INDIANAPOLIS (July 23, 2015) - They survived the attack on the USS Indianapolis, and now 70 years later, those survivors have returned to Indy to mark the occasion by visiting the USS Indianapolis memorial.
More than 800 sailors died in 1945 when the ship was attacked in the Pacific Ocean by two Japanese torpedoes, but more than 300 men survived. About 30 of them are still alive today, and this weekend they're holding what could be their last big reunion here in Indy, something they’ve done many times through the years.
Survivor Victor Buckett came to town again this year to see the memorial- he’s 93 years old but still remembers every bit of his five-day struggle to stay alive in shark-infested waters.
“That was a miserable night,” said Buckett. “I think the first night in the water was one of the worst that I had spent.”
More than 800 men did not make it, including Indiana sailor Jack Edwin Walker.
Ruby Taylor of Noblesville was Jack’s wife.
“We didn’t know anything had happened until the day the war was over,” said Taylor. “I got the letter saying he was missing and everyone else was celebrating because the war over, and we weren’t celebrating we were crying.”
Now 70 years later, in a special ceremony Friday morning, she’ll be receiving this flag that flies high above the USS Indianapolis memorial along the Downtown canal.
“I’m so glad they’re doing something,” said Taylor. “After all, they did give their lives.”