October 31, 2009

USS Indianapolis Radio Room

As one of my hobbies, I help with emergency communications at several local events such as marathons, 500 Festival Parade, etc. I am a ham, and my call is KC9MTL.

One of the local radio clubs I belong to is the oldest in the country, established and meeting continuously since 1914. A group of members of this club have recreated, as close as they can, the radio room of the USS Indianapolis. It has been a labor of love for the folks involved in putting the project together. There have been donations of equipment from all over the United States. Once people found out the needs, it has been amazing to see the kindness people have shown. One transmitter donated was still in the original oak crate from the 1940s, never opened or used. It was in absolute mint condition. Another donated piece of equipment weighing 800 or so pounds was shipped across country at no charge. Check out the website www.ussindyradio.org to see pictures of this fabulous project.

The open house to unveil this newest permanent exhibit at the Indiana War Memorial is November 7th. Anyone in the downtown Indianapolis area are invited to stop by from 2-5 p.m. This is a wonderful tribute to the men of the USS Indy, both the survivors and the the ones who died at sea. If you want to learn more of the story of what has been called the worst naval disaster in US history, the book In Harm’s Way by Doug Stanton is a riveting chronicle of what the men endured. I am reading it now, and it is well worth your time.