Long lost USS Indianapolis wreckage discovered by Paul Allen crew

Wreckage from the USS Indianapolis, which sank 72 years ago after being torpedoed during World War II, was found in the Philippine Sea by the expedition crew of billionaire Paul Allen.

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The Indianapolis was hit by the Japanese on July 30, 1945 and sank in only 12 minutes, leading to the greatest single loss of life at sea in the Navy's history. Of 1,196 crew aboard the ship, only 317 survived.

The men who didn't go down with the ship faced dehydration, saltwater poisoning and shark-infested waters. 

"To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role during World War II is truly humbling," Allen said in a statement.

Prior to being attacked, the Indianapolis had delivered components of one of the two nuclear weapons that were later dropped on Japan. 

"For more than two decades I've been working with survivors. To a man, they have longed for the day when their ship would be found, solving their final mystery," Captain William Toti, retired, spokesperson for the survivors of the USS Indianapolis told PaulAllen.com.

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Previous Allen-led expeditions have resulted in the discovery of the Japanese battleship Musashi and the Italian WWII destroyer Artigliere. 

The 16-person team on Allen's ship will continue to survey the full site and will conduct a live tour of the wreckage in the coming weeks. 

Movie fans may recall that the Indianapolis was the ship about which fictional Capt. Quint (Robert Shaw) tells a harrowing tale in the 1975 film “Jaws.”

“So, 1,100 men went in the water, 316 men come out,” he says. “The sharks took the rest.”

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