Great Book & Story (non-fiction)

oldman

Well-known member
Location
PA
Ever since my retirement from United Airlines, I started to study different events that had occurred in history in general. Just to mention a few events, I have studied the sinking of the Titanic and then I went on and studied about the Holocaust. Over Christmas, I was at my son's home and as everyone was speaking in other rooms, I got comfortable in the den and turned on the TV thinking that I may find something to kill the time. I came upon the movie, "Jaws," and the movie was at the part where the old sea Captain, named Quint and played by Robert Shaw, was telling the story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. I had at one time been briefly told this story by my Dad, but never really sunk my teeth into it, so I decided that night while watching the movie that I needed to find out more about this event.

I bought a book by a survivor, Edgar Harrell, who is a Marine and was onboard the ship during the sinking of the ship. His book tells the story about the sinking of the ship and the story thereafter. WOW!! It's a book that I just couldn't put down. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is really into history. Just to get you started, I found this story from Edgar Harrell on YouTube. I think that if you take the time to watch this video, you may want to purchase his book. Absolutely amazing in so many ways. The title of the book is, "Out of the Depths."

Anyone that starts to listen to this man’s story, probably will not be able to stop it.

 

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911

Well-known member
Location
USA
That was one great video. Definitely an amazing adventure. I had heard of the Indianapolis and remembered that it was the ship that delivered the bomb during WWII, but not much more of the story.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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911

Well-known member
Location
USA
I just watched this video again for about the fifth time. It is truly amazing and I think every Marine should be shown this video during Boot. There are many lessons to be learned just listening to this man tell the story that he lived. Absolutely amazing that he is still alive. I think back when I was going through the jungles in Vietnam how I used to complain about the weather, the bugs, the snakes and the lousy living conditions. I remember complaining about not being able to bathe, shave or even go to the bathroom in private. The little bit of C rations that we had were horrible and the humidity was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. Then, 45 years later, I read this story and learn about how Edgar Harrell survived in the sea for 4 1/2 days with no water, no food, sharks all around and no way out. If I would have only known about this story, it may have given me the drive to carry on and to be thankful that I was on land and not in the sea.
 

oldman

Well-known member
Location
PA
Original Poster
here is a good read about epic sea battles..."the last stand of the tin can sailors"
I never heard of this battle. I had to look it up and it sounds like something that would make good reading.

I also agree with 911. I think the men on the U.S.S. Indianapolis are all heroes. If I’m not mistaken, I think they all received the CMH. Is that right?
 

Capt Lightning

Well-known member
Oldman, may I recommend to you one of the books that tells the story of "The cockleshell heroes". This was a daring raid led by Lt.Col "Blondie" Hassler where a team of commandos landed in occupied France by canoe.

I never met "Blondie" (Herbert Hassler) , but I knew his brother John( also a Lt. Col) who was a regular in my local pub. I did meet Blondie's children at John's funeral. Blondie was according to John's stories, a real eccentric who retired to Scotland to look for the Loch Ness Monster.

There is a memorial to the Cockleshell Heroes near the Royal Marines museum in Southsea, Hampshire.
 

oldman

Well-known member
Location
PA
Original Poster
Hey Capt.—-I checked this story out on YouTube. They have some pretty good snippets on that channel. It appears that some of it is actually a little humorous, but I will pick up the book at the library. The movie is also available online.

I thought Loch Ness was just a fable or tale.

 
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oldman

Well-known member
Location
PA
Original Poster
https://www.ussindianapolis.com/reunions
I have attended a few of these as my wife's uncle was a crew member and her cousins have become very active with the survivors. Cannot imagine what Hell these men experienced.
Lucky you to have attended these reunions. While you were there, were you able to interact with the survivors? Able to ask them questions and to have a book autographed?
 

DGM

Active member
Location
Indianapolis
Lucky you to have attended these reunions. While you were there, were you able to interact with the survivors? Able to ask them questions and to have a book autographed?
Yes to all of the above.
My wife's cousin has become very active with the
survivors. While talking with them she found someone who actually saw my her (and my wife's uncle) in the water alive the day before they were rescued. Unfortunately he (uncle) passed away before being rescued. His body was recovered by the rescuers and he was given a proper military funeral at sea. After all that suffering to be so close. What a shame.
 

oldman

Well-known member
Location
PA
Original Poster
Yes to all of the above.
My wife's cousin has become very active with the
survivors. While talking with them she found someone who actually saw my her (and my wife's uncle) in the water alive the day before they were rescued. Unfortunately he (uncle) passed away before being rescued. His body was recovered by the rescuers and he was given a proper military funeral at sea. After all that suffering to be so close. What a shame.
What’s the chances of that happening? Wouldn’t it have been great to have been able to talk about his 4 days in the water?
 


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