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World War II USS Indianapolis survivor James O'Donnell dies

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 1:27 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — James E. O'Donnell, who was one of only 317 men who survived World War II's sinking of the USS Indianapolis, has died at age 92.

The Indianapolis Fire Department says O'Donnell died Wednesday at an Indianapolis hospital.

He was a retired firefighter with the department, which in a statement expressed pride in the "dedication, service, brotherhood and compassion" O'Donnell showed during his 35 years as a firefighter.

O'Donnell was the sole Indianapolis resident among the 317 survivors of the aftermath of a Japanese submarine's July 30, 1945, sinking of the 1,196-man cruiser.

He and the others were rescued after four days adrift in the Pacific Ocean's shark-filled waters. O'Donnell is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Alice, four children and 11 grandchildren.