If you’ve ever watched the movie Jaws perhaps you remember the scene where the men are swapping stories and Quint (Robert Shaw) is asked about a tattoo he had removed. He tells the others he was on the U.S.S. Indianapolis and details how the boat came to sink, with only 316 men out of the original 1,100 to survive over four days floating in shark infested waters. With those kind of horrifying statistics, it had to be just part of the script, right? Wrong.
In 1996 a sixth-grader in Pensacola, Florida by the name of Hunter Scott was watching the movie and asked his father if the story regarding the sinking of the Indianapolis was true. His father told him to go to the library and research to find the answer. That started Hunter on a journey that began in the library, landed him a spot on NBC Nightly News and ended with him testifying before Congress. Why, you ask?
What Hunter discovered is that the circumstances surrounding the greatest sea disaster in naval history were kept classified and that the captain had been held responsible and court-martialed. Most of the survivors that Hunter contacted believed the captain had been made a scapegoat and had been trying, unsuccessfully, for fifty years to get his name cleared. Enter Hunter Scott. What started for him as a history fair project became a crusade to clear the name of an innocent man. His story, and that of the men of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, are told in Left for dead by Pete Nelson. Read for yourself the inspirational story of one young man’s search for justice Or check out www.ussindianapolis.org for more information.