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Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII…
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Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and… (edition 2016)

by Edgar Usmc Harrell (Author)

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"A WWII hero's courageous, inspiring true story of survival against all odds after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis"--
Member:KayTimms
Title:Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis
Authors:Edgar Usmc Harrell (Author)
Info:Bethany House Publishers (2016), Edition: Illustrated, 208 pages
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Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis by Edgar Harrell (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Edgar Harrell's Out of the Depths is a fantastic account by a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945. I had the honor several years ago to attend a panel discussion by about 6 or 8 of the survivors of the Indy sinking. Mr. Harrell was the only one of the ship's USMC detachment present. While one who was not there can never understand the horror that Harrell and his comrades experienced, one gets a sense of it from reading his own account of it. Other reviewers have been critical of the author's writing style and his message; but this is a survivor's account of the event - it is not meant to be an impartial or unbiased source. Out of the Depths is the type of account historians LOVE to find when looking for 1st person accounts - it gives not only the facts but his opinion, feelings, etc. Anyone looking for a straight narrative of the sinking of the Indy would be best served by turning to Doug Stanton's book or any of the other number of secondary accounts out there. Out of the Depths is a a very enthralling and quick read and is a must for anyone with an interest in the Pacific war or naval history. ( )
  reenactorman | Jul 10, 2020 |
A very readable true account about the tragic WW2 sinking of the USS Indianapolis. 900+ men forced to abandon ship at night into shark infested waters...approx a third of their number rescued after 4/5 days at sea...they were "the survivors."

This account is harrowing and will upset some readers. There is no bad language or sexual content. The violence is a necessary part of the story but is graphic in places.

The author gives all of the glory for his rescue to God. He quotes Scripture throughout his account and was heard praying, reciting Bible verses and crying out to God whilst stranded in the sea. His witness led to the conversion of at least one other survivor. The author is clear that those who describe him as one of the "lucky ones" are fundamentally wrong. Luck had nothing to do with it. It was all part of God's sovereign plan for his life.

His recent reunions included Japanese enemy combatants. The author candidly states that initially he had problems with anger in relation to those that had wounded/killed so many on their vessel. However, in time he realised that those on the ground were just obeying their governments directives, as indeed he was doing. He also makes the point that evil is orchestrated by Satan himself and those willing to submit themselves to his authority.

Although I was shocked and saddened by the details of this tragedy it was an eye-opening read. The author places God at the centre of his story and clearly explains the Gospel message for those still in darkness. I would recommend it for all adults especially those with an interest in war-time events.

( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a copy of Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis by Edgar Harrell as part of the LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Group. This was the first time I had ever received a pre-print copy for review, so that alone got me started into the book right away.

As inspiring as the story is, I can unfortunately not recommend this book. Harrell does give a very detailed portrayal of his ordeal after the sinking of the Indianapolis. His narrative falls short on providing anything new to this story.

Watching any one of the very good History Channel/Nat Geo biographies on the Indianapolis will give you a fuller picture of the event, which is a quite rare occurrence. ( )
  jshenn | Sep 30, 2014 |
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! ( )
  debf56 | Aug 19, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The story of Mr. Harrell's ordeal and survival is a gripping one, inportant to be told. His religious faith contributed mightily to his perseverance in the deadly trial he faced. That is the theme of this book, and if you want a personal testimony on the value of faith in promoting survival, look no further. While Mr. Harrell's writing is only serviceable, it is sincere. Unfortunately, Harrel's account is diminished by his missionary zeal and his intolerance for the beliefs of others. Did god favor the Allies over the Japanese? In a disturbing paragraph, for example, Harrel reflects "I remember feeling pity for the ones we shot down and rescued. Most were poorly trained young pilots, blinded by ... a fanatical religious fervor to serve some phantom god(or gods) that do not exist." (Ch 2) So the faith of Christians is well-founded, but that of non-Christians is misguided fantasy. Unfortunately this narrow viewpoint mars an otherwise inspiring memoir. ( )
  stellarexplorer | Aug 2, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harrell, EdgarAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrell, DavidAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrell, Edgarmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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