Photos, video: Allen finds ‘Indy,’ sunken World War II wreck – seattlepi.com

By Stephen Cohen, SeattlePI

Photo: Interim Archives/Getty Images

Wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was discovered last week, more than 72 years after a Japanese submarine sunk the heavy cruiser in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was discovered last week, more than 72 years after a Japanese submarine sunk the heavy cruiser in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

An image shot from a remotely operated vehicle shows wreckage which appears to be one of the two anchor windlass mechanisms from the forecastle of the ship. Note the star-emblazoned capstans in this photo dated July 12, 1945, just weeks before the ship was lost.

An image shot from a remotely operated vehicle shows wreckage which appears to be one of the two anchor windlass mechanisms from the forecastle of the ship. Note the star-emblazoned capstans in this photo dated

An image shot from a remotely operated underwater vehicle shows wreckage from USS Indianapolis on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in more than 16,000 feet of water.

An image shot from a remotely operated underwater vehicle shows wreckage from USS Indianapolis on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in more than 16,000 feet of water.

An image shot from a remotely operated vehicle shows the bottom of an anchor clearly marked “U.S. Navy” and “Norfolk Navy Yard.” The anchor is consistent with the one visible in this photo dated July 12, 1945, just weeks before the ship was lost.

An image shot from a remotely operated vehicle shows the bottom of an anchor clearly marked “U.S. Navy” and “Norfolk Navy Yard.” The anchor is consistent with the one visible in this photo dated July 12,

An image shot from a remotely operated vehicle shows what appears to be the painted hull number “35.” Based on the curvature of the hull section, this seems to be the port side of the ship. Using this photo as a reference, the number is painted in the same font, and the “3” aligns with the circular feature above it in both photos.

An image shot from a remotely operated vehicle shows what appears to be the painted hull number “35.” Based on the curvature of the hull section, this seems to be the port side of the ship. Using this photo

An image shot from a remotely operated underwater vehicle shows a spare parts box from USS Indianapolis on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in more than 16,000 feet of water.

An image shot from a remotely operated underwater vehicle shows a spare parts box from USS Indianapolis on the floor of the Pacific Ocean in more than 16,000 feet of water.

The AUV returns to the R/V Petrel. The autonomous underwater vehicle can operate on a submerged run for up to 20 hours.

The AUV returns to the R/V Petrel. The autonomous underwater vehicle can operate on a submerged run for up to 20 hours.

Expedition crew members stand in the bridge, overseeing operations in search of the USS Indianapolis.

Expedition crew members stand in the bridge, overseeing operations in search of the USS Indianapolis.

The AUV is lowered into the Philippine Sea in search of the USS Indianapolis.

The AUV is lowered into the Philippine Sea in search of the USS Indianapolis.

The BXL79 ROV is deployed from the R/V Petrel. The remotely operated underwater vehicle can conduct missions up to 7,000 meters deep.

The BXL79 ROV is deployed from the R/V Petrel. The remotely operated underwater vehicle can conduct missions up to 7,000 meters deep.

The R/V Petrel, owned by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, at sea in search of the USS Indianapolis.

The R/V Petrel, owned by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, at sea in search of the USS Indianapolis.

Expedition team members watch as the AUV: Hydroid REMUS 6000 is deployed in search of the USS Indianapolis.

Expedition team members watch as the AUV: Hydroid REMUS 6000 is deployed in search of the USS Indianapolis.

The AUV Hydroid Remus 6000 is deployed from the R/V Petrel in search of the USS Indianapolis. The autonomous underwater vehicle is capable of operations in up to 6,000 meters of water.

The AUV Hydroid Remus 6000 is deployed from the R/V Petrel in search of the USS Indianapolis. The autonomous underwater vehicle is capable of operations in up to 6,000 meters of water.

Robert Kraft, Director, Subsea Ops at Vulcan, prepares to deploy the AUV in search of the USS Indianapolis.

Robert Kraft, Director, Subsea Ops at Vulcan, prepares to deploy the AUV in search of the USS Indianapolis.

The R/V Petrel, owned by Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, at sea in search of the USS Indianapolis.

The R/V Petrel, owned by Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, at sea in search of the USS Indianapolis.

Original caption: New Cruiser Commissioned. Officers and members of the crew of the new cruiser, U.S.S. Indianapolis, are seen here lined up aboard the new ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Navy Yard, after commissioning ceremonies on November 15th.

Original caption: New Cruiser Commissioned. Officers and members of the crew of the new cruiser, U.S.S. Indianapolis, are seen here lined up aboard the new ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Navy Yard, after

Original caption: American cruiser USS Indianapolis taken at anniversary of Statue of Liberty.

Original caption: American cruiser USS Indianapolis taken at anniversary of Statue of Liberty.

Original caption: 31st May 1934: (L-R): First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. James Roosevelt, United States President Delano Roosevelt, his son James Roosevelt, and mother of the president, Sara Delano Roosevelt, review naval fleets aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis during a pageant, New York City.

Original caption: 31st May 1934: (L-R): First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. James Roosevelt, United States President Delano Roosevelt, his son James Roosevelt, and mother of the president, Sara Delano

Original caption: View of the American Naval battleship the USS Indianapolis at sea, August 23, 1935. The ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945.

Original caption: View of the American Naval battleship the USS Indianapolis at sea, August 23, 1935. The ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945.

Original caption: Photo of the US Cruiser USS Indianapolis, 1939.

Original caption: Photo of the US Cruiser USS Indianapolis, 1939.

Original caption: Part of the crew of the USS Indianapolis prior to its sinking (in July 1945), early to mid 1940s.

Original caption: Part of the crew of the USS Indianapolis prior to its sinking (in July 1945), early to mid 1940s.

Original caption: As the USS Indianapolis fires, loaded landing craft move toward shore on D-Day, Saipan in the Marinana Islands, June 15, 1944.

Original caption: As the USS Indianapolis fires, loaded landing craft move toward shore on D-Day, Saipan in the Marinana Islands, June 15, 1944.

Original caption: The USS Indianapolis passing the Battery, New York, New York, August 10, 1944. Taken from the USS Saratoga.

Original caption: The USS Indianapolis passing the Battery, New York, New York, August 10, 1944. Taken from the USS Saratoga.

Original caption: Map shows the location of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by a Japanese sub while the ship was en route from Guam, July 1945. Solid line shows the course of the ship from Guam to the scene of the sinking. Broken line shows the projected course to Tacloban, Leyte.

Original caption: Map shows the location of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by a Japanese sub while the ship was en route from Guam, July 1945. Solid line shows the course of the ship from Guam to the

Original caption: Survivors of USS Indianapolis en route to hospital following rescue, August 1945.

Original caption: Survivors of USS Indianapolis en route to hospital following rescue, August 1945.

Original caption: Captain (later Rear Admiral) Charles B McVay III, of the ill-fated USS Indianapolis, tells war correspondents of the sinking at Guam, 1945. Of the 900 crewmen who survived the sinking, only 317 survived the hypothermia and shark attacks which followed during the 3 and half days before rescue.

Original caption: Captain (later Rear Admiral) Charles B McVay III, of the ill-fated USS Indianapolis, tells war correspondents of the sinking at Guam, 1945. Of the 900 crewmen who survived the sinking, only

Original caption: View of the Japanese I-58 submarine as it awaits a demolition charge in ‘Deep Six’ area, near Sasebo, Japan, April 1, 1946. This is the sub that sunk the USS Indianapolis.

Original caption: View of the Japanese I-58 submarine as it awaits a demolition charge in ‘Deep Six’ area, near Sasebo, Japan, April 1, 1946. This is the sub that sunk the USS Indianapolis.

Photos, video: Allen finds ‘Indy,’ sunken World War II wreck

Wreckage from one of the most harrowing naval disasters of World War II was located more than 72 years after it sank in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in the waning days of the global conflict.

On Friday, wreckage from the USS Indianapolis — whose sinking represents the greatest loss of life in U.S. Navy history — was located by an expedition funded by Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen. The wreck was found resting in the Philippine Sea at a depth of about 18,000 feet.

RELATED:Paul Allen says he has found sunken Japanese battleship

“To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role during World War II is truly humbling,” Allen said on his website. “As Americans, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the crew for their courage, persistence and sacrifice in the face of horrendous circumstances. While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming.”

On July 30, 1945, the 186-meter-long (610 feet) Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine en route to the Philippines after delivering parts for “Little Boy,” the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima one week later.

After being struck by two torpedoes on its starboard side just after midnight, the Indianapolis sunk in just 12 minutes, taking about 300 of the1,196 crew members down with the ship. Facing dehydration, hypothermia and the constant threat of shark attack, survivors waited more than three days before being spotted by potential rescuers. Only 321 were pulled from the water alive, with 317 surviving the ordeal.

Allen’s 250-foot research vessel Petrel was recently outfitted with “state-of-the-art subsea equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters (or three and a half miles)” for the third major attempt at discovering the final resting place of the heavy cruiser.

Aided by a 2016 discovery that gave a more accurate estimate of the ship’s location based on reports from a landing craft that saw the Indianapolis the day it sunk, the 16-member crew of the R/V Petrel found the wreckage in a 600-square-mile area of ocean.

The discovery of the Indianapolis marks the third major wreck located by Allen-funded expeditions, joining the Japanese battleship Musashi and Italian destroyerArtigliere, which were uncovered in 2015 and March 2017, respectively.

Seattlepi.com reporter Stephen Cohen can be reached at 206-448-8313 or stephencohen@seattlepi.com. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @scohenPI.

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Photos, video: Allen finds ‘Indy,’ sunken World War II wreck – seattlepi.com

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: World War II |

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