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Though long relegated to ...
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Though long relegated to footnote status in Pacific War histories, the story of Cynthia Olson's mid-ocean encounter with the Japanese submarine I-26 is both a classic high-seas drama and one of the most enduring mysteries of World War II. Did Commander Minoru Yokota of I-26 disregard orders and sink the freighter before the attack on Pearl Harbor began, running the risk of alerting the Americans to the impending assault? Did master mariner Berthel Carlsen and his 34-man crew survive their vessel's sinking only to drift away into the vast Pacific, or were they machine gunned in their lifeboats at the orders of Yokota, who after the war became a devout Christian? Was Cynthia Olson the first American casualty of the Pacific War, and could her SOS have changed the course of history?
Based on years of research, Voyage to Oblivion explores both the military and human aspects of the Cynthia Olson story, bringing to life a complex tale of courage, tenacity, hubris and arrogance in the opening hours of America's war in the Pacific.
“…examines an intriguing event that took place on the same morning as the Pearl Harbor attach and that raised the possibility that perhaps history books on the Pacific War might need to be re-written…engagingly written…”
Armchair General, 03/2011
“…a well written history book, but it contains elements of a mystery novel as Harding, playing detective, attempts to unravel what occurred that fateful day…lays out the facts…has finally given the story of the Cynthia Olson the recognition it was so tragically denied 70 years ago.”San Pedro Today, March 2011
“…plumbs the unanswered questions behind this forgotten story.”
World War II Magazine, May 2011
“…fascinating saga of a little ship caught in the maelstrom of a big war. Author Harding delves deep into the archival records and comes to some startling conclusions. A complex tale of courage, tenacity, hubris, and arrogance this is an exciting exploration of one of WWII’s lesser known but never the less pivotal incidents.”
SEA CLASSICS, 06/2011
Chapter 1 A Ship Fine and Sturdy 9
Chapter 2 The Family Business 20
Chapter 3 To the Land of Aloha 32
Chapter 4 Captain and Crew 45
Chapter 5 Predator at Large 65
Chapter 6 A Target Found 78
Chapter 7 Destruction from the Depths 93
Chapter 8 Bad News Travels ... 111
Chapter 9 Rebirth of a Mystery 149
Chapter 10 A Story Long Delayed 167
Chapter 11 Mysteries Resolved 181