Charles Butler McVay,
captain, USS Indianapolis
Whenever I was traveling alone, I always had the feeling, "Suppose we go down and we can't get a message off? What will happen then?"
LCDR, Medical Corps, USS Indianapolis
At first you get in a situation where you abhor it. You can't stand it. It's terrible. But you can't get away from it. So you stick with it. And then you get so that you tolerate it. You tolerate it long enough, you embrace it. It becomes your way of life.
private first-class, USMC, USS Indianapolis
The worst part was giving up my life, accepting that I was going to die -- it wasn't the sharks, and it wasn't seeing your buddies die. And we were young men, healthy men. All of a sudden, there's no chance, we can't make it. They've forgotten us. We can't last out here forever -- we're gonna die.
seaman second-class, USS Indianapolis
Buddy, you could hear it -- it was just a rumble, you [could] just hear everything blasting. Underneath this deck, it was just like fireworks. You ever hear fireworks when they posh . . . posh . . . and then all of a sudden: pa, pa, pa! Everything was exploding.
That concussion just ripped that ship from one end to the other. Those were armor-piercing shells that were going off in there. Well, how in the would could that ship survive?
quartermaster first-class, USS Indianapolis
I jumped and I swam. I looked back and the ship stood right on end, and there must have been 300 sailors standin' on the fantail, and it just went under. And they drifted off like a bunch of flies.
Photos of the USS Indianapolis rescue
USS Tranquility at Guam with USS Indianapolis Survivors
USS Tranquility at Guam
USS Indianapolis Survivors on Guam
Bringing USS Indianapolis Survivors ashore at Guam