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Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis
 
 

Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis [Kindle Edition]

Edgar Harrell USMC , Oliver North
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

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.

About the Author

Edgar Harrell, USMC, owned and operated the Pella Window Company in Rock Island, Illinois, for 35 years, served for 15 years on the board of the Moody Bible Institute, and has been a lay minister throughout his adult life. He lives in Paris, Tennessee, with his wife, Ola, enjoying their two children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Edgar speaks extensively around the United States about his survival at sea. David Harrell, son of Edgar Harrell, is the pastor-teacher of Calvary Bible Church, Joelton, Tennessee. After attending the Moody Bible Institute, he graduated from Grace College, Grace Theological Seminary, and Oxford Graduate School, earning a PhD in Religion and Society. He is also a former associate professor of Biblical Counseling at the Master's College. David and his wife, Nancy, live in Pleasant View, Tennessee. They have three children and four grandchildren.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 14309 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (29 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GHXRVVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,287 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with quality of the book 12 Sep 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought it for my brother in law's birthday in November. Very happy with quality of the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  94 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World War II survival story 1 May 2014
By Joan N. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, only weeks before the end of WW II, a Japanese submarine launched torpedoes at the USS Indianapolis. Two found their mark and within fifteen minutes the cruiser went down without a trace. Some 900 men were in the shark infested waters of the Philippine Sea. Only 317 remained alive when rescue occurred five days later. This is the story of one of them.

Harrell recounts his experience on the USS Indianapolis, the battles, transporting uranium-235 that would be used in the bombs dropped on Japan, and the submarine attack. His experience in the ocean is amazing. He gives all the glory to God saying it was God's unfailing presence that sustained him. He helps us understand what happens to the body when in water that long. He tells of the thirst, the shark attacks, crying out to God, twelve foot swells, rain, the life jackets getting water logged, and then the miraculous rescue.

There was a naval cover up of the incident as blame was placed on the skipper. The truth finally came out fifty years later when documents were declassified. Several of the men formed a survivors group and went to battle for the skipper, ultimately seeing his name exonerated.

This is a timely account of that war. Memories of WW II are fading and many of the younger generation know nothing of the heroes of that era. This is a great book to remind us of what that generation sacrificed for our freedom.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great true story 2 May 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the story of the tragedy of the USS Indianapolis told from firsthand account. I was familiar with the basics of the story before I read this book but had never read about the incident in detail before. The book pretty much had me hooked from the beginning. It's a difficult story to read but the author tells how his faith and his belief in God grew because of the experience. It also details the cover up blaming the captain following the incident which was difficult to read after there had already been so much suffering. I am a history buff so I found this book a compelling read, but the writing was excellent so I think even someone who did not love history would enjoy this book.

Bethany House publishers provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Depths 24 April 2014
By G. Branch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was a little hesitant about this book at first, but after the first few pages I could not put it down. It is the story of the USS Indianapolis. Harrell relates his experiences in simple, convincing detail. His description of training and life on the ship revealed the same experiences found in several other firsthand accounts lending authenticity early on to this story.

As he continues certain questions arise as to the conduct of the war and the level of secrecy that was maintained by the leadership at the highest levels. And finally as the Indianapolis is sent out without escort or knowledge of the danger they could and did encounter the reader begins to understand the repercussions of policies in place at the time. The ship is sunk by a submarine, the crew left to fend for themselves without any action to question the fate of the ship when it did not arrive as expected.

After his return stateside he and others set about the task of clearing their captain’s name after he had born the weight of guilt for the disaster. Yes, according to this book, the government was definitely culpable in a cover up to keep the populace from knowing the extent of the event and the lack of response. The survivors did finally succeed in their efforts, years later and only after the captain had endured the shame and hate spewed at him.

But that is not the total point of this story. Harrell’s reason for telling this is much deeper and totally related to the God that he believed remained in control of this situation the entire time. In the final chapter Harrell comes to grips with the need of forgiveness---even toward the commander of the submarine that ordered the attack on his ship.

I do recommend this book fully. If you have ever wondered how somebody got through a really difficult time in their life, this one will give you lots of insight as to the part God played and the part the person played.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing World War II Survival Story 24 Jun 2014
By VicG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Edgar Harrell with David Harrell in their new book “Out Of The Depths” published by Bethany House Publishers gives us An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis.

From the back cover: 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.

There is a shining moment in the movie, “Jaws” where Robert Shaw gets a chance to really act. The others have made fun of his tattoo and he explains it to them. The tattoo is of the USS Indianapolis and he tells them it had been torpedoed and no one knew they had been sunk because they were on a top-secret mission. It took five days before the survivors could be rescued. It is riveting in the movie it is much more riveting in this book. Edgar Harrell was there! He experienced events that most of us will never encounter. It took a great deal of faith to come through those five days and nights. I am so glad he took the time to tell us about not only the actual events but how he was able to make it through. If you like your stories real and epic then this book is for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story 4 Jun 2014
By Jamie from Books and Beverages - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
“Every survivor of war has stories to tell – stories of triumph and tragedy, faith and fear – stories like mine, where fact is often stranger than fiction. Since that fateful night in 1945 when I stepped off a sinking ship into the unknown depths of the Pacific Ocean, there has never been a day when I have not reflected upon the horrors I experienced in the four and a half days of swimming in shark-infested waters. However, while those frightening memories remain vivid in my mind’s eye, one memory eclipses them all – namely the unfailing presence of God that sustained me.

Luck had absolutely nothing to do with my survival. I believe with all my heart that it was solely by the providence of God that I lived through those dreadful days and nights.”

When a book starts out like that, you know it’s going to be an intense, yet inspiring tale. And I promise you, that’s exactly the kind of story Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis is.

It reads easy, but I don’t mean the material itself is easy to take in. It’s an incredible tale, but harrowing. Even while reading his descriptions, I cannot imagine surviving in the Pacific Ocean for that long after your ship sank in 12 minutes. It’s beyond amazing.

“It was a living hell. I’ll never forget the fires, the horrified faces, and the cacophony of screams. I can still hear the explosions and the screeching metal being twisted and torn by the tons of water the ship was taking on.”

War is ugly. But even in such darkness (like WWII), stories of amazing survival emerge and you can’t help but be inspired. Harrell’s tale is one everyone should read. His faith is also an incredible example of what it means to truly trust God when it is the absolute darkest of times. Even the words of his fellow survivors and what kept them going for those five days was inspiring: “I prayed silently for the first time in my life. Don’t let anyone tell you he cannot pray; even an atheist cannot deny the existence of God. We prayed to God to ease our pains. We prayed to God not to forsake us, not let us die, to save us. The soothing effects of prayer linked us together as we began to try and to help each other.” Even in the most unimaginable circumstances, God is always there; from how many survived each night to how they were eventually rescued shows that truth in an incredible way.

“If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” Psalm 139:9-10

Harrell also includes photos and other survivors anecdotes, giving a complete picture of their journey. It gave faces to names and their stories.

This was an excellent read for history buffs, but also for anyone. I really makes you stop and think of all that was given so we can be the country we are today and also for the gift of freedom we have. Not everyone today does and there are those fighting to make that happen. Freedom isn’t free. It’s the courage and sacrifice of men and women that have made it possible. I’m humbled and thankful once again after reading this book.

If you liked Unbroken, then you definitely need to pick this one up!

What are some of your favorite World War II favorites?

(Thank you Bethany House for the copy in exchange for my honest opinion)

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