Lead: Having delivered components of the first atomic bomb to Tinian Island in the Pacific, the cruiser, USS Indianapolis, sailed west to its duty station near the Philippines. Its sinking by a Japanese submarine began the worst sea disaster in American naval history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After leaving Tinian, Captain Charles B. McVay, III, made a refueling stop at Guam before embarking on the final stage of the voyage. In the normal course of departing the port, McVay was not told that four Japanese submarines had been sighted in the area through which he must sail and that the destroyer USS Underhill had been sunk in an encounter with a sub in the same area. Also, General orders insisted that ships ziz-zag in war zones but since that maneuver on occasion might be more dangerous than speedy transit in a straight line, McVay and other commanders were given the option that if the weather were overcast or stormy they could choose not to execute the time consuming process of ziz-zagging.