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Out of the Depths ~ Review

Out of the Depths
By Edgar Harrell, USMC
 with David Harrell

An unforgettable WWII story 
      of survival, courage, and the sinking of
                                        The USS Indianapolis

Out of the Depths is a true story.  This is one man's recollection of the events surrounding the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in July 1945.

This was a time of war, but the USS Indianapolis was assured the waters were safe and so was sailing the South Pacific unescorted.  But assurances were of little value when your ship comes under attack by a Japanese submarine.

As Edgar Harrell put it he was face-to-face with my mortality (pg 67) and he prayed because there was no one to help him, no one but the Savior of his soul.  And as the security of the ship slipped away he turned to God.  So began a 5 day struggle as he and his fellow shipmates struggle to survive the dangers of both the ocean and the elements

This is one story that will leave an impact on your life.  There are pictures from the time of the book throughout adding to the reality the author portrays with his words.  And there remarks and remembrances from other survivors every few pages.  This book will move you to tears at places it is that powerful.

Sometimes it is hard to comprehend the truth of despair those who survive might have felt, but this book helps one grasp some of these feelings.  It is amazing how many said this time of trial made them cry out to God in prayer for deliverance.

This would be an excellent addition to any library.  It would also make for an interesting Book Club discussion title.

I was provided a copy of this book by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.


The Inspiring Story of a World War II Hero's Miraculous Survival at Sea
July 30, 1945--The USS Indianapolis and its 1,196-man crew is making its way toward a small island in the South Pacific. The ship is sailing unescorted, assured by headquarters the waters are safe. It is midnight, and Marine Edgar Harrell and several others have sacked out on deck rather than spend the night in their hot and muggy quarters below. Fresh off a top-secret mission to deliver uranium for the atomic bombs that would ultimately end World War II, they are unaware their ship is being watched. Minutes later, six torpedoes are slicing toward the Indy . . . 

For five horrifying days and nights after their ship went down, Harrell and his shipmates had to fend for themselves in the open seas. Plagued by dehydration, exposure, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks, their numbers were cruelly depleted before they were miraculously rescued. This is one man's story of courage, ingenuity, and faith in God's providence in the midst of the worst naval disaster in U.S. history.