Book Review: Out of the Depths by Edgar Harrell, USMC

At first I was surprised and then a bit embarrassed that I had never known the story of the USS Indianapolis. How many times had I walked past the memorial on the canal walk in Indianapolis without ever taking the time to know what was being memorialized? The story, it turns out, is one of amazing courage and survival.


On July 30, 1945 the USS Indianapolis was struck by torpedoes from a Japanese submarine. Of the 1,196-man crew, only 317 would survive the ordeal. Some men died in the attack, and many more died in the water, succumbing to wounds or being attacked by sharks.

Out of the Depths provides a unique perspective of this tragedy as told by survivor Edgar Harrell, USMC. Mr. Harrell gives us a glimpse into the horror that these men faced while waiting to be rescued. Their courage in the face of adversity is heroic and there is much to be learned as we understand this story as seen through the eyes of a survivor, especially one who saw the hand of God through it all.

This is a short and inspiring read. If you don’t already know this story, you owe it to yourself to read this book. As a pastor and a leader, there is much to draw on here in regards to leadership and sermon illustration. I appreciate the bravery and service of men and women like Edgar Harrell, and I am grateful that he found the courage to relive the story so that we could know and learn from this unforgettable event.

I was provided a copy of this book for free for review by Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed here are mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s