Video: Mission Accomplished But Ship Sunk

[bitsontherun nbuxCicK]UNDATED, Miss. (WCBI)-It was once of the worst disasters in the history of the US Navy. A Japanese submarine torpedoed the USS Indianapolis in July of 1945. Out of a crew of more than 1,000 sailors, only 316 survived.  After an eight year separation from her uncle, Ann Russell is satisfied just reading about his exploits in two books written about that day in 1945 when his ship, the USS Indianapolis was sunk while James Wesley Smith and his men were on a secret mission.  “He said I knew I was in trouble but says there wasn’t a dern thing I could do about it. Says I just had to tough it out,” said Ann Russell, Pontotoc.  “They followed their orders and delivered the parts that made that bomb and immediately left. And still had no idea what they had done,” said Bill Wardlaw, Veterans Service Officer, Pontotoc.  Smith and his men did indeed deliver parts of that bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima, but about 900 could later be seen floating in the water four straight days.   “And he said its awful to see your friends and, be eaten by sharks and having no water to drink,” said Russell.  “I think its phenomenal they survived all of that. But they also lost a lot of comrades in that process to that went down with the ship. They couldn’t get off,” added Wardlaw.” Just something to think about in this season where we honor those men of the USS Indianapolis, who did not make it home. “Cause I know there is a lot of families that has members that’s been in the wars that haven’t come home,” said Russell.  “Are willing to sacrifice our all for our country for the freedoms we have here in America. And I admire him for doing that,” said Wardlaw.  Veteran James Wesley Smith is the honored guest at a Veteran’s Day ceremony Monday(11-12)  at 11 a.m. on the court square in Pontotoc.


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