USS Indianapolis

Roger Walter

Reading — Intermediate Level
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The USS Indianapolis was a Portland-class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, named for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana.

In 1945, the sinking of Indianapolis led to the greatest single loss of life at sea, from a single ship, in the history of the US Navy. The ship had just finished a high-speed trip to United States Army Air Force Base at Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands to deliver parts of Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever used in combat, and was on her way to the Philippines on training duty. At 12:15 a.m. on 30 July 1945 the ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remaining 900 faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks while floating with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. The Navy learned of the sinking when survivors were spotted four days later by the crew of an aircraft on routine patrol. Only 316 survived.
Source: Wikipedia
  1. The USS Indianapolis was named for…

  2. What was Little Boy?

  3. Where was the USS Indianapolis going when it was sunk?

  4. How did the USS Indianapolis sink?

  5. How many members of the crew lost their lives?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. Do you think that what happened to the USS Indianapolis was fair? Why or why not?

  2. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?

  3. How much do you know about World War II?

    Roger Walter

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      • a relatively fast warship larger than a destroyer and less heavily armed than a battleship.
      • a drop below normal levels of water in the body
      • a serious medical condition that is caused by being outside in very cold weather, or in water
      • a cigar-shaped self-propelled underwater missile designed to explode on reaching a target


    From English
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