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Descent into Darkness: Pearl Harbor, 1941: A Navy Diver's Memoir

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A tribute to the audacious Navy divers who performed the almost super-human deeds that served to shorten the war.


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A tribute to the audacious Navy divers who performed the almost super-human deeds that served to shorten the war.

30 review for Descent into Darkness: Pearl Harbor, 1941: A Navy Diver's Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Grisly and surreal. Japanese bombers turned the US Battle Fleet - several spic-and-span warships of state, so clean under a tropical sun shining through white deck awnings - into labyrinthine tombs, zones of industrial disaster, poison pockets of chemical menace. Also, as sites of mass carnage, these wrecks shat on the democratic conceit of individuated sailors as sons of families and hopeful citizens - "Join the Navy, Learn a Trade"- and the religious conceit of a named headstone over identifie Grisly and surreal. Japanese bombers turned the US Battle Fleet - several spic-and-span warships of state, so clean under a tropical sun shining through white deck awnings - into labyrinthine tombs, zones of industrial disaster, poison pockets of chemical menace. Also, as sites of mass carnage, these wrecks shat on the democratic conceit of individuated sailors as sons of families and hopeful citizens - "Join the Navy, Learn a Trade"- and the religious conceit of a named headstone over identified remains. Raymer and the other divers worked in total darkness, felt their way in an oily murk; they were guided by topside tenders explaining the lucid ship's plans through the helmet phones; they risked their lives in every descent to make working, personal surveys of the collapsed decks, the bubbles of explosive gases, the jagged traumas of metal, the clusters of bloated bodies being eaten by crabs, and the absurdly comical bricolage of debris. And, of course, they recovered tons upon tons of shells and still-usable equipment, and righted and dewatered the salvageable ships (there's a war on, you know, and every bullet counts). Raymer is often funny, ribald; he doesn't pretend he and his team weren't also twenty-one year olds thinking of pussy and booze. He describes youthful insouciance and antic shore liberty with nice dirty immediacy, but also describes the daily work so finely that the shadows of later reflection fall just where they should.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    This memoir tells the story of this Navy Diver and his work in salvaging and repairing the damaged ships in Pearl Harbor after the Dec. 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese. He also talks about his crew and his time spent in Guadalcanal. Descent Into Darkness is an appropriate title for the book, as the water in Pearl Harbor was pitch black. I never knew all this about the work that went on after the attack. Although the book was published in 1996 and Cdr. Raymer died in 1997, the book is absolutely w This memoir tells the story of this Navy Diver and his work in salvaging and repairing the damaged ships in Pearl Harbor after the Dec. 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese. He also talks about his crew and his time spent in Guadalcanal. Descent Into Darkness is an appropriate title for the book, as the water in Pearl Harbor was pitch black. I never knew all this about the work that went on after the attack. Although the book was published in 1996 and Cdr. Raymer died in 1997, the book is absolutely worth reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Corto

    After I started this book, it occurred to me that I'd never been even remotely curious as to what Pearl Harbor was like immediately after the attacks on December 7th. This book gives an account of what conditions were like in Pearl from the perspective of a salvage diver tasked with assessing the conditions of the ships that were attacked, as well as preparing them for being raised and refitted if possible. Beyond that, the author gives an account of his experiences doing salvage work (and an ad After I started this book, it occurred to me that I'd never been even remotely curious as to what Pearl Harbor was like immediately after the attacks on December 7th. This book gives an account of what conditions were like in Pearl from the perspective of a salvage diver tasked with assessing the conditions of the ships that were attacked, as well as preparing them for being raised and refitted if possible. Beyond that, the author gives an account of his experiences doing salvage work (and an ad hoc PT boat mission) in the South Pacific theater of operations. Admittedly this book sat on my shelf for years, until my interest in undersea salvage work was recently piqued. The book was gripping, and I tore through it. Aside from some technical exposition, there were very powerful and poignant vignettes about the dangers of salvaging these ships and the experience of war at sea and on the islands of the South Pacific. I recommend it for anyone interested in maritime or naval history.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Boitnott

    I'm just going to go ahead and let you know that this is one of my favorite books of 2017! Ok, so let me tell you what it about. Descent Into Darkness is the memoir of Commander Edward C. Raymer where he describes his time as a Navy Salvage Diver assigned to help raise the battleships sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The story begins right before the attack, when Raymer signs up for diver training and follows the young sailor through the raising of the battleships and I'm just going to go ahead and let you know that this is one of my favorite books of 2017! Ok, so let me tell you what it about. Descent Into Darkness is the memoir of Commander Edward C. Raymer where he describes his time as a Navy Salvage Diver assigned to help raise the battleships sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The story begins right before the attack, when Raymer signs up for diver training and follows the young sailor through the raising of the battleships and his experiences during the campaign in the Solomon Islands. This story has been on my TBR for a long time. And by a long time, I mean 3 to 4 years. Descent Into Darkness is my husband's favorite book and he has been asking me to read it since he first picked it up. Sadly, I was just burned out on nonfiction thanks to years of grad school, and despite being interested in the subject since I am a military history nerd and an experienced scuba diver, I just couldn't pick it up. Thankfully, Mike decided we were going to listen to it on our way back from celebrating New Years in Texas, and I was hooked within the first thirty minutes! The narrative style is fluid and leaves readers feeling as if they are sharing a beer with Raymer while he tells his war stories. The prose is detailed and the descriptions of diving operations are detailed enough to keep experienced divers enthralled but also presented in layman's terms which make the procedures understandable and relatable for those with little to no knowledge diving or salvage operations. Descent Into Darkness also provides a detailed look at life on Hawaii in the wake of the attack as Raymer includes plenty of hilarious antics as he and his team members managed to find enjoyment in a dangerous job and survive an island in the throws of prohibition. I do provide a warning for readers. First, this is a story about sailors in their early twenties stuck on an island where there were far more men than women, and Raymer shares the sexual antics of his team. Also, be prepared to read about the realities of war. Yes Raymer has a humorous and lighthearted writing style, but you must remember there were men on those ships when the harbor was attacked. The divers do encounter bodies of fallen comrades and Raymer does not dance around the realities of working in these conditions. I found his honest approach refreshing and educational, especially in a time where harsh truths are glossed over for the sake of peoples feelings and the demands of political correctness. This is a real account, with real stories, where young men willingly risk their lives to do a job. It is everything I love about a good nonfiction piece. I recommend Descent Into Darkness to everyone, but especially to anyone interested in the development of dive salvage procedures, World War II history, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the real experiences of those who 'just went to work' when the nation needed them most. 2017 marks 76 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor and I can't think of a better way of honoring the greatest generation than by sharing this book with y'all. Lindsay Check out more reviews at www.historymysterybooks.com!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The standard narrative of World War II in the Pacific long engraved on the American psyche proceeds from the devastation at Pearl Harbor to the dark days of Bataan and first good news of the Doolittle raid. From there, the tactical defeat but strategic victory at the Coral Sea, the stunning turning point of Midway, the Marines' savage struggle for Guadalcanal, fighting in the jungles of New Guinea, and the bloody island-hopping campaign. But while all this was happening, Pearl Harbor was a beehiv The standard narrative of World War II in the Pacific long engraved on the American psyche proceeds from the devastation at Pearl Harbor to the dark days of Bataan and first good news of the Doolittle raid. From there, the tactical defeat but strategic victory at the Coral Sea, the stunning turning point of Midway, the Marines' savage struggle for Guadalcanal, fighting in the jungles of New Guinea, and the bloody island-hopping campaign. But while all this was happening, Pearl Harbor was a beehive of activity, and not just with the comings and goings of Navy ships and in-transit personnel. Every day, civilian and Navy "hardhat" divers like Edward Raymer donned almost 100lb of bulky diving gear and descended into the blackness of the oil-covered waters of Pearl to undertake the important and hazardous task of salvaging what they could of the once-proud battleships sunk and damaged in the attack and refloating as many of them as possible so they could be repaired and sent to the fight that had been over for them almost as soon as it had begun. In Descent Into Darkness, retired US Navy Commander Edward C. Raymer (formerly an enlisted sailor and the first person to dive on the sunken U.S.S. Arizona) weaves a fascinating tale of a relatively unknown but important part of the war in the Pacific – the attempt to undo as much as possible the damage from the Japanese sneak attack on the Pacific Fleet. In so doing, he brings to life a motley cast of ordinary but brave, dedicated and hardworking sailors who are a microcosm of the Greatest Generation who triumphed in World War II, and who, like the combat sailors, sometimes gave their lives in doing so. The nature of the divers' work dictated that it be done alone and unsupervised. The kind of officers that would normally try to micromanage things were only too happy to leave the terrifying work up to the enlisted divers once they experienced it themselves. This work involved painstakingly moving through fully fueled and armed battleships that were ripped apart and strewn with wreckage and debris. It was up to the individual divers to overcome countless problems and hazards that had never been encountered in peacetime salvage diving, whether it was jagged steel, the removal of 2,000lb high explosive shells from magazines or the deadly buildup of explosive gases. And because the work was inside sunken ships in water covered and saturated in fuel oil and debris, it was all done in pitch darkness and had to be accomplished with the help of radioed directions from ship's plans and done completely by feel – a feel that was finely honed in the months and years they toiled in the inky blackness. The cadre of divers were true pioneers who invented solutions and procedures that became adopted as standard later on. And from the Publisher's Weekly review, "Raymer's memoir is useful above all as a case study of the hands-on, un-bureaucratized approach to problem-solving that the U.S. brought to WWII from the beginning." Raymer hilariously relates off-duty antics as the divers ingeniously circumvented prohibition (of liquor) in order outmaneuver an entire island of soldiers, sailors and Marines to secure female companionship for a series of covert beach parties. But he also sensitively treats the difficult subject of encountering the bodies of sailors still entombed in the ships. Phobias – fears of the dark, confinement, drowning and being buried alive all came into play as every day brought new challenges to be overcome. (Even arachnophobia was a problem in an incident that will either terrify or amuse, depending on one's feelings towards spiders). Raymer and a fellow diver spent a hardly peaceful interlude in the jungles of Guadalcanal and the waters of "The Slot" between the Solomon Islands. Dodging the nightly "Tokyo Express" of marauding Japanese cruisers and destroyers, the sailors worked to repair ships and resupply the Marines on the island, for whom they gained a profound respect after observing and sharing in some of their hardships. A high point was doing underwater repair work in crystal clear sunlit waters – something they had not yet experienced in the war. The low point was the torpedoing and sinking of their home away from home, the repair ship U.S.S. Seminole. After a 30-day survivors leave in San Francisco, Raymer returned to his brother divers and continued the work at Pearl Harbor on the USS Arizona, Utah, West Virginia, California and Oklahoma. He served as a liaison to news reporters and even a tour guide of the Oklahoma to none other than First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Some of the battlewagons were beyond saving – the Utah was scuttled and the Arizona remained at the bottom of the harbor, becoming a sacred monument and a tomb for more than a thousand sailors. Others lived to fight again, like the lightly damaged Tennessee and the West Virginia, which was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, where the long, costly and bloody war was finally brought to a close. If you're interested in history, curious about the "rest of" the Pearl Harbor story, love the salty vocabulary and tales of the Navy, are curious about working diving in canvas suits, weighted shoes and copper helmets in the days before SCUBA, wonder what it was like when important work wasn't weighed down with a web of nonsensical rules and regulations, or just want a good read, Descent Into Darkness is highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    History Geek

    We've all seen the images of Pearl Harbor. The explosions and smoke billowing into the air, the ships listing in the water and settling in the mud, the Oklahoma capsized with her bottom sticking up out if the water, and the Arizona to this day peacefully resting just beneath the harbor's waters. This book tells the story of the men that tried valiantly to rescue their fellow sailors and Marines, and finally to salvage the fleet so it could carry on the fight. It's an excellent read about a part We've all seen the images of Pearl Harbor. The explosions and smoke billowing into the air, the ships listing in the water and settling in the mud, the Oklahoma capsized with her bottom sticking up out if the water, and the Arizona to this day peacefully resting just beneath the harbor's waters. This book tells the story of the men that tried valiantly to rescue their fellow sailors and Marines, and finally to salvage the fleet so it could carry on the fight. It's an excellent read about a part of the war you've never heard about.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jay & Laura McManus

    Despite a morbid beginning, this book is hands down the best book that I have read all year! The history of 1941/2 Hawaii as told by the Author is very eye opening. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about that era.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Fascinating and horrifying, I could not put this book down.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Freeman

    Loved it. Bought it at Pearl Harbor and glad I did.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    On Dec 7, 1941, Edward Raymer was a newly dive-qualified Metalsmith First-Class in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Long Beach, CA in the 3rd year of his enlistment. On Dec 8, 1941, he found himself staring at the smoking ruins of Naval Base Pearl Harbor as part of a salvage team, hurried to the site of the attack on 2 hours notice. "Descent into Darkness" is the memoir of the first diver to explore the wreck of the USS Arizona, and the incredible accomplishments of he and his fellow salvors in the s On Dec 7, 1941, Edward Raymer was a newly dive-qualified Metalsmith First-Class in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Long Beach, CA in the 3rd year of his enlistment. On Dec 8, 1941, he found himself staring at the smoking ruins of Naval Base Pearl Harbor as part of a salvage team, hurried to the site of the attack on 2 hours notice. "Descent into Darkness" is the memoir of the first diver to explore the wreck of the USS Arizona, and the incredible accomplishments of he and his fellow salvors in the subsequent years of war. This book is one of a kind, telling a story that is rarely mentioned in the annals of World War 2; specifically, the massive effort to recover from the damage inflicted on Pearl Harbor after Japan's attack. Raymer's book is raw, telling the story as a young sailor who bore the brunt of dirtiest, most dangerous, and indispensable work on the waterfront; the divers' primary mission was raising the sunken vessels in the harbor, so that they could be repaired and returned to battle. It cannot be overstated how dangerous was the work these divers undertook, all in complete darkness; because of the thick slick of oil in the harbor and the massive pollution from the attack, underwater lights were useless inside the ships. The divers were left to survey, salvage, repair, and inspect inside the hulls of massive battleships with nothing but their sense of touch, and walking directions from phone talkers reading ship's blueprints on the surface. Morbidly of course, the sunken hulls were filled with hundreds of bodies of the deceased, floating in the overhead. Raymer tells how the divers developed a sixth sense, and could tell when a body was nearby. Disturbingly, as the divers would traverse a space, their movement would create a suction, such that the bodies would migrate towards the living. All unseen, but felt. Most impressive in this story however is the daily ingenuity displayed by the dive team; they were faced with problems which had never been faced before, and drew upon their collective resourcefulness, cleverness, and experience to devise solutions to seemingly insurmountable barriers. Oftentimes the risks they took upon themselves to further the mission would be unheard of today; indeed, many of the safety best practices that are common today were invented out of necessity by these men in the thick of the fight. The author also does an amusing job conveying the truly absurd liberty scenes outside of base, where men outnumbered women thousands to one, and the Army enacted prohibition. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn about the dirty, dangerous, unsexy but eminiently important work of putting together the pieces of a wartime disaster zone, and the unbelievable bravery it took to do so.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Hill

    This one fits in the category "you can't make this stuff up". Hundreds of millions of unique stories could be told by people who lived through World War II. But some are more unique than others. Tens of millions of civilians faced hardship, millions of men saw combat on land, thousands survived having their warship sunk under them. Stories like Raymer's could be told by only a select few. Raymer's writing won't win any awards. He tells his story well, but he was a diver, not a writer. I've read ma This one fits in the category "you can't make this stuff up". Hundreds of millions of unique stories could be told by people who lived through World War II. But some are more unique than others. Tens of millions of civilians faced hardship, millions of men saw combat on land, thousands survived having their warship sunk under them. Stories like Raymer's could be told by only a select few. Raymer's writing won't win any awards. He tells his story well, but he was a diver, not a writer. I've read many books where the author spends a lot of time giving us the background and sometimes there's too much of that. Other authors go into great detail explaining some of the more technical aspects of what they did. Raymer doesn't waste pages on this stuff. There are times where I would certainly liked to have gotten a better understand of exactly what he did, but I don't think his story suffers from these shortfalls. A few diagrams would have cleared things up for me, but their lack isn't really that important. Raymer jumps right in to the action. He doesn't tell us about his childhood or his parents, and we don't get an epilogue where we learn how his life went after the war. I'm curious about both, but I don't think the book would have been any better had he done so. I've been considering reading Pearl Harbor: Why, How, Fleet Salvage and Final Appraisal by Admiral Homer Wallin. After reading Raymer's tale, I'm now more interested. Wallin's book, I presume, tells the overall story of the salvage whereas Raymer's is the personal one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I'd always been curious about the process of raising most of the battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor and refurbishing them and returning them to combat. Ian Toll's excellent history of the Pacific Theater of WW2 had a nice discussion of this, and referenced Edward Raymer's account. Raymer's memoir is a worthwhile read for many reasons. The first is that he gives an insiders view into the Pearl Harbor salvage operations - the process, the innovations, the dangers, dealing with the remains of sailors, I'd always been curious about the process of raising most of the battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor and refurbishing them and returning them to combat. Ian Toll's excellent history of the Pacific Theater of WW2 had a nice discussion of this, and referenced Edward Raymer's account. Raymer's memoir is a worthwhile read for many reasons. The first is that he gives an insiders view into the Pearl Harbor salvage operations - the process, the innovations, the dangers, dealing with the remains of sailors, and some of the shady activity occurred. I wish there would have been a little more explanation context for some of the techniques and processes that were used, but it gives some great insights. Raymer also gives an unvarnished view of military life during WW2 in Pearl Harbor - officers with shady, selfish agendas; the efforts to secure booze and women; what life was like for servicemen in Honolulu in 1942 and 1943. In addition, Raymer volunteered for service in the combat zone, so he talks of a number of his experiences at Guadalcanal - providing support for the Cactus Air Force, his ship being engaged and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, life on the 'canal, and the repair work that enabled ships like the Sweat Pea (USS Portland) to escape and be repaired. Just a great, unique read, all the way around.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Dawson

    What a brilliant work. I saw the two part series on youtube last summer discussing the salvaging of the US warships sunk at Pearl Harbor. While that was interesting, reading this book gives a fascinating insight into the perils these men faced in salvaging the ships and the horrors they would encounter. Yes, there are parts that are risqué, but that’s okay. These men needed to blow off steam. Loved the part where they tried to make their own hooch and the damn barrel exploded! That was epic. W What a brilliant work. I saw the two part series on youtube last summer discussing the salvaging of the US warships sunk at Pearl Harbor. While that was interesting, reading this book gives a fascinating insight into the perils these men faced in salvaging the ships and the horrors they would encounter. Yes, there are parts that are risqué, but that’s okay. These men needed to blow off steam. Loved the part where they tried to make their own hooch and the damn barrel exploded! That was epic. What is even of more consequence is the ingenuity these men came up with in bringing the majority of the ships back to life. I am always in awe of this generations ability to never shirk from a problem, but meet it head on and never give up! But then that’s what the men and women of the depression, Dust Bowl era did. They had more grit in their little finger then the majority of Americans today, put together. Can you imagine working in the pitch dark with dead bodies floating around in your work zone? I doubt it. I know I can’t. I strongly recommend this book for any World War Two buff and for those who don’t’ understand how great that generation was. Five Stars!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    An up close look at what went on after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Told by a Navy rescue diver who descended into the darkness of the oil laden Harbor only to find the horrors of unbelievable wreckage and remains of fallen soldiers. The author has many stories of he and his diving team that take place on the island and out on location during the war. A truly eye opening tale. I had interest in this story due to the history it holds with my family. My father is a survivor of Pearl Harbor, a 9 year An up close look at what went on after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Told by a Navy rescue diver who descended into the darkness of the oil laden Harbor only to find the horrors of unbelievable wreckage and remains of fallen soldiers. The author has many stories of he and his diving team that take place on the island and out on location during the war. A truly eye opening tale. I had interest in this story due to the history it holds with my family. My father is a survivor of Pearl Harbor, a 9 year old boy living on Ford Island while my Grandfather, a Navy Rear Admiral and also a survivor, was stationed there at the time of the attack. My father later achieved rank of Navy AT2 (Aviation Electronics Technician) and tells his story locally, at schools and through many news reports found on YouTube. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in true history and from a unique perspective.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Williams

    The events of December 7, 1941 have been told numerous times in great detail. However, the aftermath is quite often overlooked. Commander Raymer, one of the U.S. Navy's first divers on scene in Pearl Harbor after the attack, gives us a gripping first-person account of the events that surrounded the salvage operation. Not only do we see the work that went into raising the fleet, but we get a chance to know who the divers were as people, and get a glimpse into WWII Hawaii, as well as other areas o The events of December 7, 1941 have been told numerous times in great detail. However, the aftermath is quite often overlooked. Commander Raymer, one of the U.S. Navy's first divers on scene in Pearl Harbor after the attack, gives us a gripping first-person account of the events that surrounded the salvage operation. Not only do we see the work that went into raising the fleet, but we get a chance to know who the divers were as people, and get a glimpse into WWII Hawaii, as well as other areas of the Pacific where Commander Raymer was assigned. Raymer lays it all out for the world to see, and those of us who are reading this account over 75 years later are deeply appreciative. This was definitely worth taking the time to read, even if some areas are a little too technical for the average reader.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Good book. Easy to read except for maybe a few of the more technical explanations. I was really afraid this book was going to be all depressing and disturbing and thankfully I was shown otherwise. It was fun seeing the crews' activities: legal, semi-legal, and outright criminal. And I'm not surprised at his dissatisfaction with the various histories and how they differ from his own remembered experience. Especially once he compared them against ship logs and records. I definitely suggest it for Good book. Easy to read except for maybe a few of the more technical explanations. I was really afraid this book was going to be all depressing and disturbing and thankfully I was shown otherwise. It was fun seeing the crews' activities: legal, semi-legal, and outright criminal. And I'm not surprised at his dissatisfaction with the various histories and how they differ from his own remembered experience. Especially once he compared them against ship logs and records. I definitely suggest it for anyone interested in WWII naval activities or just the lives of regular military men.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Personal memoirs are among my favorites and this one is really great. I got it at the Pearl Harbor Memorial bookstore during a recent trip. I was initially drawn to the book because we recently discovered one of my wife's grandfathers was a Navy salvage diver during WWII. He must have shared some of these experiences, which he never mentioned to anyone we can now ask. Personal memoirs are among my favorites and this one is really great. I got it at the Pearl Harbor Memorial bookstore during a recent trip. I was initially drawn to the book because we recently discovered one of my wife's grandfathers was a Navy salvage diver during WWII. He must have shared some of these experiences, which he never mentioned to anyone we can now ask.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    For a short book (200 pgs) this sure seemed long. I had to skim through the last chunk for fear of never finishing at all. However, it was interesting to hear how the divers improvised making tools & such to help in salvaging. The dead bodies, being covered in oil & feeling their way around in darkness-no thank you. Heroes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sonny

    Fascinating read about the men that helped salvage some of the ships that were sunk or damaged during the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. I had heard before that they used divers to help locate survivors and assess the damage to some of the sunken ships including the USS Arizona but this is the first book I have read about them. And they did it all in total darkness.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Charles Dusenbury

    Into the Dark, but with Lighthearted Moments A very "in depth" narrative of seldom acknowledged underwater salvage and repair work, not only in Pearl Harbor, but in the active war zones in the Pacific. The casualties of the surprise attack and those suffered during its salvage makes for an important contribution to thr recording of events of WW2. Into the Dark, but with Lighthearted Moments A very "in depth" narrative of seldom acknowledged underwater salvage and repair work, not only in Pearl Harbor, but in the active war zones in the Pacific. The casualties of the surprise attack and those suffered during its salvage makes for an important contribution to thr recording of events of WW2.

  21. 4 out of 5

    NK

    I have visited the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor several times. This account of the salvage diving unit is amazing. I have not heard any of this information, from a diver's perspective, in the past. A must read for anyone interested in WWII history. I have visited the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor several times. This account of the salvage diving unit is amazing. I have not heard any of this information, from a diver's perspective, in the past. A must read for anyone interested in WWII history.

  22. 5 out of 5

    scott

    The amazing story about the divers who raised the fleet How could you dive inside a wrecked battleship in complete darkness, while maintaining your sanity and finding your way? This is the amazing story of the brave men who did exactly that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James P.

    Great Book ! This book helps you understand the huge effort USN Divers undertook to get the Pacific fleet back into action after the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. Not lost in the pages is the cost in human lives and it’s toll on service members and Hawaiian’s

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Exciting. A lot of unknown facts brought to light regarding Pearl Harbor salvage.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Absolutely wild ride.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    What a great book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    An occasionally chilling personal account of a US Navy Diver's work on salvaging ships at Pearl Harbour and the South Pacific. An occasionally chilling personal account of a US Navy Diver's work on salvaging ships at Pearl Harbour and the South Pacific.

  28. 4 out of 5

    albert puknat

    Naval war history Excellent book full of historical details that are rarely related. Descriptions of the living conditions on Guadalcanal I found nowhere else.

  29. 4 out of 5

    ANGUS ROSBOROUGH

    Excellent read Tells it as it was. Some gripe that it is not all about war. While that is true, it still remains action packed and worth one’s time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kenton

    a great perspective of WWII and specifically Pearl Harbor from the Navy salvage divers view. I am not a huge history fan and this book captivated me from beginning to end.

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