The Navy has commissioned its new USS Indianapolis combat vessel at Burns Harbor along Lake Michigan. It’s the fourth Navy vessel to bear the USS Indianapolis name.
The ceremony Saturday drew thousands of people, including dignitaries, Navy officials, four survivors of the ship’s namesake sunk during World War II and family members of current crew members.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Navy veteran, noted the Freedom-class littoral ship was made with Indiana steel. He also said the ship carries a “historic legacy” of the second USS Indianapolis that was sunk by a Japanese submarine in July 1945 while returning from delivering key components for the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Only 317 of its nearly 1,200 crewmen survived the sinking and days in shark-infested waters.
The new $450 million, 3,900-ton ship will be based near Jacksonville, Florida. It’s designed to be highly maneuverable for missions such as mine-clearing and anti-submarine warfare.
The first USS Indianapolis was a cargo ship that served from 1918-1919 before being decommissioned. The second USS Indianapolis served from 1932 until its sinking in 1945. The third USS Indianapolis was an attack submarine that was in service from 1980 to 1998.