Customer Reviews: The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue (Thorndike Nonfiction)
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on June 8, 2009
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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on May 30, 2009
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 .
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on May 29, 2009
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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on August 29, 2015
it would be nice had Amazon indicated that this was a version of the book made for kids. There is an adult version too (and by that I don't mean Adult version, or maybe it is, I don't know since I only got this one). but come to think of it, this is probably the one to get because soon this will be a big screen movie with really good looking people in it, and the kids version is about all you need to compare to that.

BUT, having read it and gotten most of the way through before I realized it was for kids, I would still say this is an excellent kids book. would recommend at around age 11 or 12 kids might find this interesting. A good gift if you are in to giving kids books for gifts.
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on July 28, 2009
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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on July 5, 2009
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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on July 10, 2009
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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on June 9, 2009
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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on March 7, 2014
My dad, Fred Brown, was a survivor of the SS Pendleton. I was anxious to read this book to compare it to the stories my dad repeatedly told over the years. I was surprised to find accurate references to an unfortunate incident which claimed the life of Dad's close friend, Tiny Myers. Tiny asked my dad to take his wallet because he had a bad feeling that he would not survive. My dad refused to take it and put it back in his pocket in an effort to boost Tiny's confidence. I didn't expect that part of the story to be included in the book. There is a lot of history in the book as well which I enjoyed very much. It truly was a miracle rescue! I was only four-years-old, but I well remember how happy I was to see my dad as was told in the Portland Herald Press "Her Daddy Came Home" where my dad was pictured holding me. I gave this book 5 stars not only because of the personal connection, but because it is so-well researched, accurate and gives credit where credit is those brave, selfless Coast Guard rescuers who literally put their lives on the line, and grieved the loss of Tiny Myers for the remainder of their lives. An inspiring read!!!
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on June 1, 2009
What a well written and superb story of heroism at sea. This was a fast paced book that I will recommend to everyone for their summer reading lists a definite winner!!!
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