Charles B. McVay III Photo

Charles B. McVay III

Born: Jul 30, 1898

Death: Nov 6, 1968

Birthplace: Ephrata

Nationality: United States

Charles B. McVay III

Date of Birth : Jul 30, 1898
Date of Death : Nov 6, 1968
Birth Place : Ephrata

Charles B. McVay III was an American Naval officer and the commanding officer of the USS Indianapolis when it was lost in action in 1945, resulting in massive loss of life. Of all captains in the history of the U.S. Navy, he is the only one to have been subjected to court-martial for losing a ship sunk by an act of war, despite the fact that he was on a top secret mission maintaining radio silence. After years of mental health problems, he committed suicide. Following years of efforts by some survivors and others to clear his name, McVay was posthumously exonerated by the 106th United States Congress and President Bill Clinton on October 30, 2000. In 1978, the events surrounding McVay's court-martial were dramatized in The Failure to ZigZag by playwright John B. Ferzacca. Actor Stacy Keach portrayed McVay in the 1991 made-for-television movie Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which depicted the ordeal of the men of the Indianapolis during her last voyage.

Also known as

  • Charles McVay III


  • Kimo Wilder McVay
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