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Invasion Of Saipan - USS Indianapolis
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keywords: wwii, pacific theater, invasion of saipan, heavy cruiser uss indianapolis, admiral chester w. nimitz, admiral richmond k. turner, admiral ernest king
Synopsis: Rare footage of the Heavy Cruiser USS Indianapolis during the Invasion Of Saipan with Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Admiral Richmond K. Turner and Admiral Ernest King on board as well as various naval officers touring the Island of Saipan after its capture...(read more)
- Date: 1944
- Duration: 00:05:26
- Sound: No
- Color: Monochrome
- Type: Public Domain
- Language: English
- Location: Saipan
Invasion Of Saipan - USS Indianapolis
U.S. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Admiral Richmond Turner with Admiral Ernest King aboard a CA (cruiser) off the Island of Saipan, Mariana Islands. Panning views of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) at anchor. The U.S. heavy cruiser warship is painted in camouflage patterns. Ships of U.S. Task Force in the background. Navy Hospital Ship USS Relief (AH-1) lying off-shore.
U.S. Admiral Ernest King and other officers tour the island after the capture of Saipan, Mariana Islands during World War II. U.S. Admiral Richmond Turner talks to U.S. soldiers. Officers and men at quarters. The officers and soldiers attend flag raising ceremonies on Saipan. A U.S. flag is raised. The Marines salute. U.S. Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance, U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Holland Smith and Major General Sanderford Jarman among the officers present.
History Note: Rare footage of the Heavy Cruiser USS Indianapolis, a ship selected for a top-secret nuclear mission during WWII.
In the early hours of July 16, 1945 and the highest level of secrecy the Heavy Cruiser USS Indianapolis was loaded with atomic bomb components, including Uranium-235 and began its high-speed journey across the Pacific to Tinian Island where the nuclear components were used to complete the two nuclear bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. After unloading its top-secret materials July 26, 1945 the USS Indianapolis was directed to join the Battleship USS Idaho in the Leyte Gulf Philippines.
Fourteen minutes past midnight on July 30, 1945 the USS Indianapolis was hit by two japanese torpedoes and sank within 12 minutes. Of the 1,196 souls aboard, 900 survived to make it to the water. And that's where the horror began. The ship sank so fast that few life rafts were deployed so most of the sailors where floating in the water wearing only the standard Kapok Life Jacket. The shark attacks began with sunrise of the first day and continued until the survivors were rescued almost five days later. Even during the rescue operation with rescue ships within yards, sailors were being dragged away by merciless sharks.
Because she was still under the cloak of high-level secrecy and bad U.S. Naval directives the USS Indianapolis was never reported as late or missing. It was only by sheer luck that they were discovered by a PV-1 Ventura Bomber on anti-submarine patrol. A PBY Seaplane was dispatched which dropped life rafts and upon seeing the carnage disregarded standing orders and landed at sea to rescue the survivors including lashing many to the wings with parachute cord once the plane was full inside. The Destroyer USS Cecil Doyle was the first ship to arrive who also disregarded safety regulations by shining its largest searchlight into the sky as a beacon for other other rescue ship to home in on.
Of the 900 sailors that survived the sinking, only 317 lived to tell their tale of five days of terror under constant shark attacks, starvation, thirst and exposure to the elements.