The Raft by Robert Trumbull
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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...
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