Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis


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A WWII Hero's Miraculous Survival at Sea

July 30, 1945: After transporting uranium for the atomic bomb that would soon be dropped on Hiroshima, the USS Indianapolis headed unaccompanied toward a small island in the South Pacific. At 12:14 a.m., she was struck by two Japanese torpedoes, rolled over, and sank.

Marine survivor Edgar Harrell vividly describes the horrors of being plagued by dehydration, exposure, saline poisoning, and sharks. This is a story of courage, ingenuity, and faith in God's providence in the midst of the greatest catastrophe at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764217647
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/21/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 134,007
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Edgar Harrell, USMC (Ret.), lives in Tennessee with his wife, Ola, enjoying their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren. Edgar speaks extensively around the United States about his survival at sea.

David Harrell
, PhD, son of Edgar Harrell, is the senior pastor-teacher of Calvary Bible Church in Joelton, Tennessee. He is married to Nancy, and together they have three children and a growing number of grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Foreword Lt. Col. Oliver L. North 9

Introduction David Harrell 15

1 A Call to Arms 21

2 The Indy Maru 35

3 Tragedy Explodes-the First Day 55

4 Mysteries of Darkness and Light-the Second Day 81

5 From Light to Starless Night-the Third Day 97

6 Ducks on the Pond-the Fourth Day 111

7 Tragedy and Triumph-the Fifth Day 131

8 Journey for Justice 149

Epilogue 167

Final Crew of the USS Indianapolis 185

Notes 201

Other Resources 205

About the Authors 207

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Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
LJ44 More than 1 year ago
I cannot describe just how amazing this book is. It is gripping, intense yet encouraging. In face of unthinkable horrors this soldier holds to his faith in God. Harrell tells his story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, about surviving 5 days and nights among constant terrors and his miraculous rescue. Through it all he gives God the glory. Truly inspiring!! This book gave me more deeper appreciation for our soldiers and made me yearn to strengthen my own faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
debforb56 More than 1 year ago
Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis Out of the Depths by Edgar Harrell is a true story of faith, courage, and heroism. This is a book about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in WWII where out of almost 2000 men only 317 survived and what the survivors faced waiting to be rescued. This is Edgar Harrell’s story of what happened and how he was in the water waiting to be rescued, relying on his faith in God to make it through his ordeal. I was captivated by the heroism shown in the face of such horrendous circumstances and how hope was found in clinging to faith in God, Edgar Harrell tells his story and the others that survived with him from before, during and after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, including the cover up and the making of Cpt. McVay the scape goat for the sinking. It is well written and easy to read and also told in a way that is not too graphic, but at the same time the reader is able to understand and picture the ordeal the survivors faced while in the shark infested water waiting for days to be found and rescued. This is a book that those who love history, especially military history will want to read. It is also for those who want to read about how your faith in God can and will see you through any circumstance. It is a book about strength, courage, heroism and faith in the time of one of the worst tragedies of the NAVY during WWII. I would recommend this book to be added to your must read list of books. One of my favorite line of the book was when Edgar Harrell realizes the ship is sinking and he is facing death and he prays and calls out to God, “I knew within my heart that God was answering my prayers and was going to see me through. As the finite security of the great Indianapolis slipped away beneath my feet, the infinite security of the Almighty bore me up and gave me peace-a supernatural peace promised in His Word” pg67 Until Next Time: GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA, SOME CHOCOLATE, A GOOD BOOK AND KEEP ON READING!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for a gift for my Dad. He said he enjoyed reading it. It was worth reading but it wasn't as good as the other book I had bought him by Laura Hillenbrand, "Unbroken".
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
A powerful and moving recollection... Out of the Depths   By Edgar Harrell, USMC    with David Harrell   An unforgettable WWII story        of survival, courage, and the sinking of                                         The USS Indianapolis Out of the Depths is a true story.  This is one man's recollection of the events surrounding the sinking of the  USS Indianapolis in July 1945.   This was a time of war, but the USS Indianapolis was assured the waters were safe and so was sailing the South Pacific unescorted.  But assurances were of little value when your ship comes under attack by a Japanese submarine.   As Edgar Harrell put it he was face-to-face with my mortality (pg 67) and he prayed because there was no one to help him, no one but the Savior of his soul.  And as the security of the ship slipped away he turned to God.  So began a 5 day struggle as he and his fellow shipmates struggle to survive the dangers of both the ocean and the elements This is one story that will leave an impact on your life.  There are pictures from the time of the book throughout adding to the reality the author portrays with his words.  And there remarks and remembrances from other survivors every few pages.  This book will move you to tears at places it is that powerful. Sometimes it is hard to comprehend the truth of despair those who survive might have felt, but this book helps one grasp some of these feelings.  It is amazing how many said this time of trial made them cry out to God in prayer for deliverance. This would be an excellent addition to any library.  It would also make for an interesting Book Club discussion title. I was provided a copy of this book by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edgar Harrell, a Marine during World War II, tells his true story of being aboard the USS Indianapolis when a Japanese submarine bombed it multiple times.  In a matter of minutes, the battleship sunk, while the crew tried to jump for their lives into Pacific Ocean. The Indianapolis was caught completely unaware as it did not have equipment on board to warn them of submarines in the area.  Although a request had been made for a destroyer escort to protect the Indy from submarines, it had been denied.  The ship had also been misinformed that the waters they were going through were safe, when in fact, they were very dangerous. Mr. Harrell relates his ordeal of being in shark infested waters hundreds of miles from land.  The men baked in the tropical sun during the day, but froze at night.   Over nine hundred men were in the water to begin with, but by the time help arrived, there were just over three hundred. The men were counting on rescue parties coming for them.  But unbeknownst to them, the one SOS that the Indy sent was not translated correctly, so their call for help was never received.  The dock where the Indianapolis was going had a mix-up about their arrival, so they were not noted as overdue.  Without a miracle, no one would find them. All these years later, the author was still able to paint a vivid picture of the horrors he and his fellow soldiers faced in the ocean.  Mr. Harrell states unequivocally that God brought him through this torment.  He is also quick to credit God for setting in motion the set of circumstances that ultimately caused them to be rescued. Many of the survivors turned to alcohol or suicide to escape the memories of that awful time.  Soldiers who experienced combat have stated this situation was the worst thing they lived through.  The author attributes his faith in God, and the strength from Him, that has allowed Mr. Harrell to survive the memories of that nightmare without resorting to destructive behaviors. Reading Mr. Harrell’s experiences was difficult, but points out the tremendous sacrifices Americans have made for our nation.  The survivors have formed a group, and have continued to meet down through the years.  It was uplifting to read of Mr. Harrell’s faith, as well as, the peace he has made with the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of the Japanese submarine commander who bombed the Indianapolis.  I recommend this 5-star book to anyone who likes true military stories. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. This book gives a first person experience of the tragedy of war. Those who have served our country have seen and been through things we can never imagine. There is a saying that freedom isn't free and this book proves it. This book will move you in many ways, from the courage and strength of the men to survive, to the injustice done to their captain because the Navy needed a scapegoat. and the determination of a young boy fifty years later to clear the captains name.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book, written by former Marine and Indy survivor Edgar Harrell, and co-authored by his son David, is a short and quick read (took me about 2 evenings to finish it), and details the plight of the torpedo-sunk USS Indianapolis. It was concise yet heart wrenching, and gave me a good understanding of the event, and the sacrifices of the men of "Greatest Generation". Just before the end of the War in the Pacific, late summer 1945, the USS Indianapolis had just left Tinian in the western Pacific, having delivered some top-secret components of the nuclear bomb that, just weeks later, would end the War in Japan. On it's way back, the Indy was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sunk, leaving the 1100-some man crew trying to survive in the open ocean. Because of the nature of the top-secret mission, no one seemed to know where they were, so for 5 excruciating days, the survivors of the Indy watched their numbers dwindle from shark attacks, dehydration, terminal burns from the ship's explosion, drowning, and even suicide. The book details the horrors of each day including some difficult to read passages discussing the pain and suffering the men endured, with Edgar Harrell sharing how his faith in Jesus gave him the hope to survive and remain calm in the midst of a horrifying ordeal. On the 5th day, and only by the grace of God, (Harrell explains the odds of their being spotted "by chance" on the open water were literally zero, making it a miracle they were spotted), the USS Indianapolis was rescued. Of the nearly 1200 Marines and sailors initially on board, only 316 survived. The book then goes on to discuss how, in an effort to keep the top-secret nature of the mission classified, the Navy took a scapegoat in the Indy captain, Charles McVay, though he was not truly at fault. McVay later took his own life, but an act of Congress in 2000 exonerated him from culpability, to the joy of his crew, who knew the Indy was sunk from no fault of McVay. This book was definitely worth the read, and while some of the scenes were graphic, it gave me a greater appreciation for the sacrifices these men made for their country. I recommend this book to any history enthusiast, and any high school and college student. *Thank you to Bethany House Publishers who provided me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not wait for this book to come and the rewards were far greater than I could imagine. The book is the true story of a surviving Marine of the USS Indianapolis disaster in World War II. Anyone who has seen "Jaws" remembers the harrowing account of surviving the disaster told by Quint who was portrayed as a survivor. As one can imagine, the actual account was much more grim than that. Edgar Harrell, USMC, told the tale of his survival in such an intense, page turning way, and it was evident that not many details were spared. I could not put the book down and finished it before I even knew it. The actual account was far more horrifying than I could imagine or that had been portrayed in any films I had seen before. Harrell also touched upon issues surrounding the sinking that I had never even knew were issues, which made this even more interesting. But the thing that made it the most interesting of all to me is that this story is the testimony of Harrell, and he uses this in a completely unselfish way, as can be expected. As the Greatest Generation meets their destiny with God and time, soon we will only have the stories left behind to draw on, this story is one of those and I am grateful the author selflessly shared his story with the world.
mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
Edgar Harrell has written a book "Out of the Depths" about the men who survived the sinking of the U.S. Indianapolis during World War II. And I think this book touched on one of my biggest fears, being alone - adrift at sea - abandoned in shark infested salt water for five days and nights with no hope in sight. This book is about the faith and hope we have in God that enables us to have courage in dark times. But Edgar Harrell is not simply an author recording events, Edgar was actually a young marine who was aboard that ship when it sunk. He is a survivor. Reading his brave story is truly a testimony to be blessed with the gift of each day. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes true-war stories, or tales of patriotism and bravery. How wonderful that this story has been recorded and preserved for everyone to read. Thank you to Bethany House publishers for a preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To much religion JEeeesus!!