Friday, July 30, 2021

Japanese submarine I-58 sinks the USS Indianapolis 30 July 1945

Image taken as reference from google photos


USS Indianapolis (CL/CA-35) was a Portland-class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, named for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Launched in 1931, the vessel served as the flagship for the commander of Scouting Force 1 for eight years, then as flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruance in 1943 and 1944 while he commanded the Fifth Fleet in battles across the Central Pacific during World War II.

In July 1945, Indianapolis completed a top-secret high-speed trip to deliver parts of Little Boy, the first nuclear weapon ever used in combat, to the United States Army Air Force Base on the island of Tinian, and subsequently departed for the Philippines on training duty. At 0015 on 30 July, the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, and sank in 12 minutes. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship.The remaining 890 faced exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks while stranded in the open ocean with few lifeboats and almost no food or water. The Navy only learned of the sinking four days later, when survivors were spotted by the crew of a PV-1 Ventura on routine patrol. Only 316 survived.The sinking of Indianapolis resulted in the greatest single loss of life at sea from a single ship in the history of the US Navy.




Monday, May 31, 2021

Mekong - Ganges of South-East Asia

The Himalayas is the source of many rivers like Ganga, Sindhu, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, etc. But Mekong river is longer and massive than all of them, which is a lifeline of South East Asia.

Mekong river originates in Tibet and runs through six countries (China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) in  South-East-Asia. 

"Mekong" is derived from "Me Kongkea" which means "Ma Ganga" (Mother Ganga) in the Khmer language. Mekong started as Mother Ganga has the deep Indian influences and spiritual connections.

Stamp Info : 
Mekong River – Photo by Agence Économique du Gouvernement de l’Indochine – Engraver: Paul Dufresne
Michel 1-3.

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma, the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

From the mid 19th to the mid 20th century, the French controlled the Indochina area, which included Laos, although the French regime allowed Laos an internal autonomy and so the Royal family continued their rule over Laos, albeit with restricted power. In 1950, Laos, headed by King Sisavang Vong, was declared independent constitutional monarchy but under the French Union. In November 9, 1953, Laos gained its full independence and the monarchy survived until December 1975 when its last King, Savang Vatthana, surrendered the throne to the Pathet Lao, a Laotian anti-Royal guerilla force, in favor of a communist state called the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) which has controlled Laos since.

On November 13, 1951, the first set of stamps bearing the inscription "Union Française" (French Union) and "Royaume du Laos" (Kingdom of Laos) was issued by Laos, to replace the more general Indo-China stam
ps which had been in use for years. Since then, more than 400 stamps were issued by the Kingdom, most of them beautifully designed and engraved, mostly by French artists like Marc Leguay and Chamnane Prisayane.