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Cruiser Indianapolis (CA-35) Division History

Our division was honored to be headquartered with the Navy Reserves at the Navy Operational Support Center Indianapolis in the historic Heslar Naval Armory from 1971 to 2014. The Armory was completed in 1938 and is a prime historical example of the Works Progress Administration building projects coming out of the great depression. Navy sailors drilled and trained there for 70 plus years. An excellent history of the building is available at the following link: The Navy and Marines moved out of Heslar effective SEP 2014 and into a new reserve center built at Fort Harrison in Lawrence on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Heslar was turned into Riverside High School, a public charter school and the building was restored while keeping it's US Navy details and history.

The Cruiser division is now headquartered at the Navy Reserve Center (NRC) Indianapolis at the Fort Harrison. We also have office and classroom space at the Fort Harrison Veterans Center.  We are the only Sea Cadet unit in Indiana to drill at a US Navy facility giving our cadets an immersive military experience.

Our division was originally named the Indiana Division and then subsequently renamed Cruiser Indianapolis (CA-35) Division. We are named after the USS Indianapolis, a storied Portland class Heavy Cruiser from World War 2. She was the flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruance as he commanded the Fifth Fleet in the Pacific during World War 2. The USS Indianapolis was sunk in the Pacific Ocean after delivering the uranium and other parts of the atomic bomb "Little Boy" that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. She was struck by enemy torpedoes and sank within 12 minutes. Only 317 sailors out of the crew of 1,196 survived the sinking and harrowing 4 days in the shark-infested waters. The sinking of the USS Indianapolis is the greatest loss of life from a single ship in US Navy history.

The Cruiser Division was commissioned in April, 1971. Hundreds of cadets have gone through the division over the past 49 years and gone on to productive lives, both civilian and military. Check out our Alumni page for some of them.

LCDR Brad Sauter (second tour) has served as Commanding Officer since 01FEB20

LT Kinkead served as Commanding Officer from 01OCT16 to 31JAN20.

WO Larry Snair served from OCT14 to SEP16

LCDR Brad Sauter (first tour) served from APR12 to OCT14

LCDR David Witte served as CO from 2009-2012

LCDR Eddie DeWitt circa 2007

LCDR Michael Gill circa 2000

LCDR Lorraine Langel circa 1998

LCDR Norman R. Bolduc circa 1989

LT Gallagar circa 1982

LTJG Timothy Beard circa mid 70's

LCDR Andrus Bates was the first unit CO in 1971

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