During the final months of World War ll, a US Navy ship set sail without much worry of encountering enemy fire. The 1,195 sailors of the USS Indianapolis were prepared for a calm voyage. After all, they knew the end of the war was imminent. One night, their lack of concern turned to horror as explosions tore through their ship. Those who jumped overboard realized too late they hadn’t escaped danger. Instead, they fell into a perilous situation that would haunt the survivors to their final days.

In March 1945, World War ll was in its final months, and the USS Indianapolis arrived at a port in California. Nicknamed “Indy,” the vessel had survived a Japanese kamikaze attack and needed repairs.