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Congress awards its highest honor to USS Indianapolis crew

Summary

WASHINGTON Congress has awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, its highest honor, to surviving crew members of the usIndianapolis, the ship that delivered key parts of the primary nuclear bomb and was later sunk by Japan throughout World Struggle II. […]

WASHINGTON Congress has awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, its highest honor, to surviving crew members of the usIndianapolis, the ship that delivered key parts of the primary nuclear bomb and was later sunk by Japan throughout World Struggle II.

The ship, with 1,195 personnel aboard, delivered enriched uranium and different components of the atomic bomb Little Boy” that was later dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945.

4 days after delivering its high secret cargo, the ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945. Of almost 900 males who went into the Philippine Sea, simply 316 survived earlier than being rescued almost 5 days later. The loss of life toll of 879 was the biggest single catastrophe at sea in U.S. Navy historical past.

Survivors have been stranded within the open ocean with few lifeboats and nearly no meals or water, enduring extreme burns, dehydration and shark assaults.

“Instantly, her crew went from combating the battles with out to combating the battles inside,” stated Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, one among a bunch of congressional and Navy leaders who spoke at Thursday’s digital ceremony honoring the eight surviving crew members on the 75th anniversary of the sinking.

The Gold Medal was awarded to the ship’s complete crew, dwelling and useless, and shall be displayed on the Indiana Struggle Memorial Museum in Indianapolis.

After the sinking, the crew fought to remain alert, to take care of one another actually to carry on for expensive life,” stated McConnell, R-Ky. He and different audio system have been proven on video due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Those that perished within the water gave our nation the final word sacrifice … however the true legacy of the Indianapolis was secured earlier than these torpedoes struck,” McConnell stated. “Her crew turned the tide of the warfare. So to her crew members who’re nonetheless standing watch: Your Congress and your nation say thanks.”

Retired Navy Capt. William Toti, who led a nuclear submarine named in honor of the Indianapolis, stated the Gold Medal honors the crew’s accomplishments not the truth that the ship was sunk.

The medal acknowledges a combating ship’s crew, one which helped finish essentially the most horrible warfare this world has ever recognized,” Toti stated. He referred to as the crew members among the many greatest the USA Navy has to supply.”

Not one of the crew members would name himself a hero, Toti added, “however they might all say they served in a crew of heroes.”

Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite addressed the surviving crew members straight, saying All People owe you a ceaselessly debt of gratitude. Braithwaite referred to as the sinking one of many darkest chapters in our Naval historical past” and stated, We are able to always remember the astounding grit and bravado proven by those that lived to inform the story or “the necessary classes our Navy discovered from that tragedy.”

The crew members epitomized the Navy’s ethos of service above self, Braithwaite stated. “Your service, your sacrifice embodied the core tenets of our Navy: honor, braveness and dedication. We the Navy salute you and thanks to your service. Bravo Zulu shipmates.”

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