Book of the Day: Heroes in the Shadows

Heroes in the Shadows by the Jane Gwinn Goodall

(History, World War II)

Anyone who is interested in American history knows about the tragedy of the USS Indianapolis. Losing this great ship remains one of the darkest moments of United States naval history. But beyond tragedy, there is so much to be learned about the USS Indianapolis – particularly its many examples of heroism and valor. Heroes of the Shadows pays tribute to the heroic young black sailors who perished in the wreck – highlighting their service and sacrifice that has long been overlooked.

There are many books and articles available that chronicle the USS Indianapolis story. The ship and crew fought gallantly through many campaigns, earning ten battle stars. Her final top-secret mission was to carry parts of the first atomic bomb used in combat to a U.S. airbase on Tinian. On that mission, the ship fell prey to a Japanese submarine. In the following moments of fire, chaos, and crisis, about 330 of her crew went down with the ship. About 860 men were left alone in the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the night. For 5 days, without food or water, the crew battled the elements, dodged shark attacks, and clung to life.

This important book tells the stories of the African American crew members who played an integral role in the ship’s final mission. It includes the long and distinguished history of naval service and focuses on the people who made this influential ship great. After the USS Indianapolis sunk, we suffered a profound loss. Now, all we can do is look back, respect, and remember those who bravely fought for us. After a multi-year process of researching, connecting with family members, and writing, Jane Gwinn Goodall brings these incredible men out of the shadows. This truly is a must-read for all history buffs and quite frankly, for all Americans who value this country’s past.

If you want to learn more about the USS Indianapolis story, you can visit the website here.

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