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Abandon Ship! Saga of the USS Indianapolis

Front Cover, Abandon Ship!: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the Navy's Greatest Sea Disaster by Richard F. Newcomb, 2001.

Front Cover, Abandon Ship!: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the Navy's Greatest Sea Disaster by Richard F. Newcomb, 2001. GGA Image ID # 17ee314579

Abandon Ship! Death of the USS Ind2ianapolis: A vivid true story of the greatest sea tragedy in the history of the United States Navy by Richard F. Newcomb. Paperback

From the Publisher

Sailing across the Pacific, the battle-scarred heavy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis had just delivered a secret cargo that would trigger the end of World War II. Heading westward, she was sunk by a Japanese submarine.

In twelve minutes, some 300 men went down with her. More than 900 others spent four horrific days and five nights in the ocean with no water to drink, savaged by a pitiless sun and swarms of sharks.

Incredibly, no one knew they were there until a Navy patrol plane accidentally discovered them. In the end, only 316 crewmen survived. How could this have happened, and why?

With an introduction and afterword by Peter Maas, this updated edition of Abandon Ship supplies the chilling answer. A harrowing account of military misconduct and human tragedy, Abandon Ship! also scrutinizes the U.S. Navy's role in the disaster, especially the ship's captain's court-martial Charles Butler McVay III.

Maas reveals facts previously unavailable to Richard Newcomb and chronicles a forty-year crusade to right a wrong, a movement Abandon Ship! inspired.

From the Back Cover

She was a ship of destiny. Sailing across the Pacific, the battle scarred heavy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis had just delivered a secret cargo that would trigger the end of World War II.

As she was continuing westward, her captain asked for a destroyer escort. He was told it wasn't necessary. But it was. She was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine. In twelve minutes, some 300 men went down with her.

More then 900 others spent four horrific days and five nights in the ocean with no water to drink, savaged by a pitless sun and swarms of sharks. Incredibly, nobody knew they were out until a Navy patrol plane accidentally discovered them.

Miraculously, 316 crewmen still survived. How could this have happened -- and why? This updated edition of Abandon Ship , with a new introduction and afterword by Peter Maas, supplies the chilling answer.

Originally published in 1958, Abandon Ship , was the first book to describe, in vivid detail, the unspeakable ordeal the survivors of the Indianapolis endured.

It was also the first book to scrutinize the role of the U.S. Navy in the Indianapolis saga, especially in the cruel aftermath of the rescue when Captain Charles Butler McVay III was courtmartialed and convicted of hazarding his ship.

The bitter controversy over the Navy's handling of this case has raged for decades, with the survivors leading a campaign to set the record straight and exonerate Captain McVay.

Peter Maas, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Terrible Hours, reveals facts previously unavailable to Richard Newcomb and chronicles the forty-year crusade to restore the captain's good name, a crusade that started with the publication of this book.

He also pays tribute to its author, who dared, ahead of his time, to expose military malfeasance and cover-up, and to inspire a courageous battle to correct a grave miscarriage of justice.

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • Personal Name: Newcomb, Richard F.
  • Main Title: Abandon ship! : the saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the Navy's greatest sea disaster / Richard F. Newcomb ; with an introduction and afterword by Peter Maas.
  • LC Control No.: 75037470
  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
  • Edition: 1st HarperCollins ed.
  • Published/Created: New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, c2001.
  • Description: xviii, 326 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
  • ISBN: 006018471X
  • LC Classification: D774.I5 N4 2001
  • Subjects: Indianapolis (Cruiser); World War, 1939-1945 --Naval operations, American. Shipwrecks--Pacific Ocean.
  • Notes: Includes index. Originally published: New York : Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1958.
  • Dewey Class No.: 940.54/25
  • Geographic Area Code: n-us--- po-----
  • Type of material: Book
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