Naval Disaster Kills 880 People

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USS Indianapolis (CA-35): The Worst Naval Disaster In U.S. History

Naval Disaster

Accident type: Explosion
Vessel involved: USS Indianapolis (CA-35)
Date: July 30, 1945
Casualties: 880 people died

VESSEL INFO:

Name: USS Indianapolis (CA-35)
Built in: 1930
Class & type: Portland-class cruiser
Displacement: 9,950 long tons (10,110 t)
Length: 610 ft 3 in (186.00 m) loa; 584 ft (178 m) lwl
Beam: 66 ft 1 in (20.14 m)

USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was a Portland-class cruiser of the United States Navy.  She was named for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana.

On July 30, 1945, after delivering parts for the first atomic bomb to the United States air base at Tinian, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58 in the Philippine Sea and sank in 12 minutes.  Her sinking led to the greatest single loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Of 1,196 men on board, approximately 300 went down with the ship.  The remainder, about 900 men, faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning and shark attacks while floating with few lifeboats and almost no food or water.  The Navy learned of the sinking when the survivors were spotted four days later by the crew of a PV-1 Ventura on routine patrol.  Only 317 survived.

Source: Wikipedia