HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 72 years, there's finally closure for a tragic chapter of WWII.
On Friday, a team of researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen found the wreckage of the doomed USS Indianapolis on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
The ship, which was under the command of Honolulu resident Capt. Charles B. McVay, was found some 18,000 feet below the surface in the Philippine Sea.
On the morning of July 30, 1945, the ship had just completed a secret mission to deliver parts of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima to U.S. forces overseas.
After the mission was complete, a Japanese submarine torpedoed it. There were about 1,200 sailors on board, and about 300 went down with the ship.
The rest, about 900 men, were forced to spend four days in shark-infested waters, waiting for rescue. The ship wasn't missed and by the time rescuers got to them just 316 men were still alive. Many sailors died of dehydration and exposure. Many, too, died after being attacked by sharks.
"Even in the worst defeats and disasters there is valor and sacrifice that deserve to never be forgotten," Sam Cox, Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command said. "They can serve as inspiration to current and future sailors enduring situations of mortal peril."