Indiana senator to attend new USS Indianapolis’ keel-laying

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MARINETTE, Wis. — U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana will attend a ceremonial keel-laying in Wisconsin for a combat ship that’s set to become the nation’s fourth military vessel named the USS Indianapolis.

Donnelly will attend Monday’s ceremony at a Marinette, Wisconsin, shipyard where Lockheed Martin workers will lay the structural beam around which the ship’s hull will be built.

The ship will have the flexibility for a variety of missions, including mine-clearing and anti-surface warfare.

The last previous USS Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945, while returning from a Pacific island where it delivered key components for the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Only 317 of its nearly 1,200 crewmen survived the sinking and days in shark-infested waters.

Dick Thelen, one of those survivors, will attend Monday’s ceremony.

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