Read The Raft: The Courageous Struggle of Three Naval Airmen Against the Sea by Robert Trumbull TomParker Online


"The sinking of the plane was like a magician's trick. It was there and then it was gone, and there was nothing left in our big, wet, darkening world but the three of us and a piece of rubber that was not yet a raft."In 1942, three men on an antisubmarine patrol flight became lost and pitched into the Pacific. The plane sank beneath them, carrying most of the survival gear"The sinking of the plane was like a magician's trick. It was there and then it was gone, and there was nothing left in our big, wet, darkening world but the three of us and a piece of rubber that was not yet a raft."In 1942, three men on an antisubmarine patrol flight became lost and pitched into the Pacific. The plane sank beneath them, carrying most of the survival gear down with it. For thirty-four scorching days and shivering nights, they faced the ocean terrors on a four-by-eight-foot rubber raft. They had no water, food, compass, or paddles--only their will to survive. But by feats of super endurance, they made their way to the South Sea isle of Puka Puka, having meandered 1,200 miles....

Title : The Raft: The Courageous Struggle of Three Naval Airmen Against the Sea
Author :
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ISBN : 9780786199327
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Raft: The Courageous Struggle of Three Naval Airmen Against the Sea Reviews

  • Jason Koivu
    2019-04-29 13:33

    Three naval airmen from a downed plane spend over a month in an open raft upon the South Pacific Seas with no food, water or cover from the sun and live to tell the tale. Wow. I need to stop bitching when I get a little sunburn or miss lunch.This memoir was put together by Robert Trumbull in 1942 soon after Harold Dixon, Gene Aldrich, and Tony Pastula underwent their trying ordeal. It's told from Dixon's perspective. He was the pilot and senior to the other two. He gives his opinions relatively freely. His descriptions of their journey are novel-worthy, making for one heck of a nail-biting read.Some of the details, like what they were doing and where it took place, had to be left sketchy because the war was still ongoing. But that doesn't detract from the essence of their story. I've read a few sea survival biographies and this ranks right up there with its storms, sharks, deprivation, hope and despair. Heck, this even includes an encounter with natives, like it was some kind of fanciful 18th century adventure tall tale. At times I felt like I was reading of Captain Bligh's post-mutiny survival voyage or a better version of Robinson Crusoe.If reading The Raft doesn't sound like your thing, perhaps you might watch it? It was recently made into a movie, Against the Sun, starring Malfoy...

  • Eric_W
    2019-04-29 20:14

    The perfect book to read while solidifying in subzero weather is The Raft by Robert Trumbull. And one look at the cover will suggest that another bite of that fat laden steak is well-worthwhile. Trumbull retells the story of 3 aviators whose plane went down in the Pacific. They had a rubber raft and little else because the plane sank so quickly. They were adrift for 34 days and traveled over 1,000 miles. The raft was about four by eight feet. It was so small that no one could stretch out. "Imagine doubling up on a tiny mattress, with the strongest man you know striking the underside as hard as he could with a baseball bat, twice every three seconds, while someone else hurls buckets of cold salt water in your face." The raft also had a nasty tendency to overturn when waves got a little high, or the occupants moved incorrectly. Their clothes were often wet from spray. They were very hot during the day and cold at night. They had no food, and, after the several flips of the raft, only a penknife and themselves for company. It's always amazing how resourceful people can be under trying circumstances. Harold Dixon, who had the most navigational experience, managed to calculate about where they were and where they needed to go, more or less, and then figured small ways to steer the craft to go in that particular direction. Squalls were viewed as a mixed blessing. Rain was their only source of drinking water (which they gathered by wringing out their clothes. But squalls brought wind and waves which might turn them over.Finally, after being tossed by the winds of a passing hurricane they sighted an island toward which they frantically paddled, The natives were astonished to see them for they managed to float through the surf of a coral reef that the natives considered impenetrable in their canoes. They were slowly nursed back to health and then eventually rescued.

  • Midge
    2019-04-26 15:09

    I found this book as I was cleaning out a bookcase in my parents' home. Mom belonged to the Book-of-the-Month Club during the WW II years, and this 1942 copy still has the review and synopsis by the Club News inside. It is the true story of three US navy-men who took off from a carrier on a bombing mission, ran out of gas, and had to ditch in the ocean somewhere in the South Seas. They, unfortunately, end up in a small rubber raft with no food or water and little else, floundering and supporting each other for 34 long and painful days. This is an adventure story that couldn't be invented, and one that will leave you amazed at the steadfastness of the human spirit!

  • Jacque
    2019-05-15 17:26

    At first I wanted to compare this book to Unbroken, and it is similar. This book was written by the person that experienced the raft, not by a professional author so the style is pretty straightforward, nothing fancy. They suffered immensely. They went for days without food or fresh water, but all three men survived. What they suffered could have made them break down, want to harm one another, or simply give up, but they fought to stay alive and positive.

  • Mickey Tompkins
    2019-05-16 18:13

    This is a fantastic true story about survival, I read this book a few years ago, and even got to see the real lifeboat in person at the National Museum of Naval Aviationin Pensacola, Fl while on vacation. They made a movie about it "Against The Sun" never seen that though. Give the story a chance, it's one you will never forget.

  • George
    2019-05-20 14:38

    Great, quick read... enjoyed the narration and pace

  • Trebor
    2019-05-18 16:12

    Every once and a while one finds things that prove to be a real treasure. I rarely browse this one used book store close by with the hopes of a worthwhile find. This place is a hodgepodge of battered paper backs strewn on overstuffed shelves and collapsing piles, but I have by luck found several unforgettable reads in the past. This one kind of stood out, it was old and yellowed with that musty dry smell of old newspapers, but in pristine condition. In fact I doubt it had ever been read. The price on the cover was 60 cents, early 1960's, but the cover art and the title drew me right to it..... I love these type stories, man against nature and hardship. I am always humbled by the sheer power of man's will to survive and ability to endure and overcome the most unforgiving situations and occurrences. Just when you think it can't get any worse it does, and even then it gets much darker. I add this little story to my list of some of the best true life sea survival stories I have read. Just imagine yourself and two others adrift in a 4x8 (outside dimension) rubber raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no food, no water, one small pocket knife, and very little else. Would you be scared, would you be pessimistic, would you be amiable to your fellows, would you crack as the thirst dried you up from the inside and your body steadily devoured itself? The sun baking you black as your clothes rotted off your body exposing every inch of you to the blazing equatorial heat. Such is the power held in this true tale of survival. A very good read, indeed!

  • Amerynth
    2019-05-07 13:26

    Reporter Robert Trumbull's book "The Raft" tells the story of Harold Dixon, Tony Pastula and George Aldrich. The trio's plane crashed in the ocean during World War II and they floated in a rubber raft for 35 days with a knife, rusting pistol and a couple of life jackets along side them. Their survival is nothing short of a miracle.Told with sparse, short sentences, the book is not a literary masterpiece. However, the story is very readable and engrossing. There are loads of better written survival stories out there, but not as many that are quite as miraculous.It is unfortunate that Trumbull's account relies only on an interview with Dixon for information. The book would be much more fascinating if it included interviews with Aldrich and Pastula as well. It's interesting that only Dixon was awarded the Navy Cross, while Aldrich and Pastula were simply commended by the Navy... it seems all three were in the same ordeal, not sure why one was treated differently than the others after the fact.

  • Chantel
    2019-05-08 13:09

    I didn't realize this was a re-release of a nonfiction book from the early 1940s when I picked it up at the library. If i had known, I might have missed out on learning about this 70 years ago headline catching news story. What an amazing story of survival!Wiki: Three downed U.S. Navy fliers from the USS Enterprise landed on Pukapuka in February 1942.[5] Harold Dixon, Gene Aldrich, and Tony Pastula survived 34 days on the open ocean in a tiny 4 by 8 foot (1.2 by 2.4 m) raft, beginning their odyssey with no food or water stores and very few tools. They were found by Teleuka Iotua huddled in a hut belonging to Lakulaku Tutala on Loto villages reserve, where he gave them coconuts to drink. He then went and got more help. Shortly after their arrival a typhoon struck the island. Their story was told in the book The Raft by Robert Trumbull, published by Henry Holt and Co. in 1942.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-15 13:08

    I saw this book mentioned while viewing the actual raft at the NAS museum in Pensacola, FL. It was as fascinating as I had expected, and was different enough from Unbroken, which i also read recently, to still keep my attention. The only reason it lost a star is that the author gives away future facts in several places. For instance, at one point he states, "that was the last food we would have." This changes the intensity of the remaining accounts of fishing and trying to catch birds, if you know they never ate again. Additionally, the author necessarily writes with the sound and vocabulary of the 1940s, but he also presents himself as the smartest, most in touch with his psyche, best navigator, etc. This may be true, but struck me as self-serving. Great book, though, and I highly recommend it!

  • Nikki
    2019-04-30 15:13

    Another truly amazing survival story (yes, I've been on a bit of a survival kick lately). A pilot and his two crew members crashed in the Pacific Ocean during WW II. The only thing they managed to get from the plane before it sank, was a 4 X 8' raft. They had no food, water, equipment, etc. and yet they survived for 34 days. It was fascinating to see their resourcefulness in getting food, water, navigation, etc. They eventually made it to an island where the natives helped them to regain their strength before they were able to contact their command. As the senior soldier, Trumbull really showed amazing leadership and mental strength. Another great story!

  • Brian (Butters)
    2019-05-03 21:37

    After reading The Raft, By Robert Trumbull, I leaned that this is a non-fiction book, told in first person point of view about three navy flyers named Gene Aldrich, Tony Pastula and Dixon, the leader with 24 years of navial exprience. Dixon is the piolot of a plane that crashes into the Pacific Ocean. The main storyline entails how Gene, Tony and Dixon survived 34 torching days with the scholdering heat and the shivering cold of night, on a 6 foot by 10 foot piercing yellow raft as bright as the sun. The Raft would appear to high schoolers who enjoy adventure and also like WWII and who are also good at reading old fashioned termanology.

  • Dan Walker
    2019-05-21 15:09

    Interesting story with a lot of parallels to another raft story, "Unbroken." But I found it an interesting read. The ingenuity and sailing skills of men who have nothing to work with, the challenges of surviving in the open ocean, and how the men dealt with the psychological stress, made it fascinating. In the end they were incredibly fortunate or else God had a plan. The other thought that haunts me is how many other US airmen and sailors perished in the Pacific because they were, in the end, expendable.

  • Dan
    2019-05-27 18:12

    I have a passion for true stories of people who were lost at sea and survived. This one is about 3 navy aviators who survived 34 days in a small raft in early 1942. They got lost while on a routine mission and ditched in the ocean. They had little in the way of food and water. They were burned by the hot tropical sun every day. They caught and ate fish, coconuts that floated by in the water, a shark(!) and a bird. They drank animal blood and also learned to wring rainwater out of their clothes for drinking.

  • Scott
    2019-04-29 14:27

    I read this book off my parent's bookshelf when I was 12. It was the first 'adult' non-fiction book I really read and it was gripping. I'll never forget how intense the experience was and how I totally related with those guys on the raft. I'll never forget it, because it took my love of reading to a whole 'new level'. (How cliche! sorrry, but it did.) When I read "Life of Pi" years later, I remembered this book.

  • Barry
    2019-05-21 21:12

    Re-read this recently out loud to the kids on an RV vacation. I really enjoy this book. I love books from the WW2 era. The book details the journey of three US soldiers whose plane goes down in the South Pacific. They are left alone in the ocean with only a very small life raft, a few very basic items. The story details their fight to survive over multiple weeks adrift at sea through ingenuity and an unwillingness to give up.

  • Mark Holencik
    2019-04-29 18:14

    A story of survival and ingenuity that kept these 3 men sane through 34 days adrift at sea. Their story shows how your mental and emotional condition is the most important thing that you bring to any situation. They did things that I would have a hard time doing having just got up from a good nights sleep and the breakfast table.

  • Any Length
    2019-05-11 20:23

    This is a very inspiring story about the endurance of three men who decided not to let shipwreck get them down. I was very impressed by their stamina and their sheer will and discipline to recover from every setback nature could throw at them. I think a lot of people would benefit from reading this book.

  • Doyle
    2019-05-07 19:12

    Definitely a great illustration of perseverance and ingenuity. a lot of take home points and lessons learned for any interested in water survival and SERE. Lastly, I've read as many books that come my way concerning survival and this story maintains the consistent theme of believing in a higher power and the power of prayer gives one strength.

  • Diane
    2019-05-13 15:20

    A typical survival book (I love survival books) - fascinating to read, but not particularly good literature, but told in a very straightforward manner. The story is of three navy airmen who survive in the Pacific for 34 days with essentially no supplies or food or water. Their survival and the fact they finally find land is hard to imagine.

  • Tony Taylor
    2019-05-27 15:29

    This is the true story of three Navy airmen whose plane crashed into the Pacific during WWII, and who were adrift in a very small raft for 34 days over 750 miles of ocean with little food or water.I first read this book as a very young teenager... it has always stayed with me a a tale of survival and determination.

  • Katy
    2019-04-30 15:25

    Based upon the first person account of three servicemen whose plane went down in the Pacific during WWII. They managed to get out the rubber raft before their plane sank, taking all supplies with it. They survived on the not-so-calm waters of the Pacific for 34 days, near death, before they land on an inhabited atoll in the lonely Pacific.

  • Joanne
    2019-05-10 17:25

    Great book and true story occurred and was written in 1942. 3 guys take off from an airplane carrier and have to ditch their airplane. It's their amazing story of survival in a rubber raft. Good book that anyone in the family would enjoy. I'm checking out the book and giving it to my boys to read. I listened to the book on tape.

  • Mark
    2019-05-05 18:27

    Originally released in 1942 and again in 1992. A easy read of three airman's survival in a rubber raft for thirty four days in the South Pacific. A story of personal survival, tools they used and successful outcome. The epilogue completes these three men's life story. Told in the first person of pilot Dixon. A good read.

  • Paul Andrus
    2019-05-11 21:19

    I read this in high school and learned some things from Chief Dixon. I took those lessons into adulthood and used a few in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Of course, I did not float adrift in a raft in the Iraqi desert. Still, Dixon's humble story of patience, faith, and perseverance inspired me almost 30 years after I read it.

  • Judy
    2019-05-21 18:26

    I just now re-read this amazing true story, taking place during WW2 -- 3 men on a raft in the South Pacific -- adrift with nothing but their indomitable spirit and ingenuity -- for 34 days! Days burnt by the tropical sun, no food or water, and ending with no clothes -- they made it!

  • Colleen
    2019-05-24 20:33

    An incredible story of survival in dire circumstances. You learn a lot about the habits and character traits of people who survive terrible ordeals like this versus those that don't. A quick read that I would recommend.

  • Tim Painter
    2019-05-04 18:15

    Another incredible survival story from the WWII era. Three airmen have to ditch in the ocean but are able to get a raft out and some supplies before the plane sinks. They are overlooked by search planes and eventually make their way to an island.Quite fascinating.

  • Josh
    2019-05-02 14:36

    We first saw this book while at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, FL. Got the book after we got home from vacation. I understand the author didn't put information in due to classified material but I wish the book had more info. I wanted more! Still a good book.

  • karen higgins
    2019-04-27 15:25

    GoodInteresting book. Easy read. Wrote with good story matters, did not drag out with to many facts. Amazing story about determination