Cover image for The tragic fate of the U.S.S. Indianapolis : the U.S. Navy's worst disaster at sea
The tragic fate of the U.S.S. Indianapolis : the U.S. Navy's worst disaster at sea
Lech, Raymond B., 1940-
Personal Author:
First Cooper Square Press edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Cooper Square Press, 2001.

Physical Description:
309 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: All the drowned sailors. New York : Stein and Day, 1982.
Corporate Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D774.I5 L4 1982C Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



On July 29, 1945, four days after delivering the atomic bomb destined for Hiroshima, the U.S.S. Indianapolis was torpedoed and sunk. of the 1,199 men on board, 883 perished. Culled from previously unavailable files, this is the chilling story of how the U. S. Navy left the crew in shark-infested waters for four days, and why only a fraction of the 800 men who safely abandoned the ship survived the ordeal. This is the true story of the massive thirty-year cover-up that followed.

Author Notes

Raymond B. Lech, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

"There have been many books and articles on the sinking, but Lech is the first person to have had access to the confidential records and court martial proceedings," said LJ's reviewer of this 1982 investigation into the sinking of the navy cruiser Indianapolis, which was torpedoed by the Japanese after delivering the Hiroshima bomb. Most of the crew died, and the ship's captain was court martialed. Lech claims, however, that the skipper was entirely blameless and that the Navy fabricated a major cover-up to save the careers of numerous admirals and other high-ranking officers. This book "should be in all World War II collections" (LJ 12/15/82). (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1. Missionp. 3
2. Routep. 11
3. Sailingp. 29
4. Sinkingp. 41
5. In the Water the First Day: Monday, July 30, 1945p. 67
6. In the Water the Second Day: Tuesday, July 31, 1945p. 87
7. In the Water the Third Day: Wednesday, August 1, 1945p. 117
8. In the Water the Fourth Day: Thursday, August 2, 1945p. 129
9. In the Water the Fifth Day: Friday, August 3, 1945p. 149
10. Searchp. 157
11. Court of Inquiryp. 163
12. Court-Martialp. 181
Epiloguep. 205
A. Orders to the U.S.S. Indianapolis from the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleetp. 210
B. Routing Instructions to the U.S.S. Indianapolisp. 210
C. Simplified Organizational Chart on Reporting Responsibilities of Key Officers Mentioned in the Textp. 214
D. Waldron's Dispatch Notifying Various Commands of the Sailing of the U.S.S. Indianapolisp. 216
E. Simplified Organization Chart of the Philippine Sea Frontierp. 216
F. Original of Exhibit Offered and Received in Evidence in Case in Chief at Trial of Charles B. McVay, III, Captain, U.S. Navyp. 217
G. Testimony of Commander Hashimoto at the Court-Martial of Captain McVay, III, on December 13, 1945 (CM, pp. 266-76)p. 218
H. Brief in the General Court-Martial Case of Captain Charles B. McVay, III, U.S. Navy, Tried on 3 December 1945p. 227
I. The Naval Inspector General's Final Report on the Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolisp. 230
J. Press and Radio Release: Narrative of the Circumstances of the Loss of the U.S.S. Indianapolisp. 254
K. Press and Radio Release: Court-Martial of Captain Charles B. McVay, III, U.S.N., Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Indianapolisp. 268
L. Recommended Awards to Various Members of the Crew of the U.S.S. Indianapolisp. 269
Bibliographyp. 277
Acknowledgmentsp. 303
Indexp. 305