USS Indianapolis Hero

Cleatus Lebow, USS Indianapolis

If you are not familiar with the story of the USS Indianapolis, it is truly one of the more tragic accidents of World War II:

After Cleatus Lebow went through training, he was assigned to be a Range Fire Operator aboard the USS Indianapolis. While on the ship they delivered the atomic bomb to Okinawa and Lebow witnessed with his own eyes, the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima. However, Lebow had no idea these would be some of the last missions for the Indianapolis.

“On July 30th, a Japanese submarine hit us with two torpedoes and that ship was sunk in about twelve minutes,” Lebow said.

Almost 900 Sailors perished in the tragedy. . .

7 thoughts on “USS Indianapolis Hero

  1. It is amazing any of the men survived the five days. And there were those among the survivors who was brave above and beyond the call of duty. I’ve read many accounts from the survivors and to a man they do not see themselves as heroes. But the Navy screwed over Capt. McVay and he eventually took his own life. Brave men, all.

  2. Having been born and raised in Memphis, I’d heard of the gentleman. Another one of those stories from WWII that should be taught in all our schools.

    GHW Bush’s story is inspirational, also. How many kids know that one? I could go on and on and on.

    Growing up, the story of the B-17, Memphis Belle, was one of my favorites.

  3. Per my mother, my maternal grandfather was one of the survivors; Stefan had made CPO several times, but would get in trouble on shore leave {“sweet young things” & booze} & not make it back to the ship on time, which would result in demotion/regaining rank. He wound up with a BCD that, had he made through 6 months’ probation in federal civil service, would have been modified? expunged? and resulted in a discharge “under honorable conditions” ……………………………. unfortunately, he died before the 6 months was up, of a massive heart attack at age 38 ……………………………. because he wasn’t under a doctor’s care, they did an autopsy & found his heart to be 3 times normal size {yeah, yeah, save the jokes about inheriting/not inheriting a ‘big heart’ ;-) } My mother was 14 when he died, so I never knew him, but remember the stories about him being on the Indy ………………………….

    Semper Fi’
    DM

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