In the summer of 1999, Doug Stanton was on his way to the survivor reunion for the boys of the USS Indianapolis, the last ship that was sunk in World War II. Stanton was hoping to write a 5,000 word article on this legendary story, that will forever be captured in American History. He soon realized, that he knew very little about the real life story that had actually occurred. Suddenly he felt something "click" and he was on his way through a heart-wrenching journey that would perpetually revolutionize his way of thinking. The book In Harms Way uncovers the implausible explanation that will change lives around the country, of what truly happened on the extraordinary expedition if the USS Indianapolis. It brings complete new meaning to the phrase "hard times" and shows just how much anguish a human soul can undergo. .
As "Roosevelt's chosen ship of state when it was commissioned in 1932," (27) the USS Indianapolis was in the harbor awaiting it's repairs, which was estimated to take up the next six weeks. The Indy was where Captain Charles Butler McVay III got his first assignment commanding a ship. It was to commence on a secret mission to Tinian to drop off the first atomic bomb the world has ever known, and half of the amount of uranium 235 that was in the US at the time. The Indy would be serving as a replacement for the USS Pensacola since it had failed its sea tests. Upon receiving this news McVay was nervous about his now 13-year-old ship that was considered to be "past its prime;" seeing as one ship had already proved its effort futile. However, on July 16, 1945 McVay rounded up his crew, many of which were inexperienced, and left San Francisco to carry out his part in the war against Japan. .
On July 26, 1945 the USS Indianapolis arrived in Tinian just as planned. At the time Tinian was the largest Air Force base in the world. The Indy unloaded the infamous atomic bomb known as "Little Boy" and the Uranium 235.