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Hunter Scott & USS Indianapolis


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Let's change things up a bit with something that popped up on my Tumblr that I find highly interesting. The little things that slip past, such as a Canadian liberating Dutch towns on his own, among numerous other historical happening. Always Googling making sure that the stories are legit because it's easy to spread misinformation. Even finding it impressive how a 12 year old cleared a captain's name from both curiousity & to clear any injustices simply by watching 'Jaws' to then finding out the history behind the ship itself. Jaws having little interesting 'eastereggs' within. Need to be cautious with your media.

 

 

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- Hunter Scott:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Scott

 

- USS Indianapolis (CA-35):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_(CA-35)

 

- Tumblr Posting:
http://lex-for-lexington.tumblr.com/post/147053316067/uss-edsall-gruene-teufel-takesabeating

 

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Testimony:

 


In his testimony, Scott said: "This is Captain McVay's dog tag from when he was a cadet at the Naval Academy. As you can see, it has his thumbprint on the back. I carry this as a reminder of my mission in the memory of a man who ended his own life in 1968. I carry this dog tag to remind me that only in the United States can one person make a difference no matter what the age. I carry this dog tag to remind me of the privilege and responsibility that I have to carry forward the torch of honor passed to me by the men of the USS Indianapolis."

 

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USS Indianapolis’ captain, Charles B. McVay III. The sinking of Indianapolis is rather famous due to her delivery of nuclear materials just before it happened, and the amount of shark attacks afterward.

Although naval authorities at Guam knew that on July 24, four days before the Indianapolis departed for Leyte, the destroyer escort USS Underhill had been sunk by a Japanese submarine within range of his path, McVay was not told. He was not told that ULTRA had found the Japanese submarine I-58 in the area. McVay also asked for an escort, since no capital ship without ASW weaponry had traversed dangerous waters without at least one escorting ship. He was denied. The routing officer of Guam decided an escort was “unnecessary” (and at the court martial, testified that the risk of submarines was “very slight”). And McVay was told of “submarine sightings” along his path, none had been confirmed. Such sightings were commonplace throughout the war and were generally ignored by navy commanders unless confirmed.

He was ordered to zig-zag “at his discretion” to avoid a submarine attack. No Navy directives in force at that time or since recommended, much less ordered, zigzagging at night in poor visibility. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough, as two torpedoes from I-58 sank Indianapolis in twelve minutes. She sank on July 29, 1945, and her survivors were not found until August 2, when Lt. Wilbur C. Gwinn, the pilot of a Ventura scout-bomber, lost the weight from his navigational antenna trailing behind the plane, a loss which was to save the lives of 316 men. While crawling back through the fuselage of his plane to repair the thrashing antenna, Gwinn happened to glance down at the sea and noticed a long oil slick. Back in the cockpit, Gwinn dropped down to investigate, spotted men floating in the sea, and radioed for help. At 3:30 that afternoon Lt. R. Adrian Marks, flying a PBY Catalina, was the first to arrive on the scene. Horrified at the sight of sharks attacking men below him, Marks landed his flying boat in the sea, and, pulling a survivor aboard, he was the first to learn of the Indianapolis disaster.

He was court-martialed for not giving the order to abandon ship and for failing to zig-zag. He was found not guilty for the first charge, because the explosions had knocked out the communications system - and he passed the order to abandon ship along via word of mouth. For the second one, he was found guilty. The charge itself was phrased as “good visibility”, which that night was not “good visibility” due to heavy cloud cover. McVay’s orders were “to zigzag at his discretion.” Thus, when he stopped zigzagging, he was simply following procedures set forth by Navy directives. They even got Mochitura Hashimoto, commander of the submarine I-58 that sank Indianapolis to testify - and he defended McVay.

The survivors of the Indianapolis are convinced that he was made a scapegoat to hide the mistakes of others, mistakes which included sending him into harm’s way without warning and failing to notice when the Indianapolis failed to arrive on schedule, thus costing hundreds of lives unnecessarily and creating the greatest sea disaster in the history of the United States Navy.

McVay committed suicide in 1968.

Now, the boy who cleared his name was Hunter Scott, who watched “Jaws” and was moved by the very accurate soliloquy of one of the actors who explained his hatred of the sharks by telling his story of surviving the attack upon the Indianapolis. He researched Indianapolis for a school project, eventually sending questionnaires to all of the surviving Indianapolis crewmen on whether McVay’s court martial had been right. “All of the responses I got back were unanimous, and most were strongly worded in outrage and anger.” After this, he went on a crusade to clear McVay’s name, garnering media attention due to his youth.

In 1999, Representative Scarborough introduced a joint resolution (H.J. Res. 48) which, among other things, expressed the sense of Congress that Captain McVay’s court-martial was morally unsustainable and that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice. In April of 1999 Hunter Scott and fourteenIndianapolis survivors traveled to Washington to meet with key members of Congress in support of the Scarborough resolution.

In September of 2000, Senator Smith convinced Senator Warner to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2001. Because of strong opposition of the Department of the Navy, the language of the resolution was altered to omit any reference to the court-martial being morally unsustainable or the conviction being unjust.

It did, however, express the sense of Congress that Captain McVay’s record should reflect that “he is exonerated for the loss of the USS Indianapolis,” representing acknowledgment at last by the Federal Government that he was not guilty for the tragedy which led to his shameful conviction.

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