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Reviews and Comments

“There is an image etched in the minds of every American when they hear the date December 7th, 1941. It is an image of the Arizona, sunk to its waterline, burning and smoking where it was once moored in the placid waters of Pearl Harbor Bay. For those who venture to Oahu and visit that solemn memorial, they bear witness to the once proud remnants of steel hull that lie just below the surface. In Repose offers us that rare glimpse. This book serves as more than just a memoir of that experience, it offers students of history and maritime archeology alike a personal tour of the Arizona below the surface, what forces shaped its final contours, and how the elements continue to wear down this still proud icon of America. For those who plan to visit the memorial in Pearl Harbor, this book should be read before you arrive as it will make your time at the museum’s underwater model of the Arizona for more meaningful than the cursory walk around most visitors dedicate to this amazing display. Well written and organized, O’Connor’s In Repose is a quick read that I expect will educate even the most well-read Arizona enthusiast.”

“At first, I was surprised that no photographs were part of the book, but once engrossed in your narrative, I had a clear vision of what you were seeing at the time. I also used several reference books I have to correlate what you were describing, and plotting your trips around and over the Arizona. I can’t imagine the “honor” of being able to do that!”

“I just want you to know that I very much enjoyed reading IN REPOSE.  I just wish I had read your book before touring Arizona!  I am keeping the book of course, but sharing with others.  Thank you!”

“Excellent book, – my wife bought it for me and I’m halfway through. The language is just right, as a Navy veteran I understand exactly what the author is discussing. We visit the memorial just about every year, and have taken all of young people in our family. I’ll share the book with them of course. Nice job!”

“In Repose” offers a fascinating new perspective to the story of USS Arizona and is a very fitting title for what the great ship has become. The ship became a tragic icon and rallying cry for America’s official entry into World War Two and the subject of study and debate for historians ever since her loss. Brian O’Connor offers a new perspective to the volumes of documents, books, and movies by telling the story of the ship in its underwater state and as a sacred site of remembrance. He offers a view afforded very few people by virtue of his description of the underwater study and maintenance of the ship. Based upon my own study of the attack and ARIZONA in particular, “In Repose” accurately depicts the loss, subsequent salvage work and construction of the Memorial spanning the wreck. It has sufficient detail to answer many questions about not only the condition of the wreck from a historian’s point of view but also offers insight to an emotional aspect often lost in the “stats and facts” of historical (especially military) study. It does not get lost in technicalities and become a dry, “sterile” fact sheet nor does it go on a tangent of superfluous sentiment. Well-thought-out and easily followed, “In Repose” is an “easy read” and very enjoyable from the start. I found it very difficult to put down.”

“What an incredible “dream come true” story for the author to not only get to experience diving on the USS ARIZONA, but that he found the words to share his story with the rest of us. An excellent read that will pull you in whether you are a history buff or not. The technical explanations of the sinking of the ship are fascinating in their complexity and the author’s ability to detail them clearly. Brian’s passion for the subject is apparent and any time you can read something that the author is so invested in, makes it a worthy read.”

“Awesome book by a former Navy Diver. I had the honor and privilege of also diving the USS Arizona years ago when I was in the Naval Reserves. Awesome and proud experience that nobody can take away from me. To dive the USS Arizona, you have to be a military diver and invited. Again, great book well worth reading.”

“Easy reading, and as a fellow diver I enjoyed the details, like I was there.”

“If you’ve ever been to the Arizona Memorial or to the islands, you will enjoy this read. Very well written and very interesting. Brings back lots of memories.”

“I read the first few pages and I am hooked. It is the next book on my list to read this winter. Brian has a way of captivating his audience. Thank you very much.”

“Very interesting historical reading about diving, documenting and American history. Enjoyed very much.”

“If you have an interest in Pearl Harbor, or the USS Arizona in particular, this book is a must read.”

“The way Brian describes what he saw down deep in the ocean was as if you were seeing it with your own eyes. My husband is not much of a reader, but he could not put this book down. It’s a great read. We are planning on giving some as Christmas gifts!”

“At first I was, honestly, a bit skeptical. I am not a big fan of history and didn’t know much about the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was intrigued by the beautiful photo on the cover (yes, I judge books by their cover…lol) and had to check it out.

The book was fascinating. Mr. O’Connor’s depth of knowledge is impressive. The information that is covered in the book is interesting. I felt like he was sitting with me telling me his story personally. It is very easy to read and provides some very vivid details. I could easily imagine standing at the visitor center looking down into the water and seeing the divers swimming around Arizona doing their regular maintenance.

I sincerely hope that this is the first of many more books by this author as he alludes to other adventures he has had in his long Naval career.”

“This book on the Arizona was by far the best I have read. It not only brought back memories of my visit to the memorial, it made me remember my Navy career and my touches with history.

Your work with the NPS and researchers insures our combined history will be conserved for everyone for eons. WELL DONE shipmate.”

“Thank you, Mr. O’Connor, for allowing me to glimpse a very important part of our Nation’s history, through a lens I never expected. I recommend this read to anyone who has a passion for history!”

“Mr. O’Connor paints a vivid picture, not only through documenting and preserving the ship, but allowing readers a glimpse into the battle itself. He honors the memory of our men, forever preserving their ultimate sacrifice.”

“This personable author has had the privilege of an experience that very few will ever know. The story is compelling and told with reverence. Reading it is like joining him on a dive and meeting history face to face. Savor the emotion.”

“In Repose, at first glance a somewhat unassuming book with a beautiful cover. I sat down and started reading. Wow! Totally not what I expected at all. I found this to be an easy read. It is as if the author, Brian O’Connor, is sitting there next to you telling his story of the USS Arizona. What an adventure it was! The adventure of a lifetime to say the least. As a bonus, not only does Brian tell you about his dives on the remains of Arizona but he takes you on a couple more adventures. I truly hope that there is another book in his future detailing some more of his dives. What an interesting man with an amazing Naval career.”

“Using sleuthful investigatory discipline and expert analysis, PO O’Connor has finally produced what should be the final word on the last moments of one of America’s greatest symbols of its military might.  His book, recently released, is called simply, “In Repose” the final resting state of the U.S.S. Arizona with the remains of her crew still entombed at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.  It’s the final accounting of what happened to the crew of the Arizona as it sank to the bottom of the harbor, but has risen in historic glory to the men who fought valiantly to save her.”

“Not all of us can make it to the Arizona Memorial, and fewer still have slipped beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor to view her wreck directly. Brian OConnor
has had the privilege of caring for Battleship Arizona and tells his story of the path to direct contact with a ship he loves and of the many dives and the profound affect they had on him. Mr. O’Connor covers what happened to the ship in technical detail, and we learn how the ship’s shattered hulk was mapped out and inspected, in a caring and respectful manner decades later. This is a fascinating read for those of us who can’t make the final few feet of a pilgrimage to witness one of the United States’ most catastrophic military losses.

“Although many visitors to Pearl harbor are familiar with the USS Arizona Memorial, author and Navy diver Brian O’Connor’s book takes you under water to explore the ship herself. From an off chance encounter to fulfilling his lifelong dream of actually diving on ARIZONA, the author takes the reader on a detailed journey from bow to stern, a unique and fascinating depiction that broadens the historical perspective.”

“Each December 7th, pennants are raised from the signal tower in the midst of Pearl Harbor. Today’s sailors find the combination of pennants as an unreadable code. Yet the sailors of 1941, still standing at their posts aboard USS ARIZONA and USS UTAH, can read this 1941 era message clearly: To All Ships; Well Done.

This volume gives that respect in like manner … “

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