Many people were frustrated when they tried to reserve free tickets to the once-in-a-lifetime commissioning of a Navy ship in Indiana, only to discover they all had already been reserved.
But now there's a second chance.
The USS Indianapolis Commissioning Committee has made available more tickets to the Oct. 26 ceremony, in which the USS Indianapolis littoral combat ship will be commissioned at 10 a.m. at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan.
"The Navy has made additional seating available due to the historic interest in the commissioning of the New USS Indianapolis LCS 17," committee Chairman Ray Shearer said. "Those interested in attending can request tickets at www.ussindianapolislcs17.org. Requests will be accepted for a limited time."
A person can request up to two tickets and must provide an address for each person, along with name and contact information.
"If a request has already been made you do not need to submit another request," Shearer said.
Tickets will not be mailed before Oct. 10.
Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin built the ship after being commissioned by defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The USS Indianapolis has a flexible hull that can be adapted for different capabilities that include "over-the-horizon missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems and decoys" so it can handle "21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft."
The littoral combat ship will the fourth Navy vessel since World War I to bear the name of Indiana's capital city. Most notably, the USS Indianapolis heavy cruiser earned 10 battle stars during World War II before it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during the closing days of the war in 1945. About 880 sailors died while stranded in the Philippine Sea, many killed by sharks, in what was the largest loss of life in U.S. Navy history.
After the commissioning ceremony, the new USS Indianapolis will be placed into duty at Naval Station Mayport, its home base in Florida.
For those who can't make it or aren't lucky enough to get a ticket, the event will be live-streamed on the internet.
For more information, visit ussindianapolislcs17.org.