A memorial to one of the most powerful vessels in the U.S. Naval Fleet has surfaced in an unlikely location far from the ocean it was once commissioned to patrol.
The U-S-S Indianapolis Nuclear attack submarine is now on display at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes.
A portion of one of the stealthiest weapons in the US Naval fleet now has a prominent place outside the Indiana Military Museum.
Museum curator and founder, Judge Jim Osborne says this latest addition to the museum follows a long-lasting passion he’s had preserving our country’s military hardware.
“The first items I collected were when I was 7 or 8 years old,” said Osborne. “And I had a next-door neighbor that was a World War Two veteran, and he was throwing away things he had brought back from Europe.
“He handed them to me as opposed to throwing them in the trash. Then my Dad gave me a Civil War musket. He didn’t collect, but somebody owed him some money and they gave him a Civil War musket, so that was my next piece.”
More than six decades later, Osborne and his staff secured one of the biggest pieces to the collection, a portion of a U.S. Navy Nuclear powered attack submarine.
Osborne says, the dedication was well attended in early June.
“We’re very proud to have this here,” said Osborne. “You don’t get inland very far and find a submarine. But here we are right in the middle of the Midwest, and we’ve got an atomic sub for people to come see.”
Known as the USS Indianapolis SSN-697 Nuclear submarine. Osborne says, the origins of its name comes from another famed vessel.
“It took the namesake of the USS Indianapolis Cruiser from World War 2,” said Osborne. “And that cruiser was the one that delivered the atomic bomb to Tinian. So that it could be delivered and dropped on Japan.
“And as soon as it left Tinian, it was under radio silence coming back. And it was during that time that a Japanese sub caught the Indianapolis and sunk it.”
Three days would go by before rescuers would arrive to find sailors fighting for survival in shark invested waters. In 1980, the attack sub was dedicated sailing low under the radar for the next 18 years.
Although only a portion of the massive vessel is on display, Osborne explains what visitors see when they first step on the 14-acre property.
We recreated a portion of the hull here out of concrete,” said Osborne. “So folks, when they come up and see this, they get the full impression of a submarine just surfacing.
Just prior to the opening of the new display. The Indiana Military Museum dedicated a new 22,000 square-foot building along 6th Street in Vincennes.
Osborne and his staff plan to celebrate the hundreds of other preserved artifacts during a special salute to veterans Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, marking the 74th Anniversary of the end World War 2.
Giving military enthusiasts a up-close look at the newly required, Tri-State Treasure.