USS Indiana BB-58
Message Board

Apr. 17, 2017

I need all sailors on the battleship USS Indiana to call me 586-804-8575. I have a cruise book from 1945 from my step dad with pics of the crew and hand written address of 500 sailors in this book. History wanted to send this to sailors on the ship. This is to important to let go by.

Dan Lambrix

Dec. 22, 2016

My, father Johnny Floyd Craig, from Lenord, TX served on the U.S.S. Indiana on 1945. I was checking the ship book of all the men aboard. He was a gunners mate. He lives in DeRidder, LA. He just turned 91and talks about his time with the Navy. He transferred to the Army where he fought in Korea, Germany in1960, retired 1/15/65. 1966 went back in to be sent to Vietnam for two years.

Bill Craig

Jan. 20, 2013

Anybody out there remember or have information about my father Walter A. Naatz from Algonquin, Illinois? He was on the Indiana from August 19, 1943 to February 2, 1946. Sadly he passed away at the age of 40 on January 13, 1965. He left behind a wife and 4 daughters, ages 5 to 12. He is still sorely missed to this day......

Terry Naatz Aspden
Arlington, Washington

Jan. 4, 2012

My parents divorced at the end of WWII and my contact with my father was seldom. His name was Leonard J. Reinholtz. My mother had told me that he was aboard the USS Indiana from commissioning to the end of the war having served as a Gunner's Mate aboard the USS San Francisco.  My question is, can you confirm that he did in fact serve on the Indiana?

Jack Reinholtz

Nov. 19, 2011

It is entirely possible that my father, Machinist Mate 3rd V.J. "Scotty" Freburg, used the valve wheels or read the plates listed by Mr. Greaves of Port Alberni, BC (message #3). Dad was a member of the black gang from December 1942 until the Indiana's return to San Francisco in 1945.  I remember going to Bremerton a couple of times when I was 4 or 5 so Dad could see his old ship and I remember him being heart broken when the Indiana was finally scrapped (he had an aerial picture from the Seattle Times of the ship in the scrap yard). Thank you for the pictures Mr. Greaves.

Randy Freburg,
Woodinville, Washington

Nov. 17, 2011

I just got back from a trip to Pearl Harbor. I now have a great need to contact any one who served on the USS Indiana in WW2. My dad, Dennis Worth McMasters (he went by Worth), was part of the first crew to serve 1941. How do I contact any of his living friends.

Steve McMasters

Aug. 13, 2011

My father, Peter John Cirafice, Aviation Chief Machinist Mate, served on the USS Indiana BB-58 in WW2.  He was part of the Air Sea Rescue Crew and flew in the Rear Gunner's seat on some of the rescue missions to pick up downed carrier pilots. On one of the missions he and the pilot took off from the catapult of the Indiana, in one of the 0S2U Kingfisher seaplanes to rescue a downed carrier plot. The weather was getting bad, a front  was approaching and the seas were getting high. They found the downed fighter pilot and picked him up, as they headed the kingfisher into the wind and gathered speed for a take off a large wave capsized the Kingfisher. All were lost, but in 1952 the Navy stated my father's body was found. He had made it to an island, Tokmo Shima in the sea of Japan. Almost 20 some miles from where the Kingfisher had capsized. His body was flown home to Boston, MA and buried with full Military Honors.

A letter from the USS Indiana Navy Chaplin sent to my mother sometime in 1945 stated, I'm sorry for your Loss. Then the letter went on to say, The rescue aircraft, a Kingfisher, was dispatched on a mission to pick up a downed pilot, your husband Peter John Cirafice and pilot Lt. Haas, were seen by other American aircraft returning from a raid and saw the aircraft pick up the pilot and attempted to take off in high sea when it capsized. Three people were seen floating in the water and rubber rafts were dropped from other aircraft. It was getting dark and the weather was getting bad, the search was postponed until daylight the next morning. The letter went on to say, A sea and air search was conducted, but no survivors were found. The Navy Dept. also sent a telegram stating my father was Missing in Action and a year later they declared him Killed in Action.

I have contacted the Navy Dept. Many times in Washington D.C. to find out what the painted number was on the aircraft that became missing in action from the Indiana. I  never got an answer from the Navy Dept. I'm getting up in age ---77 years young lol and my grandchildren want to know more about their hero Great Grandfather. I have all his Battle Stars and  Combat Medals and his Navy Air Medal & Gold Wings in a display case in my den. I also have a scale model of the airplane he flew on that mission and wanted to put in number on it if I can find out what number it was. Thank you for any information.

Ronald P. Cirafice

Reply 1
Aug. 14, 2011

The pilots name was Lt. jg. Frank M. Haas, missing since March 27, 1945 and the serial number of the aircraft was 5445.

Michael W. Pocock

Reply 2
Sept. 29, 2020

Hi my name is Tim Malone I run I have a special Interest in the USS Indiana since my wife's grandfather was one of the Kingfisher pilots on the USS Indiana his name was LT. JG. Arthur Art Thomas O402902 and would have served with your relative. I have made a profile for ACMM Peter John Cirafice 4004246 and I have uploaded it on to the website. If you have any other photographs or information that you would like to add I would appreciate it.

Best regards,
Tim Malone

Jan. 25, 2011

I am a retired Steam Engineer in Canada. I worked for a Paper Mill in Port Alberni. When the ship was scraped, we got two of its boilers. I operated these boilers for years, and eventually were shut down and removed as scrap metal. Before the scraping I got permission from the Chief Engineer to get a few pieces of the boiler. I have brass plates from an Oil Pump with US Navy Stamp on it. Also a few hand wheels from oil burners. Also, as I was scraping off old oil build up around a burner that was out of service, I found a brass plate that has "SMOKE" engraved on it and highlighted in red. This was on a burner that was directly in the super heater section, which would produce the famous " smoke screen ".    

Any way, if any of these pieces could be put in a museum or any other place, I would be happy to send them as they are part of your countries history and a part of a famous Battleship. The valves on the oil burners where always in my mind, as I knew that some very brave men had opened and closed these valves many times. We did have a set of blue prints for the boiler room, very old and worn, they had a kind of tin foil paper on them. Unfortunately they were thrown out as the boilers were removed.                        

Sincerely, Barry Greaves
3rd Class Steam Engineer, retired


Jan. 10, 2009

This message is being left in the memory of my uncle, Frank "Bud" Corbett who served in the boiler room on the USS Indiana during WWII.  He died last week and we just found out that he was awarded the Silver Star for his service. I am trying to find out any information about the circumstances surrounding the events that lead to the award. If you have any information on this award, please let us know.

Thank you,
Susanne Corbett

Apr. 2, 2007

I became interested in the USS Indiana after I visited Mobile Alabama and toured the USS Alabama. I was so awestruck by the battleship that I wanted to find out what happened to the Indiana. Of course, it was disheartening to find out that the ship had been scrapped.

There were little bits and pieces of it still around, here and there. The bow was in California, the mast was in Bloomington...but my eyes lit up when I read that one of the anchors was here in Ft. Wayne. I have been to the Coliseum many, many, times, but the entrances that are usually used are on the east side of the building. I had never gone up front, and had never seen the anchor.

On March 17, I was directly across the street from the Coliseum, waiting in line with thousands of other people for my turn to touch the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which was touring the state (Go Colts!). It was cold and sunny. I looked across the street, zoomed in, and snapped that picture. Thank you for posting it, it looks great.

The USS Indiana is gone, but not forgotten.

Jim Reilly
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

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Page published Jan. 22, 2007