Historical Society Inc.
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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