The 1945 sinking of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) by the Imperial Japanese submarine 1-58 has been called the last, great naval tragedy of World War II. It is the stuff of legend: after delivering the atomic bombs to Tinian, the Indy was torpedoed, sinking in 12 minutes. At least 800 crew members survived the sinking and went into the water. On their rescue after five days, only 320 still were alive. Their stories have inspired three books, a movie, and perhaps yet another feature film.
The Indy's survivors fought sharks, deprivation, and the elements, and now they fight to get their captain exonerated. Their commanding officer, Captain Charles B. McVay III (above), is the only captain ever to be court-martialed for having his ship sunk out from under him during time of war.