Photo: Michael Downey (Flickr)
Interstate 465 is now officially the “USS Indianapolis Memorial Highway.” A Tuesday ribbon cutting took place at the USS Indianapolis war memorial, in front of one of numerous signs that will grace the highway. Retired Navyman Donald McCall survived the disaster.
“It really is quite an honor,” McCall said. “And it’s not about us, it’s about our shipmates, our shipmates who can’t be here.”
State Representative John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis, authored the law to rename the highway. He says there was no opposition amongst Indiana lawmakers to the proposal.
Bartlett says it is a fitting tribute to the hundreds of navy personnel lost their lives in the sinking of the ship when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945. The ship sank in twelve minutes. Survivors were spotted by a patrol aircraft three days later.
Air and surface rescue crews were dispatched to the scene and the surrounding waters were thoroughly searched for survivors. Upon completion of the day and night search on August 8, 316 men had been rescued out of the crew of 1,199.