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Crew of the Indianapolis May Get a Congressional Gold Medal

Indiana's senators have introduced a Senate bill that could authorize the medal.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--If you've met one of the survivors of the U.S.S. Indianapolis lately, you're luck. Just a few of them are left. And, they could all be getting a medal.

Your senators, Joe Donnelly (D) and Todd Young (R), have introduced a bill in the Senate called the USS Indianapolis Congressional Gold Medal Act, which would "recognize and honor the crew of the USS Indianapolis for their perseverance, bravery, and service to the United States in World War II," said a prepared statement from both senators.

The medal would be displayed at the Indiana War Memorial Museum in Indianapolis.

“On behalf of a grateful nation, we are pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation which would honor the crew of the USS Indianapolis with a Congressional Gold Medal for their service and sacrifice during World War II. This recognition would honor the young men who served, including the fewer than 20 living survivors, as well as those who died on board the Indianapolis," said the statement.

The Portland-class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis was commissioned in 1932. It operated from Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific while participating in major battles during World War II, escorting convoys and attacking enemy submarines.

After midnight on July 30, 1945, a Japanese submarine attacked the USS Indianapolis, sinking the ship within minutes. Approximately 1,200 U.S. servicemembers were on board. After five days afloat in the Pacific Ocean, just 317 sailors survived.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis

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