July 7, 2007

July 7, 2007: USS Indianapolis (CA-35) survivors tour the new USS Indianapolis Gallery to mark its opening to the public.

On July 7, 2007, more than 500 people, including Indiana Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman and Mayor Bart Peterson of Indianapolis, joined remaining survivors of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) and their families for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Indiana War Memorial.  The ceremony marked the official opening of the gallery to the public, and was the culmination of a ten-month project to honor the heavy cruiser and its crew.

The USS Indianapolis (CA-35), commissioned on November 15, 1932, served as a peacetime “ship of state” for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of the Navy Claude A. Swanson, and was Flagship of the 5th Fleet under Admiral Raymond A. Spruance during World War II.  It fought in nearly every major campaign of the Pacific Theater, including the Aleutian Islands, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea.  After delivering the components for the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, the heavy cruiser was sunk by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945.  Only 317 of its crew of nearly 1200 sailors and Marines survived.

The gallery includes a large scale model and chronological history of the ship, as well as artifacts such as the ship’s bell and silver service, uniforms, medals, pennants, and original documents.