Navy

Michigan in World War I: Stores of the Homefront

Help the Meijer Branch remember the 100th Anniversary of World War I.

Michigan’s contribution to World War I was more than just its service people. It was the center for a spy ring, a starting point of the peace movement, center for airplane production and armaments, and so much more.

Intended for All Ages.

Larry Martin: In Their Own Words

Join JDL and the First United Methodist Church of Jackson for another installment of Larry Martin’s In Their Own Words!

Dick Thelen was 18 years old when he enlisted in the Navy, and he was eventually assigned to serve aboard the Indianapolis. Only July 30, 1945, The Indianapolis was attacked and sank a little after midnight in only 15 minutes. There were 1,195 men on board. About 300 men died in the sinking with about 900 men going into the dark, cold foreboding Pacific Ocean. They jumped off into nearly total darkness with a lot of black oil on the water that they ingested.

Dick will tell what it is like to be in shark-infested waters for four and a half days with the Navy not even searching for the “Indy.” Only 317 men came out of the Pacific Ocean, making the sinking of the USS Indianapolis one of the worst naval disasters ever. Many men lost their minds from lack of water and food. Some men were on rafts, but Dick was in the ocean the entire four and a half days and his Mae West lifejacket was becoming more waterlogged all the time, barely keeping him above water.

Intended for adults.

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