Historians resolve fatality count of USS Indianapolis

(AP) — Two historians have resolved a decades-old mystery about how many men died when the USS Indianapolis was struck by Japanese torpedoes during World War II.

The Indianapolis Star reports the number has long varied by one.

Richard Hulver is a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command. He worked with historian and filmmaker Sara Vladic to determine that a record-keeping error led to one man’s name appearing on some versions of the ship’s passenger roster but not on the survivors list.

The pair discovered the man didn’t sail during the tragic voyage in 1945 because of a last-minute change.

The historians determined the final crew list was corrected to show 1,195 men were on board and the number of men killed was 879, not 880.

The report was published in a recent issue of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Today.