December 3, 1945, the trial began for Capt. Charles McVay over the loss of USS Indianapolis (CA 35). Of all the commanding officers who lost ships during WWII, McVay was the only one court-martialed. McVay was charged with hazarding his ship by not using the technique of zigzagging to avoid sub attacks.
Mochitsura Hashimoto, who sank the Indianapolis as commanding officer of the submarine I-58, was called to be a witness for the prosecution but testified that zigzagging would not have prevented him from making his successful torpedo attack. However, McVay was still found guilty of negligence.
The entire ordeal weighed heavily on McVay who committed suicide in 1968. Survivors of the Indianapolis maintained that his conviction was unjust. They campaigned for decades to clear his name.
McVay was posthumously exonerated in 2001.
4 December 2022 at 14:59
My uncle, GM3 Claudus Evans, an Indianapolis survivor, complained every holiday season (that’s mostly the only time we saw his family) that CAPT McVay was wrongfully charged/convicted and he was the sole reason that any of the Sailors survived. His opinion was that the Navy was looking for a scapegoat and McVay’s name was drawn from the hat.
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5 December 2022 at 01:41
A Joint Congressional Committee of Congress (JCC) was conducting its “investigation” into the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor before, during, and after Captain McVay’s trial. I often wonder if the McVay trial was used to divert media and public attention from its focus on Pearl Harbor and United States entry into World War II.
I, for one, am delighted that Rear Admiral McVay was exonerated in the loss of USS Indianapolis. (Many do not realize that Charles B. McVay was promoted to Rear Admiral upon his retirement from the Navy.)
on the road from Waikoloa on the Island of Hawaii