Lessons from a WWII ship

August 9, 2015

This picture has nothing to do with the post, but it's pretty.

Our pastor shared a very interesting story during the sermon today about the USS Indianapolis during World War II.

The ship, on its way back from a mission in 1945, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank within 12 minutes; 300 of the 1200 men on board died immediately. Of the 900 remaining, only 317 survived the five days in the ocean, on rafts or in life preservers, falling prey to dehydration, sharks, and saltwater-induced hallucinations.

This story especially interested me as I am currently reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand about Louis Zamperini, who survived being shot down in the Pacific and the horrors of a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

Our pastor told of a medical officer among the survivors of the USS Indianapolis who spent those five days doing his best to help the men. Men were so thirsty that some of them resorted to drinking saltwater. He tried to convince them that it would make them even thirstier and lead to their deaths, but they ignored his warnings.

How many things in this world look good, look tempting, look like something we just have to have, but in the end will lead to death, physically or spiritually?

Drinking saltwater can also cause delirium, and many of the men experienced hallucinations.  One person would "see" something, and all of a sudden others would see it, and pretty soon a whole group would be deceived.

It's not hard to catch the analogy here.

Once we start down a path of choosing things that are not good for us, we can start believing false ideas, especially if those around us are doing the same thing. Soon a whole group can be calling the false true, and no one can tell the difference anymore.

Sounds a little like our world right now.


In looking up some of the facts around this story, I noticed that a movie entitled USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, starring Nicholas Cage, is to be released next May.


  1. Hi Deborah,
    Wow, what a story. Yes, it does sound like what is happening today. Sadly enough.
    Thanks for sharing that with us. You must have a good minister, one that teaches the truth of God. :)
    Oh, and your roses are beautiful!
    Happy Sunday,

  2. Excellent post! Thank you for sharing with us and passing along your great Sunday message. I believe I could sit under your pastor and listen to him teach the Word of God.

    Isn't that so true of us humans... I especially liked what you said here; "how many things in this world look good, look tempting, look like something we just have to have, but in the end will lead to death, physically and spiritually."
    Cause it's to stay the course, dear Lord.

    I too believe I will do some research, this was great.

    Bless you~ Debbie

  3. Hi Deborah,
    I really enjoyed hearing about your church sermon. You retold it very well too and how similar it is to today. Thank you for sharing God's word. Blessings! Karen

  4. Great post, Deborah! A very good lesson to be learned by this, and very timely. . .

  5. Dear Deborah,

    A lovely bouquet of roses...such a gorgeous colour!
    A good lesson in your post, one to ponder when thinking of one's own journey.

    Wishing you a beautiful day...

  6. Beautiful roses, Deborah and yes, I agree.

    Have good night :)


  7. What an excellent sermon from your pastor, Deborah. You retained the message so well and I thank you for passing the information on to us. I look forward to seeing the movie next Spring.
    The roses are a thing of beauty!

  8. We saw the movie, Unbroken and it was very well done. Very very sad too. But we need to understand history to keep from making the same mistakes. I hate war. Hugs, Diane

  9. Thank You...
    This is the power behind false doctrine and lies and war and everything that will lead to death! Your Pastor shared a great truth in a story that is real...
    Hugs, Roxy

  10. Dearest Deborah,
    Clever opening statement with that gorgeous vase of roses! And even that fits the deceiving part of nowadays world; it is often NOT what we think it is but very few will do the research and find out about the real truth. Sadly so, it is like drinking the salt water over and over again against all warnings for their own good.
    Let's pray for better times!
    Tomorrow we have the funeral of our priest, one that came to our Church (driving some 42 miles one-way) for several years. He was only 67 and way too young. When we learned about his death on Sunday at Church, I was quite shocked and saddened by the news. Life can end so unexpectedly for all of us.
    Sending you hugs and blessings,

  11. Very good example, Deborah. Our daughter had the privilege of interviewing many of the Indianapolis survivors at a reunion back about 10 years ago, I think it was, and they were so gracious to her. Sadly, when she left the tapes in the office for a technician to edit them, they were stolen, disappeared without any clue as to had taken them. A hard lesson for her and such regret by all of us. I viewed the tapes before they were lost and so wished that others could have seen them.


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