arrive at it's next scheduled location either. On Thursday after 4 days on the oil slick waters burnt from the sun, starving,and dehydrated, some of the survivors noticed a plane in the sky and then were screaming and using mirrors from the kits of the rafts to reflect. It was Aviation Jim Graham that noticed the oil slick, then several hundred men in the water several miles apart from each other. From the plane more rafts were dropped for the floaters. Then from Chuck Gwinn's plane whom was checking an antenna line flapping from the rear of his plane noticed people in the water too. Lt Andrian Marks is flying his plane the Doyle reported a message at Peleliu of the survivors to send help. The office didn't pass on the message and sat on it. Soon there is a court marshall for Captain McVay for not zig zagging to avoid enemy sub. Then comes Hunter Scott an 11 yo boy who did a project on USS Indianapolis for school and went to interview survivors on the horror suffered by these men, he took it all the way to the President. It took Hunter to help exonerate Captain McVay convicted due to not zig zaging. After the rescue, Captain McVay told his wife: everyday I will see the faces of men I lost, I will live a long, long time with that punishment, Then chapter 6 ends with: He was wrong about that which keeps you reading for more. In court to exonerate, the guy Hashimoto is called to the stand, you know the guy who torpedoed the USS Indianapolis. I mean could you imagine if Bin Laden showed up in court? I enjoyed this book very much, my book is full of sticky's as I kept notes, the Authors told you just enough about the USS Indianapolis crew that you could remember them throughout the book. This book has a lot of emotions, including shock, funny moments, horror, faith, courage, and tragedy. It is full of scandal then ultimate justice. This book will stay with me a long time plus knowing that my dad served for over 20 years and this could of happened to him aboard his ship. Not likely in the 80's and 90's but there is always that chance. Thank you to the Authors for their thorough research and not giving up on this book and I have an understanding of the importance and legacy of the USS Indianapolis. Cherie'

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth Iltz

    I wasn't aware of the tragedy of the Indianapolis until I found this book at COSTCO. In 1945, the sinking of Indianapolis led to the greatest single loss of life at sea, from a single ship, in the history of the US Navy. The ship had just deliver parts of Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever used in combat, and was on her way to the Philippines on training duty. On July 30th, just weeks before the Japanese surrendered, the ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, I wasn't aware of the tragedy of the Indianapolis until I found this book at COSTCO. In 1945, the sinking of Indianapolis led to the greatest single loss of life at sea, from a single ship, in the history of the US Navy. The ship had just deliver parts of Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever used in combat, and was on her way to the Philippines on training duty. On July 30th, just weeks before the Japanese surrendered, the ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remaining 900 faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks while floating with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. Over 500 men died in the water desperately waiting for rescue. The total number of dead was 879; there were 317 survivors. Shockingly, it took nearly five days for the Navy to even realize that the ship was missing. Captain Charles B. McVay III, who had commanded Indianapolis since November 1944, survived the sinking and was among those rescued. In November 1945, he was court-martialed and convicted of "hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag." This was a trumped up charge but the Navy believed that someone had to be found at fault. The court-martial was later reversed but only after Captain McVay tragically committed suicide. This is a good read. My only criticism is that the authors follow numerous crew members and officers throughout the ordeal and trying to keep track of them becomes a bit overwhelming. As I write this review, the book is number 4 on the NY Times nonfiction bestseller list. Deservedly so.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    How do you review a book like this? Where do you even begin? I originally received a free copy of this book from NetGalley, but knew within just a few pages of this beautifully written non-fiction account of the USS Indianapolis's history that I HAD to own a finished copy. I was unable to finish my ARC before the publication date, but the week it was published, I bought my hard copy. Let me say that the physical book itself is just as gorgeous as the prose within. Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic hav How do you review a book like this? Where do you even begin? I originally received a free copy of this book from NetGalley, but knew within just a few pages of this beautifully written non-fiction account of the USS Indianapolis's history that I HAD to own a finished copy. I was unable to finish my ARC before the publication date, but the week it was published, I bought my hard copy. Let me say that the physical book itself is just as gorgeous as the prose within. Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic have put together a well-written, unputdownable account of the USS Indianapolis, her last voyage, the sinking of the ship, the incredible, harrowing experiences of the survivors and the unthinkable final moments of those who lost their lives, as well as the court-martial of Indy's captain, and his eventual exoneration. This is a book that will make you sob hysterically, copious amounts of tears that will come so hard and fast you won't be able to see the page in front of you. It will make you gasp in horror, shake with rage and indignation, and give you immense joy and comfort. Embarrassingly, I knew NOTHING of the USS Indianapolis before I picked up this book on NetGalley. I am heartily ashamed of the gap in my education. I am beyond grateful to NetGalley and to the authors and publisher of this book for providing such a complete, compelling account. Whether you know a lot about US Naval History or you know nothing, please, I beg you...get your hands on a copy of this book. The saga of the USS Indianapolis and her crew is one that deserves to be told, honored, and remembered.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nissa

    There are just some books that sweep you up into their embrace and drag you helplessly through their tale until the conclusion is reached. "Indianapolis” by Lynn Vincent is just such a book. This is a must-read for anyone who likes to read naval warfare, or for anyone who enjoys tales of how incredible will and sheer guts can make ordinary men rise to accomplish the most extraordinary of feats. This was an amazing story, and I highly recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    This would be a five-star just for being the best military history of what actually happened to the Indianapolis. Add in the long, long quest for the surviving, dwindling crew, and a precocious teenager after that, to rehabilitate its commander, Capt. Charles McVay, from a post-war scapegoating court marshal, and it's a blockbuster.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emilio III

    I was first introduced to the Indianapolis story like a lot of people – from the movie Jaws. Quint's riveting speech about his time in the waters after the sinking of the Indianapolis was one of the more memorable scenes in the movie. The authors quote the speech word for word. Richard Dreyfus once said in an interview that he wasn't acting when he was listening to actor Robert Shaw deliver the speech. He was totally transfixed by the story that was being told. Over the years I have read and watc I was first introduced to the Indianapolis story like a lot of people – from the movie Jaws. Quint's riveting speech about his time in the waters after the sinking of the Indianapolis was one of the more memorable scenes in the movie. The authors quote the speech word for word. Richard Dreyfus once said in an interview that he wasn't acting when he was listening to actor Robert Shaw deliver the speech. He was totally transfixed by the story that was being told. Over the years I have read and watched numerous accounts of the story. What drew me to read this account was the addition of the subsequent investigation, court-martial trial, and the efforts to clear the captain's name. Not only is this a story seventy-plus years in the making, but the authors spent a considerable amount of time bringing it all together. The end result is a compelling story that touches on one historical event after another. The story is told in a mostly linear fashion, starting with some background on the ship and crew, previous battle history, including Okinawa and Iwo Jima, the delivery of the atomic bomb, the sinking, the five days in the water, and the rescue. Interspersed with this narrative are references to recent efforts to clear the captain's name, the only person faulted for the sinking, Additionally, the authors weave in the perspective of the Japanese submarine captain Mochitsura Hashimoto. The writing is detailed and vivid. You feel the fear and terror that the sailors felt. You empathize with their situation. One of the more frustrating elements of the Indianapolis story is the many missed opportunities that could have either prevented the entire ordeal or at least hasten the rescue. One example of a missed opportunity involved an Army aircraft that witnessed the sinking as it happened. The aircraft was at nine thousand feet. They saw what they later described as a spectacular naval battle. Unfortunately, the pilot mistook the fireworks display as a training exercise that he had been briefed on before his flight. The story of the young Hunter Scott and his attempts, along with Indianapolis survivors and Commander William Toti, to clear Captain McVay's name lacks the drama of the sinking but is nonetheless compelling. After reading the book, I watched co-author Sara Vladic's documentary Indianapolis: The Legacy. I recommend viewing the documentary after reading the book. You can find it on Amazon Prime. In addition to interviews with many of the survivors, the documentary incorporates images and video that add another level to the story you've just read. There was one short video of survivors being pulled out of the water that caught my attention. Many of the sailors were covered in diesel oil from head to toe. While certainly an irritant, the oil might have actually aided in the survivability by serving as a protectant against the sun and prolonged exposure to the elements. The Indianapolis sinking remains the Navy's second greatest loss of life in World War II. Out of a crew of 1,195, only 317 survived. The actual ship's final resting place was discovered on August 19, 2017, by the high-tech research vessel Petrel. This review is based on a pre-publication copy provided by NetGalley.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Meakim

    Many many thanks to the incredible authors Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, Simon and Schuster, and NetGalley for an ARC of this tour de force read. It was extremely well researched-much of it through the mouths of those who lived through that horrific experience. The authors became part of the survivor’s family and strove to know them as people, not just in order to get facts for the book. I loved the afterwards sharing so much information about the survivors and their families. My dad, who was a Many many thanks to the incredible authors Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, Simon and Schuster, and NetGalley for an ARC of this tour de force read. It was extremely well researched-much of it through the mouths of those who lived through that horrific experience. The authors became part of the survivor’s family and strove to know them as people, not just in order to get facts for the book. I loved the afterwards sharing so much information about the survivors and their families. My dad, who was a sailor on the USS Lexington, had told me about it when I was a young girl. I was so intrigued I went to the library and took out a book about it. When I heard about this book I was so excited to read it. I could not put it down because the men came alive for me as I read their stories. These brave heroes went through so much trauma - during and after the sinking, especially Captain Charles McVay, a true hero who was made a scapegoat. It saddened me that the Navy actually court marshaled him, ending his esteemed career and ultimately his life. I strongly encourage everyone to read this just released very exceptional book!

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