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Sailors on modern-day USS Indianapolis get history lesson

New PBS documentary tells tale of 1945 torpedoing of ship that delivered the A-bomb to Tinian

At Mayport Naval Station in Florida, survivors of USS Indianapolis (CA 35) met with the crew of the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) Jan. 7 to screen a documentary, “USS Indianapolis: The Final Chapter."

The Vulcan’s Productions documentary shares the discovery of the once-lost, Portland-class heavy cruiser Indianapolis, or “Indy”, by Research Vessel Petrel, owned by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

“This film is important for tying the crew to the Indianapolis because it gives them a sense of history,” said Commander Colin Kane, commanding officer of modern Indianapolis. “I really hope that it drives this home because it will bring to the forefront the sacrifices that these sailors made back in World War II.”

Before viewing the documentary, survivors of the Indianapolis shared their experiences surrounding the events of the attack, in 1945.

“He was all messed up,” said Harold Bray, a veteran who recounted his efforts to help a fellow crew member during the attack. “His lip’s all blistered, he was floating around. I grabbed him and pulled him in. I tried to tie him to the raft, but I guess I didn’t get a good knot