I have not personally read this book yet. I gave it to my father and 2 of his friends for Christmas. All 3 of them said they read it straight through, unable to put it down. My father is a WWII veteran.
Out of the Depths by Edgar Harrell is the true story of the heroic and courageous men of the USS Indianapolis that was torpedoed by the Japanese during WWII. Out of the 1,196 man crew ultimately only 317 total survived. The ship was hit July 1945 and sank almost immediately. The captain sent orders to abandon ship. Mr. Harrell along with others found themselves in the cold, dark, oily, shark infested ocean waters with only a life vest to keep them afloat. For four long days and nights they clung to life waiting for rescue. It wasn't until the fifth day that they were found. Nine hundred men survived the attack and landed in the water but only three hundred seventeen survived the ordeal of waiting for rescue. Some were eaten by sharks. Others could not survive their injuries and many just couldn't hold out and gave up. Much speculation and blame has been tossed about as to why the ship wasn't missed and search parties sent out. The captain was even wrongly put on trial trying to place the blame at his feet. He was later exonerated of the charges. The things these men endured while waiting for rescue was really hard to realize. Mr. Harrell and many of the others clung to their faith and prayed and quoted scripture. Some of the things that happened during their ordeal could only be attributed to God answering their prayers even if it was in the form of a crate of semi-rotten potatoes among other things. A quote of Mr. Harrell's that really stuck with me was that he said he was brought out of the depths of the ocean but more importantly he was brought out of the depths of his sin and rescued by the blood of Christ. My father-in-law served in the US Navy during WWII, so I'm always interested in anything having to do with that period of time.
Out of the Depths is a true story of one Marine's experience on the USS Indianapolis. Edgar Harrell was a Marine stationed on the USS Indianapolis when tragedy struck the vessel. The unfolding and horrific experience is told with such raw honesty and peace. As I read Mr. Harrell's account of the events that unfolded, I could tell that this is a man of great faith and a true believer. He held on firmly to his faith during a time of death, chaos, anguish, and uncertainty. Mr. Harrell wrote so honestly that I found myself becoming emotional at some of the experiences he and comrades went through. For me this is an unforgettable read. Mr. Harrell is a man of true faith and is a great example of this. His story is a testament to the Lord's faithfulness and love.
I would recommend this book to everyone. Maybe history fans might like this more but I do think that everyone should read Mr. Harrell's courageous and faithful story; I believe that all who do will be greatly affected by it. He is a great example of living a faith-filled life.
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."