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Author Topic: When life rains down lemons...  (Read 2105 times)

Paul Keith

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When life rains down lemons...
« on: June 26, 2010, 01:17:54 PM »
Quote
The surviving crew of the USS Indanapolis (CA-35). You'd think things would be bad enough, with only 317 of the ship's nearly 1,200 crew surviving getting sunk by a Japanese submarine, then spending four days in shark-infested seas. Things got worse for the survivors when they found out that, at the very least, most of those who made it off the ship alive could've been saved. First, they were sent out of Guam without destroyer escort (which was standard procedure for the area). Then the ship's officers weren't informed that there were Japanese subs in the area (which had already claimed at least one Allied ship). Then when the ship sank, its distress call was dismissed by Allied command as a Japanese trap. Then when the Indianapolis failed to join the rest of the fleet in the Philippines, the ship was marked as "late" instead of "missing", so no search party was sent out. The survivors were found by a scout plane that happened to spot the oil slick from the Indianapolis' wreckage.

And just to polish things off, when people started demanding to know why the ship went missing for so long without being looked for, the Navy made a sacrificial lamb of the ship's C.O., Capt. Charles McVay; court-martialing and convicting him of putting his ship "in harm's way" via his failure to maintain a "zig-zag" sail pattern. They even went so far as to call the Japanese sub commander that sank him as a witness (Who pretty much called the "zig-zag" pattern useless). Mc Vay was the only ship's captain in the U.S. Fleet to lose a ship and be court-martialed for it. (He committed suicide in 1968).

http://tvtropes.org/...Main/TraumaCongaLine

40hz

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Re: When life rains down lemons...
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2010, 03:28:41 PM »
Would make a great subject for a movie.

What about it Hollywood?

     Anyone?

          Anyone?

ljbirns

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Re: When life rains down lemons...
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 08:08:11 PM »
TV  Movie  made in 91  called  Mission of the Shark  Not quite Hollywood but ....
Lew

J-Mac

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Re: When life rains down lemons...
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2010, 09:55:33 PM »
Quint told the story in the original "Jaws".

I didn't know that the CO was court martialed. Wow - that really puts a sucky ending on a story that sounds like the CO's name should have been "Murphy". I would guess that there's more to that story that we haven't heard though it's hard to imagine any other details that would justify that kind of treatment of the CO.

Thanks!

Jim

tsaint

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Re: When life rains down lemons...
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 04:02:12 AM »
I remember reading of a US submarine skipper not so long back being court martialled for hitting some undersea "protuberance...despite following the approved US Navy maps.
If I recall correctly, he had a duty to follow said maps/routing, but also to know if the US Navy approved maps were wrong and miss any extant discepancies.
 My impression is that US Navy commanderts are held to a super-human standard of accountability

ljbirns

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Re: When life rains down lemons...
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 08:40:00 AM »
I am told that the reason the Captain always goes down with his ship is .... In the military you have to PAY for any equipment that you lose.
Lew