In the early hours of July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was steaming home after completing a top secret mission that would ultimately end World War II - delivering the final pieces to the first atomic bomb.
As the warship moved through the night waters an enemy submarine hit it with two torpedoes, sinking the ship in minutes. Of the nearly 1,200 sailors on board nearly 300 went down with the ship, the nearly 900 men who remained faced days stranded at sea with no food, no water, few lifeboats, and exposure to shark infested waters. The hellish experience of those days was famously recounted in the film "Jaws".
After several days the survivors were finally spotted by a patrol boat, and just 317 men were pulled from the ocean and brought home. One of them was Water Tender 3rd Class James "Jimmy" O'Donnell, a native Hoosier and the only Indianapolis resident to survive the ordeal.
Jimmy made it home to continue serving his community as a firefighter for several decades, again surviving catastrophes that should have proved fatal.
A statue honoring Jimmy's memory, and the memory of the USS Indianapolis, stands at the Indianapolis City Market. However there is no marker to tell his story, or the story of his comrades.
Help us raise the funds necessary to erect a plaque that will tell this story to generations to come.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk to this project is not reaching enough people in the community, and not being able to stress the importance of our mission.
We plan to overcome this through a thorough marketing campaign through community and corporate partners, local media channels, veterans groups, and through social media.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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