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"It would not have mattered."

Response at 1945 McVay court-martial by Mochitsura Hashimoto,

commander of the submarine which sank the Indianapolis, when asked

"Would it have made any difference to you whether the ship was zigzagging or not?"

Resource for Educators

References (Documentary)

USS Indianapolis: The Legacy (2016) The story of the greatest sea disaster in U.S. Navy History, told for the first time by only the men who lived it. Set to a soaring original score, this incredible story unfolds with rare WWII footage, previously unpublished photographs, and new footage from one of the last WWII-era heavy cruisers still afloat. USS Indianapolis: The Legacy shows us that through courage and faith, ordinary men can survive the crucible of nature, and emerge extraordinary heroes. Available on, iTunes, Vudu and more.

References (Books)

Kurzman, Dan. Fatal Voyage: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis. New-York: Atheneum, 1990. OCLC 20824775 (reprint with foreward by Harlan Twible, survivor, 2001, 397 pages). 

Newcomb, Richard F. Abandon ship! Death of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. New York: Holt, 1958. OCLC 173257, 2177577 (reprint with introduction by Peter Maas, 2000, 326 pages).

Nelson, Pete Left for Dead (with preface by Hunter Scott) New York: Delacorte Pres, 2002, 191 pages. 


Lech, Raymond B. All the Drowned Sailors. New York: Stein and Day, 1982. OCLC 8668901.


Stanton, Doug. In Harm's Way New York: Henry Holt, 2001, 333 pages (in paperback with new afterword about Captain McVay's exoneration, 2002)

USS Indianapolis Survivors. Only 317 Survived: USS Indianapolis (CA-35) Navy's Worst Tragedy at Sea...880 Men Died Indianapolis, IN, Printing Partners, 2002.

Vincent, Lynn & Sara Vladic. Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U. S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man New York: Simon & Schuster,
Released July 10, 2018 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. It is the definitive account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history.


Other References 

U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing report, The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Subsequent Court-martial of Rear Admiral Charles B. McVay III, 1st session, 106th Congress, September 14, 1999, 150 pages (can be ordered from the Government Printing Office for payment of $7.50).

Alvarez, Lizette, "A Boy's School Project Aims to Revise History: New Focus on Case of 1945 War Disaster." The New York Times, May 1, 1999.

Boyd, Carl. "Attacking the Indianapolis: A Re-examination." Warship International 13, no.1 (1976): 15-25. 

Brown, Chip. "Terror of Shark and Sea, 35 Years After." Washington Post ( 6 Aug. 1980): E1-E3. 

Burlingame, Burl. "Historian: McVay Didn't Have Spy Data." Honolulu Star Bulletin ( 4 Nov. 1993). 

Ethridge, Kenneth E. "The Agony of the Indianapolis." American Heritage 33, no.5 (Aug.-Sep. 1982): 81-96. 

Haynes, Lewis L. and George W. Campbell. "We Prayed While 883 Died." Saturday Evening Post ( 6 Aug. 1955): 28-29,76,78,80. 

Helm, Thomas "Ordeal by Sea" by New American Library A division of Penguin-Putnam International, New York, NY published June 2001 ISBN 0-451-20447-6 With forward and afterward by Captain William J. Toti, USN. 251 pages

Helm, Thomas. Ordeal By Sea: The Tragedy of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1963. OCLC 1349965. [Includes final sailing list with survivors indicated.] 

Maas, Peter, "It's Time to Right a Wrong," Parade Magazine, August 20, 2000

Mueller, Michael "Lost at Sea." American History Illustrated 20, no.4 (Jun. 1985): 28-35. 

"Navy Reports on Court Martial and Gives Account of Indianapolis' Loss." Army and Navy Journal 83, no.27 (2 Mar. 1946): 815, 828, 831.   

"Four Nights of Terror." American Legion 111, no.2 (Aug. 1981): 16-17,40-41. 

Norwitz, Steven. "Remembering the Hunger and Thirst, the Sharks and the Screams." Washington Post ( 5 Aug. 1975): B1-B2.

Toti, Cmdr. William, "The Sinking of the Indy & Responsibility of Command." U.S. Naval Institute publication Proceedings, October 1999

Sudyk, Bob, "Redemption for Sailor Joe." Hartford (Conn.) Courant Sunday magazine, June 21, 1998

Suduk, Bob, "The Search for the Truth About the Indianapolis." Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer Sunday magazine, December 6, 1998

The USS Indianapolis Monument in Indianapolis Indiana - North and South Face.