Author Nobleman has written a forty-page picture book about a ship and a crew that delivered top-secret cargo during World War II and on one of its missions was hit by two enemy torpedoes that sank the large ship. The over-600-foot-long ship was named for the capital of Indiana. President Franklin D. Roosevelt chose the Indianapolis as his ship of state. After delivering its secret cargo in July 1945, there was a brief stop in Guam and then preparation to sail for the Philippine island of Leyte. The Captain did not know how dangerous this mission would be and that Japanese submarines were in the area. On July 30, Japanese torpedoes fired at the Indianapolis. Two hit her right side. Many men jumped, fell, or were pushed into the ocean. Nine hundred men watched as the Indianapolis slipped beneath the water. Many did not have life preservers. Sharks filled the water, but the men tried to hang on until the fourth day when help arrived. A small plane looking for Japanese submarines noticed an oil patch in the water and looking closer saw the men. No one had been actively looking for them because the ship had been reported overdue and not lost. When the rescue ended, only 317 crew members of the Indianapolis survived out of 1,196 men. The sinking of this ship resulted in the largest loss of life from a single incident in the history of the U.S. Navy. Photographs, a glossary, facts, important dates and people, further reading, and internet sites are included.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-These books are appropriate for students who are looking for a place to start a research project. The writing is clear and concise and the vocabulary is age-appropriate. Each title contains excellent contemporary photographs. "Did You Know?" sections and lists of important people related to the events are included. Berlin Airlift describes how Germany became divided after World War II; which countries dropped tons of food, coal, and other necessities while the Soviet blockade was in place; the formation of NATO; and the major players in the end of the blockade. Indianapolis personalizes a sad occurrence in history by following the events leading up to the destruction of the ship through the actions of the captain, Charles Butler McVay. He was eventually exonerated, but not before taking his own life in 1968. Korean War begins by explaining how North and South Korea became divided; the involvement of the United Nations and the United States; conflict between President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur; eventual peace talks; and the division still occurring today. Accessible and straightforward, this book is an excellent one for the intended audience. All three volumes are solid choices.-Deborah J. Jesseman, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.