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1. If I were the Navy decision makers at the time I would absolutely have handled this situation differently.  Sending a group of sailors into enemy territory without the true intelligence necessary seems unjust in its own right; however the addition of using the ship captain as a scapegoat seems unfathomable.  If I were in charge in this situation, I would like to believe I would have the intestinal fortitude to stand up for my subordinate.  If the withholding of information to captains was protocol then those orders are to be followed, however labeling the passage as no risk of contact is a blatant lie.  As for the judiciary process, the court martial and investigation into the facts may be warranted, but not examining all the evidence appears to me as appalling.  The decision made by the court could be defined as accurate, and even knowing what we know now hazarding the ship may still have been warranted.  But the association with this and his being to blame for the incident seems unjust.

                I would suggest that when it comes to determining the truth of a situation, the disclosure of this information is vital in war time or peace time.  As the facts of the case and testimony of the surviving crew were released to congress in 2001, it became more apparent that Captain McVay had taken multiple harrowing actions including encouraging sailors in the aftermath, rationing food, and scrambling all equipment to get an emergency message out in the wreckage (Congress, 1999).  It was also made clearer that Captain McVay had not received proper intelligence or support from the United States Navy and hence could not be responsible for the assumed risk (Carpenter, 2005).  I believe there is a proper way to securely disseminate sensitive information when an investigation is being completed and the lack of full disclosure is equal to a lack of due process.  I also believe that using legal measures to analyze performance of military leaders is vital and that overturning the findings of a military board must be taken seriously (Congress, 1999).  However, when making such a vital decision, all the information must be present and the culpability of commanders must take into account the high stress of combat environments.


Carpenter, E. R. (2005, June 01). In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS INDIANAPOLIS and the

     Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors. Retrieved June 08, 2016,


     4c79-8b01-bdbb[email protected]sessionmgr113&vid=1&hid=111      

Congressional Records (1999). The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and Subsequent Court Martial of

     Charles B. McVay III, USN. Hearing Before the Committee of Armed Services: United States Senate.

     Retrieved from:;view=1up;seq=1



2. If I was an US Navy investigator with this incident, I would have handled the situation a lot differently. I would take in account that it was 1945 and technology was in no way as sophisticated as it is today but to blame the sinking of a submarine on one man sounds like a total cop out by the Navy. I believe that the Navy was embarrassed that they did not recognize that the ship was sunken until 4 days later and had to take drastic measures to regain credibility back. The first thing I would have did as an investigator was gather all of the evidence. What happened? A US Submarine was attacked by the enemy. Why did it occur? An act in war. The next question I would ask is "Does the Navy have a tracking device to periodically check in with its deployed ships for accountability and if so why wasn't the non responding vessel reported earlier. To blame an attack from the enemy on the captain when he followed all protocols is wrong. And to hold pertinent info fro the captain that an enemy was in the area is unforgivable in my opinion. Captain Mcvay's court martial was justified according to what was presented to the court at the time. I fully support the military keeping certain secrets especially when it comes to war. I suggest if a court martial like this were to happen that the case on but the details need to be sealed and personnel in the court room need to be a selected few. In war and peace, rules are rules and policies are policies that must be followed. You're either right or wrong, there should be no gray area.

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