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All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor
     

All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor

5.0 4
by Donald Stratton
 

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THE FIRST MEMOIR BY A USS ARIZONA SURVIVOR: Donald Stratton, one of the battleship's five living heroes, delivers a "powerful" and "intimate"* eyewitness account of Pearl Harbor and his unforgettable return to the fight

At 8:10 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Seaman First

Overview

THE FIRST MEMOIR BY A USS ARIZONA SURVIVOR: Donald Stratton, one of the battleship's five living heroes, delivers a "powerful" and "intimate"* eyewitness account of Pearl Harbor and his unforgettable return to the fight

At 8:10 a.m. on December 7, 1941, Seaman First Class Donald Stratton was consumed by an inferno. A million pounds of explosives had detonated beneath his battle station aboard the USS Arizona, barely fifteen minutes into Japan’s surprise attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor. Near death and burned across two thirds of his body, Don, a nineteen-year-old Nebraskan who had been steeled by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, summoned the will to haul himself hand over hand across a rope tethered to a neighboring vessel. Forty-five feet below, the harbor’s flaming, oil-slick water boiled with enemy bullets; all around him the world tore itself apart.

In this extraordinary, never-before-told eyewitness account of the Pearl Harbor attack—the only memoir ever written by a survivor of the USS Arizona—ninety-four-year-old veteran Donald Stratton finally shares his unforgettable personal tale of bravery and survival on December 7, 1941, his harrowing recovery, and his inspiring determination to return to the fight.

Don and four other sailors made it safely across the same line that morning, a small miracle on a day that claimed the lives of 1,177 of their Arizona shipmates—approximately half the American fatalaties at Pearl Harbor. Sent to military hospitals for a year, Don refused doctors’ advice to amputate his limbs and battled to relearn how to walk. The U.S. Navy gave him a medical discharge, believing he would never again be fit for service, but Don had unfinished business. In June 1944, he sailed back into the teeth of the Pacific War on a destroyer, destined for combat in the crucial battles of Leyte Gulf, Luzon, and Okinawa, thus earning the distinction of having been present for the opening shots and the final major battle of America’s Second World War.

As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack approaches, Don, a great-grandfather of five and one of six living survivors of the Arizona, offers an unprecedentedly intimate reflection on the tragedy that drew America into the greatest armed conflict in history. All the Gallant Men is a book for the ages, one of the most remarkable—and remarkably inspiring—memoirs of any kind to appear in recent years.

*Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

New York Post
“Stratton tells his epic story in the memoir All the Gallant Men. ... Stratton would have been among the 1,177 USS Arizona shipmates — out of 1,511 aboard — who perished if not for a nail-biting escape.”
Daily Mail (UK)
“[An] epic tale.”
Bookreporter.com
“Ninety-four-year-old veteran Donald Stratton delivers an extraordinary firsthand account in All the Gallant Men.”
Military.com
“An amazing story, and we’re lucky that Don Stratton decided to share it.
BILL O'REILLY
“If you really want to know what happened at Pearl Harbor, you’ll want to read [Donald Stratton’s] book.”
Cal Thomas
“Add[s] to the historical knowledge of Pearl Harbor. ... Deeply personal. ... Stratton’s book reminds us of a better America, an America that was strong in character, not just military power. ... As Stratton reminds us, true greatness comes from within.”
Library Journal
10/01/2016
Approaching the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Stratton's (one of the few survivors) memoir, cowritten with Gire (Windows of the Soul), offers an intimate account of his experiences on the USS Arizona and beyond. The narrative begins with a look at his childhood, explaining how a need for employment during the Great Depression compelled many of his generation to join the service and how that attitude changed after Pearl Harbor. It then sets the context and time line of the attack and shares the accounts of various shipmates. Thoughtful yet concise, Stratton relates his subsequent recovery and return to duty and analyzes the encounters that have helped to shape his life. Stratton's story parallels those of many servicemen. The details may change, but the mental and physical challenges are often similar: survivor's guilt, vengefulness, and difficulties in accepting and granting forgiveness. VERDICT Gire corroborates Stratton's accounts while allowing the author's powerful voice to shine through this volume that will sit nicely alongside other World War II memoirs and firsthand tales of combat. It would work well as a YA introduction to Pearl Harbor and to frontline servicemen's experiences. See also Gordon Prange's At Dawn We Slept and "Pearl Harbor, 75 Years Later," LJ 9/15/16.—Maria Bagshaw, Elgin Community Coll. Lib., IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062645371
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/22/2016
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
3,459
File size:
6 MB

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Meet the Author

Born in 1922, Donald Stratton grew up in Red Cloud, Nebraska. Upon graduating high school in 1940, he enlisted in the United States Navy, and reported for duty on the battleship USS Arizona. After more than a year of recuperation following the Pearl Harbor attacks, Stratton reenlisted in the Navy and was commissioned to the destroyer USS Stack. From 1944-45, he served in the Pacific at the naval campaigns for New Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa. He has been married to his wife, Velma, for sixty-six years. They live in Colorado Springs.


Ken Gire is the bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Windows of the Soul. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University and Dallas Theological Seminary.

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All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
History comes alive when told through the eyes of a survivor. An excellent read-a must read for any WWII buff.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Such a deep personal story that really brings to light all the emotional scars an event like Pearl Harbor can leave.
Anonymous 6 months ago
"All The Gallant Men" deserves more than 5 stars. This is a well written and incredible memoir of an incredible period in the history of the United States and the world. Stratton suffered greatly but in all humility he shares Eleanor Roosevelt's Wartime Prayer and asks the question of himself " Dear Lord, Lest I continue My complacent way, Help me to remember that somewhere, Somehow out there A man died for me today. As long as there be war, I then must Ask and answer Am I worth dying for?"
Anonymous 8 months ago
Great book. I couldn't put it down.