April 18, 2014

Out of the Depths

Out of the Depths
An Unforgetable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis.

by Edgar Harrell, USMC with David Harrell


Most of my WWII knowledge centers around the Holocaust side of things and the Invasion of Normandy on D-Day. So I devoured this book about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the first hand stories from the Pacific front.

Edgar Harrell shares with excruciating detail his experiences aboard the USS Indy including the night it sank and the 5 days he spent floating in the ocean praying for rescue in shark infested waters. The most amazing part of his story has to be the incredible peace he felt knowing that God was in control. His ability to trust and hope in God in the midst of true despair was amazing. What he and his fellow crewmen lived through was akin to torture. For days they had no food, no water, no shelter, no rest, no protection and in most of their eyes no hope. And in addition to all that they watched as many of their friends died whether it be from starvation, salt water poisoning, shark attack, other elements or injuries from the initial attack.

This is a photo of the USS Indianapolis. 

Harrell's recollection of the events is amazing. I hope it was healing in a way for him to get the words put down on paper and I am truly thankful to him and the other men that served in WWII for sharing their experiences with the rest of us so that their sacrifices won't be forgotten.

In the book the movie Jaws is mentioned because there was a character in the movie that was a USS Indy survivor. I'd seen Jaws more than once but didn't remember so I googled the scene and here is the clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9S41Kplsbs

I don't blame Harrell for telling us that he's never seen the movie nor set foot in the ocean since his rescue.

I really appreciated reading this story from his own personal viewpoint as an actual survivor. But more than that I loved how his story was infused with his faith and hope in God. He readily admits that is the only way he survived. I love that he uses his story to share the Good News.

Part of why I signed up to review this book was because I love history and I love the stories of the men who served in WWII. But another reason was because my husband an I live in Indianapolis and are only about 4 miles from the museum for the USS Indianapolis. We will definitely be planning a visit after reading this book! And if you are in the area I suggest you visit too.

If you are a history buff you'll love this book. If you love memoirs and biographies you'll love this book. If you love reading stories of God's divine intervention you'll love this book.

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review.

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