Harold Bray Bronze Statue and Monument

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Donations support our Benicia community and the Harold Bray Legacy. Renderings above may change

Harold Bray, the lone living survivor from the legendary USS Indianapolis

The Benicia Community Foundation, Inc. is working with the City of Benicia, Benicia Veterans Memorial Hall, and Solano County to design and place a bronze statue paying tribute to our hometown hero Harold Bray, retired Benicia Police Officer, and the lone living survivor of the legendary USS Indianapolis that its last mission to help end WWII. This life-sized bronze statue will stand nearly seven feet tall, affixed to a pedestal, surrounded by several bronze sponsorship legacy plaques, personalized engraved bricks, concrete benches, and a storyboard displaying the history of Harold Bray and the USS Indianapolis. The Benicia Community Foundation projects are supported by generous sponsorships from residents, groups, organizations, and businesses. We sincerely appreciate your support.

Story continued below >

The Benicia Community Foundation, Inc. is working with the City of Benicia, Benicia Veterans Memorial Hall, and Solano County to design and place a bronze statue paying tribute to our hometown hero Harold Bray, retired Benicia Police Officer, and the lone living survivor of the legendary USS Indianapolis that its last mission to help end WWII. This life-sized bronze statue will stand nearly seven feet tall, affixed to a pedestal, surrounded by several bronze sponsorship legacy plaques, personalized engraved bricks, concrete benches, and a storyboard displaying the history of Harold Bray and the USS Indianapolis. The Benicia Community Foundation projects are supported by generous sponsorships from residents, groups, organizations, and businesses. We sincerely appreciate your support.

The second world war began when Harold was just 14 years old. Growing up in a small town in northern Michigan, he participated in ROTC and became his squadron leader, while anxiously awaiting the day when he could join the fight. As soon as he turned 17 in 1944, Harold enlisted in the United States Navy and departed for bootcamp in Great Lakes, Illinois, shortly thereafter.

When the assignments came in, Harold found out he would join the crew of USS Indianapolis (CA-35) in Mare Island, California. Indy was a capital ship that just returned stateside for major repair and refitting, following a Japanese Kamikaze attack at Okinawa in late March 1945. Nine members of the crew were killed in the attack. A somber time, but also an exciting time for this young farm boy, who upon seeing the ship for the first time remarked, “I couldn’t believe something that big and that heavy could stay afloat!”

During those summer days, prior to the ship’s final top-secret mission, Harold kept busy learning all the ways of Navy life. “The months and days that followed were spent training, firefighting, standing watches, and learning to drink Navy coffee. While the ship was getting repaired, we lived in the barracks at the north end of the island and rode a train to the ship every day.”

Having left the frigid climate of Michigan behind, Harold fell in love with California and especially the areas surrounding the shipyard. So much so that after his years in the Navy, he would settle down in Benicia, raise a family, and become a beloved member of the police department and community, where he still lives today.

Written by Sara Vladic

Legacy Bronze Plaque at Monument
Sponsor Levels

You Receive:

  • Preferred Name Placement under the Presidential with LARGER printed name at the monument
  • 15 custom Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coins

Marketing Opportunities:

  • Social media acknowledgment
  • Name, logo, and/or website link on the Benicia Community Foundation website.
  • Acknowledgement of any printed event marketing material

Unveiling event day recognition:

  • Premium placement in any printed event book.

You Receive:

  • Preferred Name Placement under the Admiralwith larger printed name at the monument
  • 12 custom Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coins

Marketing Opportunities:

  • Social media acknowledgment
  • Name, logo, and/or website link on the Benicia Community Foundation website
  • Acknowledgement on any printed event marketing material

Unveiling event day recognition:

  • Premium placement in any printed event book.

You Receive:

  • Preferred Name Placement under the Captain on a Brass Plaque at the monument
  • 10 custom Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coins

Marketing Opportunities:

  • Social media acknowledgment
  • Name, logo, and/or website link on the Benicia Community Foundation website
  • Acknowledgement on any printed event marketing material

Unveiling event day recognition:

  • Premium placement in any printed event book.

    You Receive:

    • Name Placement under Commander on Brass Plaque at the monument
    • 7 custom Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coins

    Marketing Opportunities:

    • Social media acknowledgment
    • Name, logo, and/or website link on the Benicia Community Foundation website
    • Acknowledgement on any printed event marketing material

    Unveiling event day recognition:

    • Premium placement in any printed event book.

     

     

      You Receive:

      • Name Placement under Lieutenant on Brass Plaque at the monument
      • 5 custom Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coins

      Marketing Opportunities:

      • Social media acknowledgment
      • Name, logo, and/or website link on the Benicia Community Foundation website
      • Acknowledgement on any printed event marketing material

      Unveiling event day recognition:

      • Premium placement in any printed event book.

        You Receive:

        • Name Placement under Ensign on Brass Plaque at the monument
        • 3 custom Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coins

        Marketing Opportunities:

        • Social media acknowledgment
        • Acknowledgement on any printed event marketing material

        Unveiling event day recognition:

        • Acknowledgement in any printed event book

         

          You Receive:

          • 2 custom Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coin

          Marketing Opportunities:

          • Social media marketing
          • Acknowledgement on any printed monument unveiling event marketing material.

          Unveiling event day recognition:

          • Acknowledgement in any printed event book

            You Receive:

            • 1 Harold Bray and USS Indianapolis challenge coin

            Marketing Opportunities:

            • Social media marketing
            • Acknowledgement on any printed monument unveiling event marketing material.

            Unveiling event day recognition:

            • Acknowledgement in any printed event book

              Marketing Opportunities:

              • Social media marketing
              • Acknowledgement on any printed monument unveiling event marketing material.

              Unveiling event day recognition:

              • Acknowledgement in any printed event book

              Story continued: 

              The second world war began when Harold was just 14 years old. Growing up in a small town in northern Michigan, he participated in ROTC and became his squadron leader, while anxiously awaiting the day when he could join the fight. As soon as he turned 17 in 1944, Harold enlisted in the United States Navy and departed for bootcamp in Great Lakes, Illinois, shortly thereafter.

              When the assignments came in, Harold found out he would join the crew of USS Indianapolis (CA-35) in Mare Island, California. Indy was a capital ship that just returned stateside for major repair and refitting, following a Japanese Kamikaze attack at Okinawa in late March 1945. Nine members of the crew were killed in the attack. A somber time, but also an exciting time for this young farm boy, who upon seeing the ship for the first time remarked, “I couldn’t believe something that big and that heavy could stay afloat!”

              During those summer days, prior to the ship’s final top-secret mission, Harold kept busy learning all the ways of Navy life. “The months and days that followed were spent training, firefighting, standing watches, and learning to drink Navy coffee. While the ship was getting repaired, we lived in the barracks at the north end of the island and rode a train to the ship every day.”

              Having left the frigid climate of Michigan behind, Harold fell in love with California and especially the areas surrounding the shipyard. So much so that after his years in the Navy, he would settle down in Benicia, raise a family, and become a beloved member of the police department and community, where he still lives today.

              Written by Sara Vladic