Scene In Jaws Mentions One of Worst Maritime Disasters In History…

I’m watching Jaws right now – the scene on The Orca with Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider all getting drunk on the boat together, spinning yarns, singing songs…

jawsscene

From left to right – Robert Shaw (Quint), Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper), Roy Scheider (Brody).

Then Robert Shaw (Quint) starts talking about the U.S.S. Indianapolis disaster, of which he claimed to be a survivor in 1945. I just learned about the U.S.S. Indianapolis this past week while watching Mysteries at the Museum on the Travel Channel (the ship’s bell is on display in a historic museum)! Apparently Quint was one of 300 some-odd survivors out of more than 1,100 crew members who were on board the ship when it was torpedoed (some of them became meals for sharks).

The sinking of Indianapolis resulted in the greatest single loss of life at sea, from a single ship, in the history of the US Navy. Its mission was to deliver Little Boy (name of one of two bombs that were to destroy the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan). After delivering the bomb, the Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese forces, with the ship sinking in 12 minutes. Because of the secrecy of the mission, it took about a week for the remaining sailors to be rescued.

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