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JULY 30, 1945: The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis is struck by a Japanese torpedo and quickly sinks after completing a top-secret mission delivering parts for the atomic bomb to the remote island of Tinian. Launched in 1931, Indianapolis had been the flagship for Fifth Fleet commander Admiral Raymond Spruance during the long Pacific campaign, and had endured kamizake attacks during key battles along the way. Of the 1,197 sailors aboard, 300 lost their lives as the ship went down, leaving the remaining 900 to face an agonizing ordeal adrift on the open ocean without lifeboats or supplies and menaced by sharks. When the survivors were finally spotted by chance four days later and rescuers arrived, only 317 were still alive.