In this second episode on the sinking of the USS Indianapolis we find the sailors in the water with a nemesis arguably even more dangerous than the Japanese. It is the predators that roam the oceans known as Sharks. With in minutes of the sinking of the ship the survivors began to see the the fins circling them as they tried to figure out how to survive.
You will hear the men talk about how they were covered in diesel fuel and oil, hungry and thirsty, but knowing they had to avoid drinking the salt water to avoid going mad. One soldier talks about how there are times when you pray and then times when you PRAY, and they were all doing that nonstop as they bobbed up and down in 18,000 feet of water. You will hear tales of madness, hallucinations, disemboweled bodies, shark attacks, and sharks that actually swam right up to them and nosed their life jackets. It is as horrifying a story as any Hollywood movie ever shown.
You will also hear about their heroic rescue, the unfair court marshalling of their ship's Captain despite his own heroism at sea, and you will hear some of the movie scene that brought this story back to the forefront of the American public. But most of all, you will get a full dose of the heroism of the American fighting man, and the humility, and gratefulness, that is so much a hallmark of our military as well. It is a story that will give you the full measure of the sacrifices of generations of Americans that has been made to keep us free.
Our Podcast wished to recognize the veterans whose oral history and interviews we used to tell this story, all but one are now deceased : Edgar Harrell, Art Leenerman, Don McCall, Earl Wiggins, San Gabriel, Adolfo Celaya, and Harold Bray, (Mr. Bray is the lone survivor that is still living as of this production. )
JAWS Credit :
Ranked 4th as one of the best American History Podcasts of 2024