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Published by: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Pages: 544
ISBN13: 978-1501135941


The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man


Based on a decade of original research and reporting, the riveting, emotionally wrenching, and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history: the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis during World War II—and the fifty-year fight to exonerate the captain after an unjust court-martial.

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the Hiroshima bomb from California to the Pacific islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Three hundred men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, they battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 317 survive and scores go on to spend the next half-century fighting to clear the name of their captain, who was court-martialed for the sinking.

Now, thanks to new research and firsthand interviews with 108 of the survivors over more than a decade, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the full story of the USS Indianapolis for the first time—an extraordinary human drama that brings the ship and its crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life.

USS Indianapolis sailors on liberty.


“Simply outstanding . . . Indianapolis is a must-read . . . Sea battles, adventures, the secret mission to deliver materials for the assemblage of t he atomic bomb to the Pacific Islands, tragedy, disaster, an epic ordeal—sharks included—in the open ocean, courtroom drama, political intrigue, and the uphill battle by the band of survivors to exonerate the ship’s captain will all have readers unable to put this book down. . . . Vincent and Vladic have produced a tour de force of true human drama.”
Booklist (starred review)

“The story of USS Indianapolis is movingly and vividly captured in this visceral account, the result of more than a decade’s research and interviews conducted by its authors. . . . This is an eye-popping book, with as many twists and turns as an airport thriller. . . . Vincent and Vladic’s extraordinary book morphs from high seas adventure to courtroom drama and congressional hearing. . . . It is a work of serious naval history and a detective story, told with passion.”
The Times (London)

“Enthralling . . . Meticulously researched . . . A gripping study of the greatest sea disaster in the history of the U.S. Navy and its aftermath.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Read full praise


Story Behind the Story

In 2011, Lynn began praying that God would provide her with an opportunity to write an iconic World War II story. In 2012, Sara Vladic called.

Sara, a young filmmaker, had by then built a decade-long relationship with the living survivors of the greatest sea disaster in the history of the United States Navy. She had written a screenplay for an Indianapolis limited television series, in the vein of Band of Brothers. As a prelude to producing the series, Sara now wanted to write a book.

Prayer. Answered.

See the photos, continue reading full backstory.