"We've located the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis in Philippine Sea at 5500m below the sea."
That tweet from entrepreneur and billionaire Paul Allen around 12:20 p.m. Saturday confirmed what many have been searching for since the ship was sunk on July 30, 1945.
Allen, who is leading a 13-person team on his 250-foot research ship, the R/V Petrel, said the wreckage was found at a depth of more than 18,000 feet.
The heavy cruiser, carrying 1,197 sailors and Marines, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine while sailing back to the Philippines after delivering components for "Little Boy," the atomic bomb that helped end World War II. It took only 12 minutes to sink.
While 900 crewmen made it through the initial sinking, only 316 survived to be rescued when help arrived five days later on Aug. 2. Many had died of exposure or thirst, drowned or were attacked by sharks.
Families of those aboard the ship found out about the deaths of their loved ones just as the rest of the country was celebrating the conclusion of World War II.
The latest break in the search for the wreckage came in July 2016, when the Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division reported that a sailor had confirmed that a tank landing ship, LST-779, had passed the Indianapolis 11 hours before the torpedo struck. That backed up the testimony of Captain Charles McVay III and was confirmed by deck logs.