Pat Shingleton: "A Fateful Full Moon"
On this date in 1945, during the final days of World War II, the moon rose at 10:30 p.m. in the Philippine Sea; peeking through an overcast sky. Because of the glow, Japanese submariners targeted the silhouette of a cruiser and torpedoed it. If not for the moon glow, the USS Indianapolis would have passed unnoticed. As noted in a previous column, SKY and TELESCOPE magazine predicted a repeat of this celestial scene on July 29, 2002 over the Philippine Sea, marking the 57th anniversary of the disaster. Nine hundred of the 1,200 sailors escaped the attack, only 317 survived four days of exposure and shark attacks. The USS Indianapolis was delivering components of the first atomic bomb to Tinian Island for the bombing of Hiroshima.
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