The USS Indianapolis was the last ship sunk during World War II. Savaged by a salvo of torpedoes from a Japanese submarine, the warship, one of the fastest in the US Navy, sank in a matter of minutes. One thousand two hundred men went into the water, and only 321 were to survive. This is their story. The Indianapolis was captained by the dashing and charismatic Captain Butler McVay, and his story is a tragic one. For a captain to lose his ship in combat is perhaps the hardest blow, but McVay was doubly marked, as he was held responsible for the loss and court-martialled - the only naval captain ever to be court-martialled for the sinking of his ship. Twenty years after the Indianapolis went to the bottom, tormented by the experience and the resentment of many of the families of those who lost their lives in the disaster, he took his own life. Those who also survived maintain that there was nothing he could have done to prevent the disaster, and continue to campaign to clear the captain's name. This book is also his story.
Doug Stanton has written extensively about politics, travel and celebrities for numerous publications, including Esquire, US, Outside and Men's Journal, where he is currently a contributing writer. In Harm's Way began as a lead feature story in the March 2000 issue of Men's Journal. It led to more letters to the editor than any other piece in the magazine's history. Warner Brothers is currently developing a screenplay based on the book.