Joseph Carl Beuschlein
Memorial at Section L, Lot 162, Space 5
Born January 27, 1927
Died July 30, 1945
Joseph Carl Beuschlein was one of seven children born to Oscar and Susan Beuschlein. His parents ran a tavern called ‘Ma Beuschleins’ on South River Road in Harrison Twp. They lived at 1530 Muffat Street behind the tavern.
Captain Earl Gonyaw, a freighter captain, was a neighbor and helped define Joseph’s desire to have a life at sea. The captain hired Joseph before he finished high school to work aboard the Colonel E.M. Young which was owned by the United Steamship Company. Joseph was only 15 years old during that year of 1942. While World War II was still brewing he wanted to enlist. Despite his parent’s hesitation, his father signed for him to enlist at the age of 16.
He was sent to the naval installation at Great Lakes, Illinois for boot camp. He was enlisted in Company 424 Hall of Fame class with W.C. Clark S.P. as company commander. His class graduated on May 22, 1945. After graduating, he took a short leave to visit his family before being sent off to San Francisco. He was assigned to the U.S. Heavy Cruiser Indianapolis. His ship sailed unescorted with about 1,200 sailors to Tinian Island to deliver the components of the atomic bomb that was used on Hiroshima. The sailors were only told that they needed to quickly deliver their load to help end the war. They then set out for Leyte, an island in the Phillippines, but never made it. A Japanese submarine torpedoed the ship in the first hour of July 30, 1945. Only 316 people survived. No one knew the ship was sunk so the survivors had to float in the water for a few days. Many succumbed to shark attacks. Joseph’s body was never found. One survivor said he had seen Joseph jump ship after being burned. He is memorialized on his parents’ grave marker.
The story about the U.S. Heavy Cruiser Indianapolis has been told in movies and the ship was just found in August of 2017.
For more information visit: www.ussindianapolis.com