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Publisher's Summary

The fate of the USS Flier is one of the most astonishing stories of the Second World War. On August 13, 1944, the submarine struck a mine and sank to the bottom of the Sulu Sea in less than one minute, leaving only 14 of its crew of 86 hands alive. After enduring 18 hours in the water, eight remaining survivors swam to a remote island controlled by the Japanese. Deep behind enemy lines and without food or drinking water, the crewmen realized that their struggle for survival had just begun.

On its first war patrol, the unlucky Flier made it from Pearl Harbor to Midway where it ran aground on a reef. After extensive repairs and a formal military inquiry, the Flier set out once again, this time completing a distinguished patrol from Pearl Harbor to Fremantle, Western Australia.

Though the Flier's next mission would be its final one, that mission is important for several reasons: the story of the Flier's sinking illuminates the nature of World War II underwater warfare and naval protocol and demonstrates the high degree of cooperation that existed among submariners, coast watchers, and guerrillas in the Philippines. The eight sailors who survived the disaster became the first Americans of the Pacific war to escape from a sunken submarine and return safely to the United States. Their story of persistence and survival has all the elements of a classic World War II tale: sudden disaster, physical deprivation, a ruthless enemy, and a dramatic escape from behind enemy lines.

In The USS Flier: Death and Survival on a World War II Submarine, noted historian Michael Sturma vividly recounts a harrowing story of brave men who lived to return to the service of their country.

©2008 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Sturma tells an engrossing story of courage, suffering and survival." (Kirkus Reviews)
"I highly recommend this work to naval history scholars and to those who are interested in learning more about the intricacies of how modern navies actually work." (World War II Quarterly)
"A great read. . . . The author carefully examines the sub's all-too-short service and the fate of her survivors." (Proceedings of the US Naval Institute)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disjointed & Boring

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Military folks

Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Sturma again?

No

How could the performance have been better?

It was like someone reading a engine repair manual.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The actual parts about them being castaways was interesting

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Gary
  • Powhatan, Virginia, United States
  • 10-01-12

Full of Facts

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator

Would you recommend The USS Flier to your friends? Why or why not?

Would reccomend only to die hard military history buffs

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Voice was to monotone with little inflection or emphasis on words or phrases.

Could you see The USS Flier being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Not without extensive rewriting.

Any additional comments?

Interesting but dry.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • San Jose, CA United States
  • 07-27-12

Too many asides

I liked the story in general but the auther went in to great detail about a great many things not central to the narrative. I enjoyed many of the asides, but it was hard to get back to the overall discussion. I would have liked more care in what was included.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Carl
  • Port Austin, MI, United States
  • 05-14-12

Slow moving

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, a story that could have been done in one chapter !

Has The USS Flier turned you off from other books in this genre?

NO

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Nothing wrong with the narrator, I was satisfied with his job.

Was The USS Flier worth the listening time?

Negative

Any additional comments?

None

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

avoid

What disappointed you about The USS Flier?

the narration

What do you think your next listen will be?

anything else

How did the narrator detract from the book?

like an automaton

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The USS Flier?

nothing in particular

Any additional comments?

someone should edit the narration that knows something about the subject matteri

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • S. Morris
  • 01-06-15

Wasted opportunity

I was looking forward to this book when I first spotted it as this was the first time I'd seen a book covering the ill fated USS Flier. To put it bluntly, I was very disappointed with it. I felt this book wasted an opportunity to convey the real flavour of the story of the sinking and the men that survived. Instead actually quite a small part of the book focuses on the actual key story and we get a lot of padding in the way of unnecessary background information often pertaining to people not directly involved in the Flier sinking.

The narration too was dreary with over annunciation which slowed the reading irritatingly and some terrible miss-pronunciations at times too.

If you want a fantastic example of a book detailing the sinking and the real story of the survivors then seek out the story of the USS Houston which is available here on Audible. That book really captures the essence and flavour of the human story so lacking in this telling of the USS Flier's sinking.

Disappointing to say the least.