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Recently there has been an email about "Old Eddie" going about the web which recounts how Captain Rickenbacker, even as an old man, regularly fed sea gulls with shrimp and thanked them for the part they played in his and his men's rescue from sea.
Some wondered about its truthfulness, but I actually read about the ordeal of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and his crew-mates and their eventual salvation through a sea gull years ago in the library's edition of "We Thought We Heard the Angels Sing." I talked about it often in class but until Amazon came along I always got it mixed up with another WWII text ba "God is My Co-Pilot" ).
Although I was a bit fuzzy about this book's title, the story had a profound emotional affect upon me. Among other things I recall the narrator quoting Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" to help describe their intense physical suffering: "Water, water everywhere and all the boards did shrink/ water water everywhere and not a drop to drink." It would be years later that Coleridge and his poem would become one of my favorite works and which always is covered in my Introduction to Literature class at MVNU.
I also recall vividly how Capt. Rickenbacker and his crew got it into their heads how good a strawberry milkshake would be so that they could hardly bear to fire off their flares because the red light would bring it all crashing in on them. After being rescued, it was one of the first things they asked for but the ship's cook had heard about their wish and so filled it with flavor that they could hardly bear to drink it all.
Of course the whole narrative is also cradled in deep religious faith, which may explain why it is sadly out of print. It is a powerful read and yet so clear that even young readers will find it easily accessible.
My father kept asking me to read this book. He said, "You will like it. My cousin wrote it." Reluctantly, I finally said ok. I did not want to hurt his feeling. I dont like war stories so for me it started slow, but once I really got in to it, I couldn't stop reading it. I was shocked how much I liked this book. There were surprises on each page and I loved the suspense. I don't like figuring out what is going to happen next before I read it. It is a small book and easy to read. Even my 11 year old granddaughter read it quickly.
I found this book many years ago about 40 years ago when I was in my Pastors Library. He loaned it to me to read and told me he never knew where he got it. I read it with interest after being taught that God takes care of us. This man and his men were on a life raft and the Lord actually sent seagulls to feed them and kept them alive till they could be rescued. It has been so long now that I do not recall the whole book, just that it stayed in my memory all these years ago, when people say that God is not real, or that only in the Bible did God actually help people then I know they are all talking through their inability to know God. I challenge anyone who needs to believe in miracles to get this book and read it. If you had no faith, you will certainly have it after reading this "true account" of WWII Officer and his men saved because of God's provision for them.
God Bless you all who read this and may the peace of God rest on you and yours.