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Post Info TOPIC: Courage Beyond Measure; The USS Indianapolis Story, Program Oct 13/14 2011 in Virginia

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Courage Beyond Measure; The USS Indianapolis Story, Program Oct 13/14 2011 in Virginia
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Blue Ridge Community College in the Shenandoah Valley of VA is once again hosting and sponsoring a multimedia presentation of the USS Indianapolis story.   
  Two survivors from the USS Indianapolis and a rescuer from the USS Bassett will join together at Blue Ridge Community College to share their memories of days spent in shark-infested waters during the closing days of World War II.  Two 2-hour programs are slated for Thursday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. and Friday Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Plecker Workforce Center on the Weyers Cave campus. Both events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Providing firsthand stories of the largest single disaster at sea ever suffered by the U.S. Navy will be survivors Edgar Harrell from Tennessee, and Felton Outland from North Carolina. Rescuer Peter Wren from Richmond, VA will also share his memories of the event. Survivor Sam Lopez may be attending, but at this time is not confirmed.

Also attending will be Earl Henry, Jr., born just a few weeks after the sinking of his father's ship.  He will speak about growing up with the knowledge that the Dad he never met (the ships dentist Dr. Earl Henry, Sr.) had gone down with the Indianapolis. Providing historical context for these memories is Kim Nielsen, whose period dress sets the stage for her moving multimedia presentation; and a display of Dr. Henrys artwork, along with WWII memorabilia and uniforms.
Jim Belcher, whose late father was among the Indianapolis survivors, produces this program and will field audience questions following each presentation.
The USS Indianapolis delivered components for the world's first operational atomic bomb (later dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay) to the Pacific island of Tinian on July 26, 1945. Four days later the ship was torpedoed and sank with 1,197 men on board. Approximately 900 men got off the ship into the shark-infested waters halfway between Guam and Leyte, Philippines. Because of numerous reporting issues by the Navy, nobody knew the USS Indianapolis was missing and no rescue was mounted. Purely by chance, the men were spotted by an aircraft on the fourth day. Of the 900 who initially survived the sinking, only 317 remained alive after rescue. After almost five days of constant shark attacks, starvation, terrible thirst, suffering from exposure and wounds, the men of the Indianapolis were at last rescued from the sea.
WWII military uniforms and artifacts will be on display Oct. 13 in the Kinetic Gallery located in the Fine Arts Center prior to and following the Presentation dates.
The two USS Indianapolis programs are funded by a Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation Strategic Initiative Grant. For more information, call Blue Ridge Community College at 540/453-2215.

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