On July 16, 1945, the USS Indianapolis departed from San Francisco for the American B-29 base on Tinian island with a top-secret cargo that would ultimately put an end to World War II--components for the first operational atomic bombs. After a record run, covering 5,300 miles in only ten days, the Indianapolis successfully delivered her cargo on July 26, 1945, and was ordered to set a course from Guam to Leyte Gulf in the Philippines to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Traveling unescorted, at fourteen minutes past midnight on July 30, 1945, she was hit by two Japanese torpedoes midway between Guam and Leyte, sending her to a watery grave in twelve minutes. Of the 1,196 men aboard, about 900 sailors and Marines entered the water. Due to a series of Navy debacles, no one knew of their plight. Five horrifying days later, 317 men who had survived the terror of shark attacks, hypothermia, severe dehydration and salt-water hallucinations, were accidentally spotted and rescued.
As a survivor of the USS Indianapolis (www.indysurvivor.com), Mr. Harrell speaks extensively around the United States about his experience at sea. Like so many stories surrounding World War II where fact is stranger than fiction, Out of the Depths is a terrifying firsthand account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Navy cover-up that led to the bizarre court-martial and eventual exoneration of its captain. Marine survivor Edgar Harrell vividly describes the horrors of being plagued by sharks, hypothermia, severe dehydration and salt-water hallucinations, and the crew's heart wrenching struggle to survive the greatest catastrophe at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy--a truly riveting story of survival, political intrigue and faith in the providence of God.