Timeline of USS Indianapolis, discovered in 2017 at depth of 18,000 ft

Flashback: Veteran Richard Stephens, a survivor of the USS Indianapolis sinking in 1945, left, talks with actor Nicolas Cage on the set of "USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage" in Mobile, Ala. Al.com photo/Sharon Steinmann

Editors note: The USA TODAY Network’s South Region chronicled the stories of Tennessee families still mourning the loss of loved ones on the USS Indianapolis — more than seven decades later. You can find our premium story here. 

November 7, 1931 – The USS Indianapolis was launched. The Portland-class heavy cruiser was 610 feet, 3 inches long and displaced 9,950 tons. The Indianapolis carried a main battery of nine 8-inch guns and eight 5-inch antiaircraft guns. She could reach speeds of more than 32 knots thanks to eight boilers turning four steam turbines.

The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by the Japanese on July 30, 1945. File photo

January 1, 1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt selected the Indianapolis as his ship of state. She carried Roosevelt on three cruises, including his 1936 “Good Neighbor” trip to South America. 

February 20 and March 10, 1942 – The cruiser earned her first battle star during the Bougainville Air Action and Salamaua-Lae Raid. 

The bell of the USS Indianapolis is rung during the 2019 Indianapolis Veterans Day Service, held at the Indiana War Memorial on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. The service was moved inside due to inclement weather.

1943 – The U.S.S. Indianapolis became the flagship of the U.S. Fifth Fleet under Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance.

May 1943 – April 1945 – The vessel earned nine more battle stars: at Attu Occupation, which was part of the broader Aleutians Operation; the Gilbert Islands Operation; the Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls and the Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll, which were part of the Marshall Islands Operation; the Palau, Yap, Ulitihi and Woleai Raids; the Marianas Operation, including the Capture and Occupation of Saipan and Guam and the Battle of the Philippine Sea; the Capture and Occupation of Tinian Island; the Capture and Occupation of the Southern Palau Islands during the Western Caroline Islands Operation; for her part in the bombardment of Iwo Jima; for her role in the Okinawa Gunto Operation.

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