The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

USS Indianapolis survivor shares story

 
 

Paul J. Murphy was floating in the water under the blistering hot sun after a Japanese submarine torpedoed his ship, the USS Indianapolis, on July 30,1945. For four days and five nights Murphy and hundreds of other men prayed and hoped for their rescue.
“A lot of us learned a lot of faith out there in the water,” said Murphy Tuesday in Memorial Student Center 224. “There are many of us who don’t believe we would have lasted another 24 hours.
He said he and the rest of his fellow crew members were discovered on the fourth day when a pilot spotted an oil slick in the water and radioed his base at Peleliu, an island in the Pacific Ocean.
Murphy said the men did not realize how poor their condition was at the time, but rescue workers told them later.
“Some of the things (the rescuers) told us were almost unbelievable,” Murphy said. “As they started to pull men out of the water, they’d grab them by the arms and their skin would come right off.”
The (crew members’) clothes and hair were completely black with tar so rescuers could not tell if the men were black or white.
Murphy said the rescuers acted as nurses when they brought the survivors to their ship.
“They washed us down with kerosene and afterwards washed us down with soap and water,” Murphy said. “They gave us their skivvies, underwear, and took us to their bunks.”
According to ussindianopolis.org, the sinking of the USS Indianapolis was the worst naval disaster in U.S. history with 317 of the 1,196 men on board surviving. The U.S.S. Indianapolis was torpedoed just four days after dropping off the atomic bomb on the Tinian island.
Shayna Spurlin, a senior English major who invited Murphy, said the survivors want their story to live on.
“There are about 98 of them left, and they are getting older,” Spurlin said. “Their speeches just help our generation and generations younger than ours take away something from history and keep that (history) alive … and it helps to make sure that the men who died on the Indianapolis didn’t die in vain.”
Carolyn Meyer, a sophomore political science major, said everybody should hear stories that survivors can tell while the opportunity is here.
“I always wish I knew what my grandfather did in World War II,” Meyer said. “He died before I was born, so I never got a chance to ask him.”
Meyer, who will be following in the footsteps of her grandfather and father by joining the service, said hearing Murphy’s story makes her want to live up to them.
“It just makes me aspire to be more like them,” Meyer said, ” (and) try and do something with my life that is memorable.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *