10 May 2014

Out Of The Depths by Edgard Harrell, USMC - Book review

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212604
  • Also available in KINDLE format.


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 theIndy . . . 

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.

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice.
Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
Psalm 130: 1-2 (KJV)

My thoughts:

The unforgettable story of the sinking of the USS INDIANAPOLIS as told by one of the survivors is something to behold Folks for anyone interested in US History, faith and forgiveness!

Here are the facts: On 30 July, 1945 at 0014 hours, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine sea and sank within 12 minutes.

Of the 1,196 men on board, approximately 300 went down with the ship. The remainder or about 900 men, were left floating in shark-infested waters with no lifeboats, most with no food or water.
The ship was never missed by the Navy and by the time the survivors were spotted (helped by Divine intervention and a PV-1 Ventura Bomber) four days later, only 316 men were still alive.

With amazing clarity born from this ordeal, Edgar Harrell recounts with God given grace this harrowing event.

Surviving sailors and marines drifting in twelve foot swells, some seriously injured, most could not even swim, the shortage of life jackets, the sharks circling and attacking...

This horrific scenario lasted 5 days, many lost their lives also to hypothermia, seawater poisoning, succumbing to their injuries or sharks attacks yet others stayed alive, their faith placed in God's hands, their conviction rescue would eventually reached them.

I tried for one moment to imagine the survivors holding prayers for each other whilst encouraging one another to hang on and live...Nothing in the world prepared these sailors and marines for this ultimate test!

Their story did not end there however. Harrell pursues his tale with the USN account of this naval catastrophe, the subsequent trial of the USS INDIANAPOLIS' Captain, the release of declassified documents decades later of the incident and the final outcome of those findings.

An emotional read for certain, a tale of courage and faith in the Almighty, to honour those  dead and those rescued and finally the heroism of the flight crew who not only found them but remained by their sight until the last survivor was delivered out of the depths of the Pacific.

A page of History no one should ever forget. 
5 Stars!

Meet the Author:

Edgar Harrell owned and operated the Pella Window Company, Inc., Rock Island, Illinois for thirty-five years until his retirement in 1985. During the years 1970 to 1985, he served on the board of trustees of the Moody Bible Institute, in Chicago, Illinois, and has been a popular Bible teacher and lay minister throughout his adult life.  
With his wife Ola, he enjoys their two children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. As a survivor of the USS Indianapolis, Mr. Harrell speaks extensively around the United States about his experience at sea.

Please take a moment to read the names of the survivors and their mates lost a sea (HERE).
Also visit the USS INDIANAPOLIS site for additional information on this historical event (HERE)

The USS. Indianapolis

(Photo source HERE)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of BETHANY HOUSE as part of its promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


  1. I have heard this story before but never read the book, it certainly makes the hairs stand up on ones neck but more so it b reaks my heart to read the names , I will find this book, I need to read it, hank you for sharing

    1. Laurie, so nice to see you here and happy to hear you will read the story. It needs to be remembered!

  2. Sounds very interesting i have not heard of this? thanks for sharing Love Heather

    1. I was just thinking of you! I hope you had a wonderful Mum's Day and do check out the book, an incredible story of faith and endurance!


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