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The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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Length: 236 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In a 1952 nor’easter, the distress of two ships off Cape Cod initiated a dramatic Coast Guard operation recounted here by coauthors Tougias and Sherman. Both vessels were World War II surplus, cheaply built, unwisely kept in service, and broken in two by the storm. All four halves floated, for the moment, and the authors’ narrative accordingly tracks four separate search-and-rescue efforts that form the complete story. The most prominent, in the press at the time and in official honors conferred afterward, concerned one motorized lifeboat, a puny 36 feet long and manned by four men, dispatched to do battle with the maelstrom’s towering waves. This is the seascape of The Perfect Storm, and the authors do justice to the peril in a tight account of the action. Plotting the course of CG36500, the utilitarian name of the lifeboat captained by Bernie Webber (interviewed for this book), Tougias and Sherman reach their peak of tension in the sink-or-swim moments when mariners abandoned ship and chanced their lives on their rescuers’ skill and bravery. An excellent entry in the disaster-at-sea genre. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

"In February of 1952, eighty-four men were in danger of drowning off the coast of Cape Cod when a ferocious Nor'easter split their ships in two. The Finest Hours recounts the incredible heroism of the Coast Guard, who risked their lives to save others. A gripping read." -- James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys

Product Details

  • File Size: 1800 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Media Tie-In edition (May 7, 2009)
  • Publication Date: May 19, 2009
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0028S3WIY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is REMARKABLE! The story - a true story- moves right along and unfolds as it happened and without hyperbole. Off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952 a killer winter storm with hurricane-force winds and massive seas break not one, but two tired World War II vintage tankers in two. The stranded crews on the sinking derelicts desperately hope for rescue in these miserable conditions. Coast Guard men responded without hesitation and put their own lives in extreme peril. The characters do not consider themselves "heroes" - they are simply doing their duty; you get to know them because of what they have done - and what they have done and their courage is incredible. You CANNOT put this book down. Many non-fiction authors just tell the story leaving one to wonder about what happened to the "characters" after the epic has passed. This is not the case here. In the Epilogue and Acknowledgments sections - it's great to find out what happens to these people that you've come to know in the pages of this book. The research was clearly extensive. Michael Tougias and Casey Sherman working together have produced a tour-de-force - a work much greater than the sum of its parts.
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Format: Hardcover
I started reading this book, and a day and half later I finished it. I couldn't put this book down and it's an incredible story. I'm not usually into stories like this, but it was tastefully done, quick, to the point and the story was not exaggerated. It gives us a look into what our Service men and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard (if I forgot anyone I apologize), really go through on a daily basis in protecting everyone in this country and how dangerous it can be at times. I highly recommend reading it. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
As the person responsible for the restoration and preservation of the MLB CG36500 , the story told by Mike and Casey is outstanding . Excellent research and interviews have been used to produce the story . Being responsible for this historic vessel that was involved in the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history and having spent time with all four crewmen , I can assure the readers that this is an accurate and well told account of the 32 seamen rescued from the Pendleton .
1 Comment 65 of 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I just spent the weekend on my boat on Cape Cod and this book happened to be on my husband's book shelf. I picked it up because I had nothing to do and I couldn't put it down. Both author's do a wonderful job of telling an authentic story of brotherhood and heroism. I feel like I know Bernie Webber and some of the other men in the story and I have a much deeper appreciation of the Coast Guard. This is a must read this summer. I can't wait to see the restored boat in Orleans!
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Format: Hardcover
The book provided me with information I wish I had known when I was stationed at the Chatham Coast Guard Station in the winter of 1963 with the ERS Telephone crew. Bernie Webber was also stationed there. Someone did mention the Pendleton, as it was still on Monomoy sand bar and it was Bernie who was involved in the rescue. Bernie aways had a story and everyone was willing to listen to him.
Wayne Rautio
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Format: Hardcover
Indeed, Michael Tougas and Casey Sherman have captured the finest hours of the US Coast Guard in this famous multi ship and life boat rescue during a winter nor'easter off Cape Cod. Two huge tankers, the Pendleton and Fort Mercer, both hastilly made during WWII, broke in half in huge 70 ft waves off Chatham sparking one of the most dramatic sea rescues ever recorded. I couldn't put the book down until I finished it. I have personal knowledge of that terrible night. My late father covered the story for the Boston Globe. He had been in the US Coast Guard in WWII was given good access at the Chatham USCG station that night in 1952. His pictures of the Pendleton fromth next day are in my possesion. For my own part, I enlisted in the US Coast Guard reserve in 1956 and received training on that 36 footer at the USCG Training Center, Cape May NJ, along with detailed instruction on the events of that night and the heroism of BM1 Bernie Webber and his crew. You gotta read it to believe the heroism.
John Landers, Jr
Milton, MA
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Format: Hardcover
Do yourself a favor and BUY THIS BOOK! This is a captivating, quick moving and extremely well written true story that focuses on a horrible storm creating a situation in the Atlantic Ocean requiring the service of the US Coast Guard! I couldn't put this book down, it was simply fantastic. This book flows nicely as the writers capture with amazing description, the horrible circumstances of these men at sea as they waited to be rescued (and sadly, some were not). Once the story is told, you even get a glimpse in to the lives of the men in the years that followed. It is a poignant story of a courageous rescue and a sad disaster and serves as yet another reminder of how fortunate we are to be protected by the likes of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and, in this case, the US Coast Guard. This book will remind you again of those who serve our country and how brave they are. I am not familiar with the writings of Mr. Tougias except for this book, however, I have read Sherman's other books and you should too! Thanks for the great read gentlemen!!
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If a Coast Guardsman saves a live can they be a hero?
While I understand your point, is it not heroic to accept a job that requires you to put your life on the line each and every day. Those who choose to live by the CG motto of "you have to go out, but you don't have to come back" have made this decision so that others can do their jobs... Read More
Jun 4, 2009 by P. Burns |  See all 5 posts
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