E-mail from Indiana State Senator Tom Wyss (R-15th):
Sen.Wyss: Senate supports resolution to rename I-465 in honor of USS Indianapolis
One of the area’s busiest interstates connecting motorists to all points of Indianapolis may soon remind them about a ship that bore the capital city’s name and the bravery that took place on board during a pivotal moment in World War II.
Senate lawmakers voted unanimously Monday in support of a resolution sponsored by State Sen. Tom Wyss to rename I-465 the “USS Indianapolis Memorial Highway.” Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) said his hope is the designation, to be seen by thousands of motorists daily, keeps the tragic yet inspiring story of the ship alive for generations to come.
“This dedication would help Hoosiers keep the memory of a valiant crew alive,” Wyss said. “Renaming this major interstate would bring national attention to the sacrifices made and display the pride and respect we have for our veterans.”
Wyss said the naval ship was torpedoed on July 30, 1945, by a Japanese submarine after delivering key components of the atomic bomb that was to be dropped on Hiroshima.
Of the original 1,196 men on board, about 300 lost their lives in the initial attack. The remaining crew was left for four days in shark-infested waters without life boats, food or water – only 316 men were recovered.
Wyss said this sinking remains the worst loss of life due to shark attacks in U.S. naval history.
In 1995, a memorial was dedicated to the crew’s sacrifice along the Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis.