Crews from Paul Allen’s research vessel, the RV Petrel, located the USS Indianapolis Friday resting on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean.
The Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945, after delivering components of one of the two nuclear weapons that were dropped on Japan.
The cruiser sank within an hour, but the vessel’s loss went unnoticed until several days later. Roughly 800 of the ship’s 1,196 sailors and Marines survived the initial attack, but after days of drifting at sea, only 316 men survived.
“For more than two decades I’ve been working with the survivors. To a man, they have longed for the day when their ship would be found, solving their final mystery,” said Capt. William Toti (Ret), spokesperson for the survivors of the USS Indianapolis in a news release. “They all know this is now a war memorial, and are grateful for the respect and dignity that Paul Allen and his team have paid to one of the most tangible manifestations of the pain and sacrifice of our World War II veterans.”
New information in 2016 by Dr. Richard Hulver, historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command, led to a new search area west of the original position.
The 16-person team on the R/V Petrel will continue to process the full site and will conduct a live tour of the wreckage over the next few weeks.
The crew is continuing to work with the U.S. Navy on plans to honor the 22 crew members still alive, as well as the families of all those who served onboard.
The location of the vessel will remain confidential.