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Kenrick A.Claflin & Son

28308. Ellsberg, Commander Edward. On the Bottom. Flat Hammock Press. 2004.

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28308. Ellsberg, Commander Edward. On the Bottom. Flat Hammock Press. 2004.

28308. Ellsberg, Commander Edward. On the Bottom. Flat Hammock Press. 2004. 256 pages w/ photos, with added CD, & DVD. With an introduction by Edward L. Beach, Captain, U. S. Navy (Retired). First published in 1929, this enthralling work has become one of the greatest true stories of adventure, dogged determination, courage and loyalty ever written. On the evening of September 25, 1925 the U.S. Navy Submarine S-51 was rammed by the steamship SS City of Rome in open seas off Block Island, Rhode Island, and sank in 132 feet of water, with the loss of 33 lives. This disaster evoked such a storm of popular indignation against the Navy Department that something had to be done. It was felt that at all costs a determined attempt must be made to raise the S-51, if only to restore public confidence. No vessel had ever been raised from such a depth, and to the technical mind the thing was impossible. The task of salvaging the submarine fell to Lieutenant Commander Edward Ellsberg and a group of naval divers scavenged from all over the fleet. It was done painstakingly over a nine month period and involved obstacle after obstacle, all the while battling rough seas, icy waters, and “the bends.” Working in hard hats with lead boots, in minimal light, while dragging air lines behind them, each diver had about an hour of exhausting and terrifying work before a lengthy decompression process. It is no exaggeration to say that the impossible was achieved. Originally published in 1929, this magnificent account of the struggle on the ocean floor to salvage the sunken U.S. Navy submarine, S-51, has become a modern classic of the sea. What was not included in Edward Ellsberg’s gripping account are specifics of the accident, the aftermath, and the extent that the event touched the nation. This expanded edition presents this and more by including an introduction, a publisher’s preface, additional photographs, an afterword, and appendixes. Also added is a recording of the period song “Sinking of the Submarine S-51,” an oral history by Commander Ellsberg, and a video disc of rare on scene newsreel footage. “A marvelous tale, filled with moments of horrified expectancy, of glad thrills, of impossible deeds and endurances, of achievements that smack of magic.” (The New York Times). (M). $34.95