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by Robert Trumbull
Naval Institute Press  1992
Soft cover
300 pages
Index, photos
ISBN 1557508275
Cover Price: $24.95
Language: English

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The Raft
The Courageous Struggle of Three Naval Airmen Against the Sea

This book was originally published during 1942, and has been reprinted over the decades since. When originally written, the reporter Robert Trumbull wrote the story on the basis of his notes from conversations with Dixon after their rescue during a weekend interview back in Hawaii.

The book is the experiences of three US Navy aviators: pilot Harold F. Dixon, Anthony "Tony" Pastula and Gene Aldrich. The crew of a TBD Devastator 0335 that took off from USS Enterprise on a scouting mission, and ran out of fuel and ditched in the open sea on January 16, 1942. These three men who barely knew each other clung to life aboard the plane's yellow 8' x' 4' emergency life raft. Hopeful for rescue initially, they spotted a Navy plane in their vicinity. When it did not spot them, they knew they were on their own.

The three men survived without anything more than the emergency supplies in the raft, and their will to live. This book tells the incredible survival story about their 34 day ordeal in the open sea that eventually covered over a thousand miles before reaching an island.

Review by  Justin Taylan

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Last Updated
May 23, 2017

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