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LEFT FOR DEAD A young man’s search for justice for the USS Indianapolis

By: Dillon Knowlton


The book Left for Dead is personally one of the most unorganized books I have ever read. It’s a great book though about a crew that was part of the USS Indianapolis and they were out at sea and they got struck by torpedoes from Japanese subs. “Meecyuu! A hit!” (Nelson 52) They had sent out an S.O.S message before the ship sunk but the navy had failed to send help. “Why didn’t anybody hear the SOSs?” (Nelson102). The crew had been in the shark infested waters for days with no help. “As long as they didn’t dangle their legs in the water, his men were relatively safe from sharks, though sharks were known to attack boats and overturn life rafts.” (Nelson73) When help finally came the navy immediately filed a court case to find out what happened and in the end they blamed the captain for not avoiding being hit by the torpedoes even though he had no way to stop them. “If she’d been equipped with sonar, she could have detected the submarines presence and taken evasive action.” (Nelson 102) This story was a great story of justice and the fight one boy has for the sake of his new friends and project.


I noticed that throughout the story the author was very informative and really when he was talking about one thing he would go to the next. The author was trying to teach me something about being brave and standing up for what you believe in. Hunter Scott stood up for his friends and even though he didn’t get first place for his project he still stood up for what he thought was right. This author really taught me how you can never give up even in hard times. The crew all never gave up in there captain and for that some of them are still here with us today. The crew also never gave up in their great friend Hunter who stood up for them and spent a big part of his teenage life researching and finding clues to get them through their tragic confusion. Author Pete Nelson has taught me a valuable lesson to not be afraid to stand up for what you believe is right.


Have you ever been scared? So scared that you want to kill yourself? Nope didn’t think so! Left for dead really got me thinking about how much people go through and it sometimes brings them to death. While the crew was in the water they were so dehydrated that they started hallucinating. In this book people were killing each other left and right because they were so desperate for food. I don’t think I would take myself that far… would you? Nope again didn’t think so! Left for Dead really captured me and honestly this is the first book that I have fully read and it was the best so far. Are you ready to be captured? To be lifted off your feet in excitement? I know I am and you will too after you read Left for Dead.


Author Page Pete Nelson is the author of 18 books of fiction and nonfiction and has written for numerous magazines. His most recent book, That Others May Live tells the story of the Air Force’s par rescue jumpers. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and son. Pete Nelson has published nineteen books of fiction, six non-fiction books, and over 150 short stories or articles in magazines including Esquire, Harpers, Playboy, the Iowa Review, the North American Review, Redbook, Seventeen, MS, Mother Jones and Rolling Stone. He is a really good author and I would suggest reading any of his books because he really caught me and I could never put “Left for Dead” down. I can’t wait for a sequel or another book about one of these great naval battles and people seeking for justice.


Dillion K. IRA Project