Ladies Who Launch: Ship Christening Photographs from Delaware Valley Shipyards

USS Indianapolis, 1931

Launching party, USS Indianapolis, Miss Lucy Taggart, sponsor, November 7, 1931. New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.

Indianapolis already had a distinguished wartime record when it was chosen in 1945 to secretly transport components of the atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima. After the ship made its delivery, it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, and sank in 12 minutes. Miscommunication regarding the ship's expected arrival delayed rescue efforts for 4 days, leaving survivors to fend for themselves in shark-infested waters. Only 316 men were saved from a crew of 1,199.

Independence Seaport Museum
New York Shipbuilding Corporation Collection

See all photos in the Ladies Who Launch Exhibit »

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