Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan

"The Little Church in the Woods"


Paul Elliott Ullmann

Paul Elliott Ullmann grew up spending summers along the shores of Lake Michigan with his parents (Herbert and Eleanor Ullmann) and his sisters (Priscilla Ullmann Mueller and Claire Ullmann Nutting)).  Paul's grandparents (Herbert and Clara Ullmann) were among the first summer residents of the shore.

Paul was a Second Lieutenant aboard the USS Indianapolis during WWII.  The ship had just finished a high-speed trip to  the island of Tinian where it had delivered components of Little Boy, the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.  Shortly after leaving Tinian, at 12:15 AM on July 30, 1945,  the ship was was hit by a torpedo fired from a Japananese submarine.  Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship.  The remaining 900 faced  exposure, dehydration, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks.  There were few lifeboats and almost no food or water. 

As a result of communications errors, the Navy did not learn of the Indianapolis' sinking until survivors were spotted four days later by the crew of a passing American bomber on routine patrol. 

Of the 900 sailors who made it into the water, only 316 survived.  Eyewitness testimony places Paul in the water after the ship went down, but it is unknown what happened to him after that.


Paul Ullmann pictured with his younger cousin, Herb Ullmann, just prior to shipping out for the Pacific.  The Friendship Porch was built in Herb's memory after his death in 1981.

Learn more about the USS Indianapolis