I'm glad to help, if such be the case, on the Belser connection.
As far as my posting on the Indianapolis, I don't even remember what I posted. Senior moment, you know. My interest in the Indy was that a shipmate, John Ashford, and I were assigned to the radio shack at NAS Alameda. We had just finished Secondary Radio and Radar School at Corpus Christi, and were anxious to get out in the fleet and do some real work on radar.
ALameda Naval Air Station was a bore. The fog didn't lift until bout 9:30 AM, and we spent most of the day just fooling around, reading manuals and such. We couldn't wait to get off that base.
The Indianapolis came by and wanted one AirCraft Radio Tech. We flipped a coin and John won. I was despondant, but got to join the USS Cabot's crew in a few days. The Cabot, CVL 28, was a light carrier built on the frame of the Indianapolis Class cruiser.
In August, 1945, the Cabot, was in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, awaiting the invasion of Japan, when the was ended. At about the same time, someone told us that the Indy had been sunk with trememdous loss of crew. I remarked that that was a latrine rumour, because I had just left her a few months previously in Oakland. But it turned out to be true. I wondered a long time if John Ashford had survived. He was from Lubbock and I tried to locate his folks, but there were no Ashfords living in Lubbock at that time. When the first book came out about the Indy sinking, it had a list of the crew with an asterisk by the survivors, and John's name had an asterisk.
The reason i'm relating this is that the Indy has a survivors group. They were on tv and I heard an interview with an ex sailor with an unusual name who lived in a unique place in Florida. I phoned him and got in touch with the survivors group and found that John had died in 1982.
If you would like to find out about the crewman who was said to have been transferred from the ship before the sinking because of a broken leg, I suggest you contact them. You should be able to conduct a search on Google or some other search engine and find them. I don't think it would have been the previous day of the sinking that the sailor was transferred, because the Indy was at sea then. But they had just left Guam a few days before, and it's probable that he might have been put ashore there.
I don't know whether this will help or not. Sorry to ramble so much. The Indy sinking was a tragedy and, in my opinion, should not have occurred. Those sailors who survived spent a terrible 4 or 5 days in the Pacific trying to keep from being eaten by sharks.
Carthage, tx 75633
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