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         WWII produced many heroes but none more worthy of the title than Adrian Marks.  14 minutes after midnight, July 30, 1945, in the South Pacific.   The  Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.  With in twelve minutes, the ship sank.  Men went overboard most without life rafts.

       No distress massage got out due to an error, and the Navy did not know the Indianapolis was missing.  With a crew of 1196 men about 800 went over the side.      Of the 800  only 316 men survived.         August 2, 1945 a Ventura land based patrol plane piloted by William Gwinn sighted some of the survivors,  It could not land and its radio antenna was tangled .  The message it sent was garbled and not fully received.  The message indicated that they had spotted a life raft.  Lt. Commander Adrian Marks took off in an amphibious Cataline type patrol  plane to investigate the sighting.  Marks violated standing orders never to land an amphibious PBY  in open sea.  He picked up 56 survivors.    He called a ship from the western  pacific to complete the rescue of 316 men who survived a four and a half days in the water.

 

 

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Last modified: 07/26/05