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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

To keep us all together through the massive crests of waves, our dwindling little group formed a circle and fastened our life jackets to one another. Those who didn't have a jacket hung on to someone who did.

As our bodies baked in the open sea, we began to realize that the sun was transitioning from friend to foe. It soon blistered our previously chilled and now exposed flesh. We tore our clothing to make protective hoods, but the ultraviolet rays reflecting off the water still managed to find our skin. The bright glare forced us to squint our eyes until our facial muscles became utterly exhausted. Our eyes also burned from the caustic saltwater waves that constantly splashed our faces.

Late on that first day, around dusk, we had company. To our horror, we saw several large black dorsal fins cutting through the water and circling our group. I cannot describe the fear . . .

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 aren't too many times when the word 'hero' is appropriately used. Heroes are people who do extraordinary things in the service of others. Edgar Harrell is a true American hero."--Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, host of national television and radio shows, and bestselling author

"A harrowing account of the sacrifice of sailors and Marines who fought and died for their country, so we could live. It is a story you should not and will not ever forget."
--Jeremiah A. Denton Jr., RAdm, USN (Ret.)

"A gripping tale of men tested beyond anything they thought possible--and how they responded with bravery, endurance, and faith."
--Oliver L. North, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.)

"I am deeply grateful to Edgar Harrell and the United States Marine Corps. If our nation needs anything at this moment, it is the boost of stories of heroism, courage, and faith. Harrell's unique description of being aboard the torpedoed Indianapolis in wartime and his experiences with the treacheries of the deep make an incomparable read. Brimmed full of illustrations of God's graciousness and goodness even amidst incredible suffering, Out of the Depths ought to be read by every serious American."--Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Product Details

  • File Size: 14612 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 29, 2014)
  • Publication Date: April 29, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GHXRVVA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,264 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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