On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis sunk, just 12 minutes after being hit with torpedoes fired by a Japanese submarine. The sinking of the Indianapolis and the ordeal endured by the ship’s survivors is one of the worst naval disasters in American history.The Indianapolis had just left the island of Guam, where it had delivered enriched uranium that would be used in the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima weeks later. There were nearly 1,200 sailors on board the Indianapolis, and about 300 died when the ship went down.The ship went down so quickly that most survivors were unable to secure life rafts. They were left adrift in the shark-infested Philippine Sea. Dehydration, starvation, and salt poisoning were responsible for hundreds of deaths. Oceanic white-tip sharks and tiger sharks also attacked the vulnerable men.The Navy was unable to reach survivors for more than three days. Of the 900 men who survived the sinking of the Indianapolis, fewer than 350 survived the ocean.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry atomic bomb Noun
explosive device that draws energy from the interaction of atomic nuclei. Also called an atom bomb, a-bomb, or nuclear bomb.
illness in which the body loses too much water.
terrible and damaging event.
harmful invasion, usually with many small opponents.
having to do with a government's navy, or military ships and crew.
extremely difficult or trying experience.
dying from lack of food.
vehicle that can travel underwater.
elongated, cigar-shaped projectile, often filled with an explosive material.
uranium enrichment Noun
process of increasing (enriching) the amount of the U-235 isotope of uranium. U-235 is used to provide nuclear energy.
capable of being hurt.