Announcement of the Father Thomas Conway Memorial
In June of 2006, the Father Thomas Conway Memorial was dedicated at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. Father Thomas Conway was the chaplain on the USS Indianapolis and did not survive the sinking. Father Conway survived several days in the water and provided guidance to the young sailors durning their ordeal. The bronze bust of Father Conway was created by Brian Porter, an art instructor at Erie Community College. Mr. Porter described the memorial as Father Conway in a stoic pose slightly turned clutching a life vest in one hand and crew member dog tags in his left. This was symbolic of his physical guidance he brought while in the water with the sailors and the spiritual guidance he provided throughout his life. Please visit the link to learn more about the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. Click here to learn more about the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
The USS Indianapolis Museum Has a Banner
The Museum participated at the 60th Reunion
of USS Indianapolis Survivor’s Organization and launched
the new traveling Event Museum consisting of various displays
detailing the USS Indianapolis history, education vision and
creating awareness for The Museum international fund-raising
campaign. The Event Museum easily became a focal point of the
reunion with Survivors, families and the general public who praised
its ability to tell the USS Indianapolis history.
Reception Held in July to Launch International Fund-raising Campaign.
Recognizing the last full day in the life
of the USS Indianapolis 60 years ago on July 29th and sinking
early in the morning of July 30th, The Museum held a reception
to launch its international fund-raising campaign. The reception
for public officials, corporate and community partners, veteran’s organizations and the media was held
at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis. Nearly 100 invited
guests attended the reception with almost all making donations,
joining the membership and supporting The Museum vision. Those
making specified donations either received our new Official Limited
Edition USS Indianapolis 1932 Commemorative Cast Bronze Bell (3” x
4”) or a print of the USS Indianapolis at Mare Island.
Event Museum Makes First Public Appearance Before 150,000 at Air
August marked the first display of the Event Museum to the public
at the annual Indianapolis Air Show featuring the Navy Blue Angels.
In addition, World War II aircraft on display and flying included
a Lockheed PV-2 and Catalina PBY similar to the planes piloted
by the men who played the historic role in spotting and helping
to recover the Survivors. In addition to our Event Museum, seven
of the Survivors attended in an adjoining tent and signed books,
prints and other items for the public. The Event Museum was a popular
attraction with adults young and old and especially with children
of all ages. The success of displaying the Event Museum at the
air show confirmed The Museum is on the right course using it to
create awareness, reach the public, increase membership and donations.
More than 150,000 people visited the Event Museum during the two
day air show.
Event Museum was to be Featured at The National D-Day Museum in
The Event Museum was booked to make the first appearance at a
national World War II museum; The National D-Day Museum in New
Orleans and during the first, International Conference on World
War II attended by historians, authors and educators. Due to the
destruction in the area caused by Hurricane Katrina, The National
D-Day Museum closed and the conference was cancelled. At the appropriate
time, our Event Museum will be displayed at The D-Day Museum.
Event Museum and Speakers Huge Hit at
Middle School Veteran’s
As a result of the Event Museum displayed
at the reunion, several grade schools through high schools booked
it for temporary display and made financial donations to The
Museum. Indianapolis Perry Meridian Middle School booked the
traveling display for most of November. Ken McNamara, Executive
Vice President of The Museum and Survivor, Jimmy O’Donnell were invited to speak at the
school’s Veteran’s Day observance program. In addition
to the Event Museum, Mr. McNamara arranged for Mr. Earl Henry Jr.,
the son of the late Artist, Dentist and Lt. Commander of the USS
Indianapolis to drive from his home in Tennessee to display prints
of his father’s original paintings of birds. Lt. Cmdr. Henry
loved and studied birds beginning at age of 12 and began painting
pictures of birds late in his life completing only 30 paintings.
It was reported that Lt. Cmdr. Henry was not seen after the first
explosion rocked the ship. This short but moving biography of Lt.
Cmdr. Henry is just an example of the thousands of USS Indianapolis
stories that need to be documented and presented by The Museum.
Mr. Henry Jr. spent the day discussing his father’s life
and paintings with the students.
Also on display was a 17 foot model of
the USS Indianapolis built by Mr. Don Roberts of Noblesville,
Indiana. Mr. Roberts donated the model to The Museum during the
reunion. The students were captivated by the Veteran’s Day presentations, USS Indianapolis displays
and Lt. Cmdr Henry’s story and paintings. The students had
access to The Museum displays during the month and researched and
prepared assignments on different aspects of the USS Indianapolis
history. The excitement, interest and acceptance of the USS Indianapolis
history by the students further establishes the need and educational
opportunities The Museum has with today’s school age youth.
USS Indianapolis Museum and Gifts Featured Indianapolis Museum
Gift Gallery Guide.
The Museum was honored, recognized and
invited to be included in the first Indianapolis Business Journal
gift guide featuring gifts unique to Indianapolis museums. The
museum was included with the most notable and historic museums
in Indianapolis and the country: Eitelgorg Museum, Indiana State
Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana Historical
Society, Connie Prairie and the Indianapolis Art Center. USS Indianapolis
Museum gift items include the bronze bell replica, signed prints,
books, Lt. Cmdr. Henry’s bird art printed on note cards with
envelopes and the official hat and t-shirt. The gift guide was
inserted and distributed in the Indianapolis Business Journal to
over 80,000 subscribers and mailed to corporate membership organizations.
Also, the gifts can be ordered through a special participating
museum web site www.indymuseum.org which is linked to www.ussindianapolis.us
giving The Museum vision international exposure. Not only is the
participation in the gift guide just in time for the holidays,
The Museum has been recognized as a major organization by the museum
Museum Board of Directors, Strategic Planning and Mission and
The Museum is pleased to announce a reorganization of the Board
of Directors, and the addition of new members that will contribute
their expertise to the already diverse backgrounds of existing
members. As a result, a strategic planning retreat was held with
each board member contributing to the plan, writing the mission
and vision statements and setting the future direction of The Museum
which is on a fast track to finalize a location to display the
history and artifacts of the growing collection.
The USS Indianapolis Museum Puts A Call Out for any USS Indianapolis
and Associated Artifacts.
The Museum continues to receive or uncover more
artifacts documenting the history of the USS Indianapolis. The
Museum is putting out an official call to Survivors, families,
individuals or organizations with any USS Indianapolis artifacts
to consider donating them. The Museum is accepting donations of
any artifacts from the moment it was decided to build the USS Indianapolis
through the current day. For example, artifacts include items such
as crew and family personal affects, artifacts from individuals
who participated in the location, rescue, medical care and rehabilitation
of the Survivors, pictures, documents, ship building plans and
records, books, diaries, stories, any recorded audio and video,
clothing, patches, flags, etc. Securing and documenting these artifacts
at The Museum will help record and educate everyone about the USS
Indianapolis history for all generations past, present and in the
future. If you have any artifacts to donate, or know of a location
of an artifact(s), please contact the museum at 317-769-6014 or
visit our web site at:
The last 18 months have been amazing for the museum. And with
your continued support, we expect the future to bring even more
growth and exciting news for The USS Indianapolis Museum!