Left for Dead

A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis

Nelson, Peter, 1953-

Book - 2002
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Left for Dead
Random House, Inc.
Hunter Scott, an 11-year-old boy in Pensacola, Florida, was watching the movie Jaws, listening to Captain Quint tell the story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis at the end of World War II. “Eleven hundred men went into the water. Very first light, the sharks come cruising. . . .” Hunter had a simple question: Was this a true story?

The story of the USS Indianapolis, the worst naval disaster in American history, is indeed true. So is the story of the shameful court-martial of the ship’s captain, shameful because the loss of the ship was not his fault, and the Navy knew it. Hunter Scott became the catalyst for the survivors’ efforts to clear their captain’s name and set the record straight. This is the story of the ship, her brave sailors, their wronged captain, and a young man’s crusade to right an old injustice.

Baker & Taylor
Having heard the story of this great warship and tragic terrible end, a young boy decides to look into the matter and find out why the ship's captain received a court martial as punishment for something he did not do, despite the Navy's knowledge of this.

& Taylor

Recalls the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis at the end of World War II, the navy cover-up and unfair court martial of the ship's captain, and how a young boy helped the survivors set the record straight fifty-five years later.

Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2002
ISBN: 0385729596
Branch Call Number: 940.5459 N
Characteristics: xx, 201 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), map ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

As a 11 year old, Hunter Scott watched Jaws (1975) and wondered - was Quint's story of the USS Indianapolis true? This question lead to an investigation to uncover the true story of the Indianapolis.

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Mar 03, 2015
  • InvernessS rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

IMO the most tragic loss of life, great injustice to Captain & crew & failure of US Naval command. The USS Indianapolis carried the device to end WWII. Of 1,937 only 317 survived the ordeal of 5 days adrift spread out over 20 miles & only spotted by shear luck. Graphic descriptions & detailed account of what happens to the body in this situation (Chapter 7.) Wish the TV movie were available. Not just juvenile genre, this should be in the mainstream history.

In 1945, the USS Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine. More than a thousand men were thrown into the water, with only 317 men still surviving five days later when they were finally rescued. Captain McVey was court-martialed, the only one of the 436 captains whose ships were sunk in the war who was.
In 1996, 11-year-old Hunter Scott decided to do a history fair project on the Indianapolis, ultimately taking on the Navy and Congress to clear McVey’s record.


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Left for Dead
Nelson, Peter, 1953-
Left for Dead

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