Jerry Bennett (right), public relations committee chair of the USS Indianapolis memorial branch of the Fleet Reserve Association, and Don Johnson were on hand to help coordinate the 72nd reunion for survivors of the Indianapolis, of which a replica is seen in the background.
The Indianapolis was torpedoed by the Japanese navy on July 30, 1945, and it sunk within 12 minutes. Of the 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remaining 900 faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning and shark attacks while floating with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. The Navy learned of the sinking when survivors were spotted four days later. Only 317 survived; of that number, only 20 are alive today.