The Finest Hours

Early in the winter of 1952, one of the most daring rescues you probably never heard about happened off the east coast of the United States. Two WWII era tankers, built in haste to provide needed supplies during the war, broke apart in a fierce storm known as a Nor’ Easter. The sailors on duty that night from multiple Coast Guard stations respond quickly and put their lives on the line to rescue the crews from the two stranded tankers. They will battle through icy cold water and seventy foot seas in small boats to get the crews back home.

“All four felt gripped by fear thinking of the storm-tossed seas, but each mustered the determination to keep his anxiety in check and do what had to be done.”

Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman have done a superb job in researching and telling this tale in The Finest Hours. The true story is told from not only the perspective of the Coast Guardsman, but also the civilian crews on the merchant ships.