An objective of the USS Indianapolis Survivors' Organization and the USS Indianapolis CA-35 Legacy Organization has been to get the story of Indy, into schools and programs that can help educate future generations.
Here are just a few ways our community is working
together to make that happen.
Remembering USS Indianapolis
by Sam Leigers, Age 12
After viewing his video: "Remembering USS Indianapolis," Sam Leigers, age 12, received a standing ovation from the audience attending the 74th Anniversary Indianapolis Survivors Reunion. Sam created his video as a district project for the Kentucky National History Day Society's annual student contest. The 2019 theme was Triumph and Tragedy and Heroes. The story of USS Indianapolis was a natural focus. Sam won first place in his district contest and 1st place in Kentucky's National History Day state contest. Along with the statewide win, Sam won the the Frankfort (KY) Elks Lodge B.P.O.E. #350 530 Outstanding Military Award. With this award came a check for $200 which Sam donated to the USS Indianapolis Legacy Organization of which he and his family are members.
Sam gives permission for the showing of his video especially to school or civic groups. Sam's feels the story of Indianapolis must be told for generations.
Indiana War Memorial Exhibit
Each year the National Historical Society sponsors National History Day events for students. The 2019 theme was “Triumph and Tragedy”. Students enter projects at school or their home-school association. If they win, their project is presented in the district contest. From there winners are invited to bring their projects to the state capital to compete against hundreds of other projects. First and second place winners in each category travel to Washington DC for the National Historical Society contest. Over 3,000 students participated this summer at the National contest.
As a home schooler, Autumn entered a display telling story of USS Indianapolis CA-35 from her first voyage to the tragedy of the sinking, and of the heroic behavior of the survivors. Autumn also focused on the exoneration of Captain McVay. Autumns’ display won third in the state Kentucky Historical Society in the display category, qualifying the exhibit as a backup in the national competition if either the first or second place exhibitors in her category were not able to attend.
Having followed Autumn for one year as she researched and developed her project, Earl Henry, son of LAS Lt. Cmdr. Earl Henry, secured an invite for Autumn to display her project at the Survivors’ Reunion in July 2019, in Indianapolis. Reunion attendees who know the Indy story well, were very impressed with the thoroughness of Autumn’s research and accuracy.
Autumn’s biggest win came when General Goodwin, Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorial (IWM) asked her to display her project in the USS Indianapolis Gallery in the IWM. In September Autumn was met at the IWM by General Goodwin who accepted her Indy Project. So, Autumn has won first place in the hearts of the family and friends of the crew of the USS Indianapolis.
For Information on National History Day projects go to www.nhd.org. The 2020 theme is “Breaking Barriers”.
USS INDIANAPOLIS/ GWINN "ANGEL" SCHOLARSHIP
Click HERE to find out more about the scholarship program
USS INDIANAPOLIS: THE LEGACY
DOCUMENTARY AVAILABLE TO SCREEN FOR EDUCATIONAL USE
WATCH THE OFFICIAL TRAILER HERE
Documentary, 2016. Run Time 98 min.
The story of the greatest sea disaster in U.S. Navy History, told for the first time by only the men who lived it. In the most top secret Navy mission of World War II, the crew of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis delivers components of the atomic bomb to Tinian island. Four days later, two Japanese torpedoes sink the ship in the Challenger Deep, triggering an epic tale of survival. For 5 days.
Please contact if you would like to screen the film for educational programming. The award winning film has been shown in hundreds of classrooms throughout the world, ranging from 5th grade through college level classes. All fees are waved for educational screenings.