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James C. Nichols

James C. Nichols

Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 12:16 pm

James C. Nichols, 82, of the Shawtown community died early Dec. 1, 2008, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City, where he was a patient. A World War II veteran, Nichols was a survivor of the USS Indianapolis, a heavy cruiser torpedoed in the South Pacific on July 31, 1945, by a Japanese submarine. Of a crew of about 1,200, only 900 survived the attack and abandoned ship on orders of its commander. They were found by accident by a U.S. Navy plane on patrol. The “Indy”’ crew spent five days and four nights in shark-infested waters. When they were rescued, it was found that only 318 of the 900 had survived the ordeal. Unknown to the ship’s crew and under heavy guard, the world’s first atomic bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” was transported on the Indianapolis to Tinian Island. The Indianapolis was on its way to join an invasion fleet forming to invade Honshu, the island of mainland Japan, when it was torpedoed. Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Dilday Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published at a later time. To leave messages of condolence for the family, visit the funeral home Web site at www.dilday.com. Published in The Messenger 12.1.08

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