Posted on May 4th, 2016 in Featured, General News
Perry Township Schools, is proud to present USS Indianapolis Survivor, Dick Thelen who will present his experiences on May 19, 2016 in two separate presentations. He will speak to Perry Township students during the school day and we are announcing a public presentation at 6:30 pm, all in the Perry Meridian High School Auditorium, located on the south side of Indianapolis just west on Stop 11 from SR 135.
Mr. Thelen is one of only about 25 survivors still living of the original 317 who were rescued.  This will be a special evening for young and old alike and we want to make it a special evening for Dick Thelen and his family. The Navy will be there to provide an official “piping aboard” as he arrives for the evening presentation.  We would like to invite everyone to join us for this wonderful event. Below is a brief history of what took place on that dreadful dark night in the Pacific over 70-years ago.
The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) Museum Presents SPECIAL GUEST Survivor Richard (Dick) P. Thelen Survivor Richard (Dick) P. Thelen Enlisted in the US Navy March 1945 at age 18 Rescued by the USS Doyle Hometown: Lansing, Michigan

Ship’s Last Cruise Synopsis On July 26, 1945, the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) delivered key components for the world’s first operational atomic bomb from Mare Island San Francisco, CA to the island of Tinian in the South Pacific. After completing this mission, the cruiser proceeded to Leyte, Philippines, to prepare for the pending invasion of the Japanese mainland. While underway en route, a few minutes after midnight on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-58 and sank into the sea in just 12 minutes, taking 297 men with her. Approximately 900 of the original 1,197 men on board were cast into the darkness without lifeboats, in shark-infested waters. Due to communications problems, the ship was never missed by the Navy. By the time the survivors were spotted by chance four and a half days later, spread by ocean currents over 20 miles, only 317 were able to be found and rescued.

Survivor Mr. Richard (Dick) Thelen presents his personal account and reflections of his time on the Indianapolis and rescue. He will entertain questions at the end of his remarks.


Greetings and Welcome by School Officials, Introduction of Presenters Presenters Mr. Curran and Mr. Smith Introductory Remarks Presentation of our National Colors by Color Guard US Naval Detachment – Call to Arrival of Survivor Mr. Richard Thelen, “Anchors Aweigh” as Mr. Thelen Proceeds to the Stage Mr. Curran Presents Orientation Video and Pre-War History of the Indianapolis Mr. Smith Presents the Wartime History of the Indianapolis, Introduces Mr. Thelen Mr. Richard Thelen Shares His Experiences. Question and Answers by Mr. Thelen Conclude and Adjourn Mission of the Museum The mission of the USS Indianapolis Museum is to educate current and future generations about the story of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), from her commissioning to her tragic ending; the role she played in the Pacific Theater in World War II and the “cost of freedom” paid by those who served on her. The Museum seeks to present the history by collecting, preserving and exhibiting those artifacts that provide a direct link to the USS Indianapolis and the world in which she served from 1932 to 1945.

The museum website is: About the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) Museum The Museum is located on the main floor, within the Indiana War Memorial building, 431 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204. Admission is free. Check for hours and dates. The War Memorial website is:

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