USS Indpls Future Course

Announcement of the Father Thomas Conway Memorial

In June of 2006, the Father Thomas Conway Memorial was dedicated at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. Father Thomas Conway was the chaplain on the USS Indianapolis and did not survive the sinking. Father Conway survived several days in the water and provided guidance to the young sailors durning their ordeal. The bronze bust of Father Conway was created by Brian Porter, an art instructor at Erie Community College. Mr. Porter described the memorial as Father Conway in a stoic pose slightly turned clutching a life vest in one hand and crew member dog tags in his left. This was symbolic of his physical guidance he brought while in the water with the sailors and the spiritual guidance he provided throughout his life. Please visit the link to learn more about the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. Click here to learn more about the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.

The USS Indianapolis Museum Has a Banner Year

The Museum participated at the 60th Reunion of USS Indianapolis Survivor’s Organization and launched the new traveling Event Museum consisting of various displays detailing the USS Indianapolis history, education vision and creating awareness for The Museum international fund-raising campaign. The Event Museum easily became a focal point of the reunion with Survivors, families and the general public who praised its ability to tell the USS Indianapolis history.

Reception Held in July to Launch International Fund-raising Campaign.

Recognizing the last full day in the life of the USS Indianapolis 60 years ago on July 29th and sinking early in the morning of July 30th, The Museum held a reception to launch its international fund-raising campaign. The reception for public officials, corporate and community partners, veteran’s organizations and the media was held at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis. Nearly 100 invited guests attended the reception with almost all making donations, joining the membership and supporting The Museum vision. Those making specified donations either received our new Official Limited Edition USS Indianapolis 1932 Commemorative Cast Bronze Bell (3” x 4”) or a print of the USS Indianapolis at Mare Island.

Event Museum Makes First Public Appearance Before 150,000 at Air Show.

August marked the first display of the Event Museum to the public at the annual Indianapolis Air Show featuring the Navy Blue Angels. In addition, World War II aircraft on display and flying included a Lockheed PV-2 and Catalina PBY similar to the planes piloted by the men who played the historic role in spotting and helping to recover the Survivors. In addition to our Event Museum, seven of the Survivors attended in an adjoining tent and signed books, prints and other items for the public. The Event Museum was a popular attraction with adults young and old and especially with children of all ages. The success of displaying the Event Museum at the air show confirmed The Museum is on the right course using it to create awareness, reach the public, increase membership and donations. More than 150,000 people visited the Event Museum during the two day air show.

Event Museum was to be Featured at The National D-Day Museum in New Orleans.

The Event Museum was booked to make the first appearance at a national World War II museum; The National D-Day Museum in New Orleans and during the first, International Conference on World War II attended by historians, authors and educators. Due to the destruction in the area caused by Hurricane Katrina, The National D-Day Museum closed and the conference was cancelled. At the appropriate time, our Event Museum will be displayed at The D-Day Museum.

Event Museum and Speakers Huge Hit at Middle School Veteran’s Day Program.

As a result of the Event Museum displayed at the reunion, several grade schools through high schools booked it for temporary display and made financial donations to The Museum. Indianapolis Perry Meridian Middle School booked the traveling display for most of November. Ken McNamara, Executive Vice President of The Museum and Survivor, Jimmy O’Donnell were invited to speak at the school’s Veteran’s Day observance program. In addition to the Event Museum, Mr. McNamara arranged for Mr. Earl Henry Jr., the son of the late Artist, Dentist and Lt. Commander of the USS Indianapolis to drive from his home in Tennessee to display prints of his father’s original paintings of birds. Lt. Cmdr. Henry loved and studied birds beginning at age of 12 and began painting pictures of birds late in his life completing only 30 paintings. It was reported that Lt. Cmdr. Henry was not seen after the first explosion rocked the ship. This short but moving biography of Lt. Cmdr. Henry is just an example of the thousands of USS Indianapolis stories that need to be documented and presented by The Museum. Mr. Henry Jr. spent the day discussing his father’s life and paintings with the students.

Also on display was a 17 foot model of the USS Indianapolis built by Mr. Don Roberts of Noblesville, Indiana. Mr. Roberts donated the model to The Museum during the reunion. The students were captivated by the Veteran’s Day presentations, USS Indianapolis displays and Lt. Cmdr Henry’s story and paintings. The students had access to The Museum displays during the month and researched and prepared assignments on different aspects of the USS Indianapolis history. The excitement, interest and acceptance of the USS Indianapolis history by the students further establishes the need and educational opportunities The Museum has with today’s school age youth.

USS Indianapolis Museum and Gifts Featured Indianapolis Museum Gift Gallery Guide.

The Museum was honored, recognized and invited to be included in the first Indianapolis Business Journal gift guide featuring gifts unique to Indianapolis museums. The museum was included with the most notable and historic museums in Indianapolis and the country: Eitelgorg Museum, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana Historical Society, Connie Prairie and the Indianapolis Art Center. USS Indianapolis Museum gift items include the bronze bell replica, signed prints, books, Lt. Cmdr. Henry’s bird art printed on note cards with envelopes and the official hat and t-shirt. The gift guide was inserted and distributed in the Indianapolis Business Journal to over 80,000 subscribers and mailed to corporate membership organizations. Also, the gifts can be ordered through a special participating museum web site www.indymuseum.org which is linked to www.ussindianapolis.us giving The Museum vision international exposure. Not only is the participation in the gift guide just in time for the holidays, The Museum has been recognized as a major organization by the museum community.

Museum Board of Directors, Strategic Planning and Mission and Vision Statements.

The Museum is pleased to announce a reorganization of the Board of Directors, and the addition of new members that will contribute their expertise to the already diverse backgrounds of existing members. As a result, a strategic planning retreat was held with each board member contributing to the plan, writing the mission and vision statements and setting the future direction of The Museum which is on a fast track to finalize a location to display the history and artifacts of the growing collection.

The USS Indianapolis Museum Puts A Call Out for any USS Indianapolis and Associated Artifacts.

The Museum continues to receive or uncover more artifacts documenting the history of the USS Indianapolis. The Museum is putting out an official call to Survivors, families, individuals or organizations with any USS Indianapolis artifacts to consider donating them. The Museum is accepting donations of any artifacts from the moment it was decided to build the USS Indianapolis through the current day. For example, artifacts include items such as crew and family personal affects, artifacts from individuals who participated in the location, rescue, medical care and rehabilitation of the Survivors, pictures, documents, ship building plans and records, books, diaries, stories, any recorded audio and video, clothing, patches, flags, etc. Securing and documenting these artifacts at The Museum will help record and educate everyone about the USS Indianapolis history for all generations past, present and in the future. If you have any artifacts to donate, or know of a location of an artifact(s), please contact the museum at 317-769-6014 or visit our web site at:
www.ussindianapolis.us

The last 18 months have been amazing for the museum. And with your continued support, we expect the future to bring even more growth and exciting news for The USS Indianapolis Museum!