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"I didn't want to end up in the belly of some shark and neither did the other guys." (Audio Interview, Part 2, 5:38)

   Giles G. McCoy
Image of Giles G. McCoy
Giles McCoy, 1940s.
War: World War II, 1939-1946
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Service Location: Peleliu Island (Palau); Iwo Jima; Pacific Theater
Rank: Private First Class
Place of Birth: St. Louis, MO
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After surviving three of the Pacific Theater's most harrowing campaigns and a kamikaze attack, Marine Giles McCoy thought the worst was over when his ship returned to the States for repairs in the summer of 1945. But that ship, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, had one more mission to perform, whose aftermath-hundreds of men stranded for days in shark-infested waters--was an event whose horrible consequences still reverberate.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (8 clips)
»Complete Interview  (81 min.)
»Photo Album (5 photos)
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»The War
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (8 items)
Joining the Marines at an age when his mother had to sign for him. (00:50) Becoming one of the first snipers; downside of the job; landing at Pelelieu, shot by another sniper. (05:31) Assignment to the Indianapolis; working on Iwo Jima as a sniper. (05:12)
Kamikaze on the Indianapolis; in San Francisco for repairs; a top-secret mission. (04:01) Life aboard the Indianapolis; respect for the skipper. (01:52) Hit by torpedoes; sinking rapidly. (07:06)
In the water with the sharks, trying to keep morale up; the rescue. (18:04) Becoming Captain McVay's orderly on Guam; McVay court-martialed; survivors' attempts to exonerate him. (09:40) 
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  The Library of Congress
  May 29, 2007
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