AN EXTRAORDINARY AND UNFORGETTABLE NEW FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF D-DAY
Seventy-five years ago, he hit Omaha Beach with the first wave. Now Ray Lambert, ninety-eight years old, delivers one of the most remarkable memoirs of our time, a tour-de-force of remembrance evoking his role as a decorated World War II medic who risked his life to save the heroes of D-Day.
At five a.m. on June 6, 1944, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ray Lambert worked his way through a throng of nervous soldiers to a wind-swept deck on a troopship off the coast of Normandy, France. A familiar voice cut through the wind and rumble of the ship’s engines. “Ray!” called his brother, Bill. Ray, head of a medical team for the First Division’s famed 16th Infantry Regiment, had already won a silver star in 1943 for running through German lines to rescue trapped men, one of countless rescues he’d made in North Africa and Sicily.
“This is going to be the worst yet,” Ray told his brother, who served alongside him throughout the war.
“If I don’t make it,” said Bill, “take care of my family.”
“I will,” said Ray. He thought about his wife and son–a boy he had yet to see. “Same for me.” The words were barely out of Ray’s mouth when a shout came from below.
To the landing craft!
The brothers parted. Their destinies lay ten miles away, on the bloodiest shore of Normandy, a plot of Omaha Beach ironically code named “Easy Red.”
Less than five hours later, after saving dozens of lives and being wounded at least three separate times, Ray would lose consciousness in the shallow water of the beach under heavy fire. He would wake on the deck of a landing ship to find his battered brother clinging to life next to him.
Every Man a Hero is the unforgettable story not only of what happened in the incredible and desperate hours on Omaha Beach, but of the bravery and courage that preceded them, throughout the Second World War—from the sands of Africa, through the treacherous mountain passes of Sicily, and beyond to the greatest military victory the world has ever known.
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About the Author
Kaleo Griffith is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and classically trained actor. He graduated cum laude from Franklin Pierce University with a BA in theater, holds an MFA in acting from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has appeared in such television series as Law & Order and Reggie’s Family & Friends, among others.
Jim DeFelice is the co-author of the five-million-copy #1 New York Times bestseller American Sniper and the New York Times bestsellers American Wife and Code Name: Johnny Walker. He is the author of Omar Bradley: General at War, and writes a number of acclaimed military thrillers, including the Rogue Warrior series from Richard Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team 6, and the novels in the Dreamland series with Dale Brown.
Table of Contents
List of Maps xi
Introduction: O-Hour+15 Jim DeFelice xxiii
Prologue Why We Remember 1
1 Early Days 5
2 Echoes of War 17
3 Infamy and England 39
4 Lighting the Torch 53
5 My Life in My Hands 83
6 Husky 101
7 (Some) Rest for the Weary 135
8 A Mighty Endeavor 155
9 Beyond Despair 181
10 Deliverance 189
11 Breakout 201
12 The Rewards of Peace 225
Thirteen Legacy 235
Collaborator's Note: Bringing Ray's Story to the Page Jim DeFelice 239
Appendix A The Combat Medics of World War II 245
Appendix B Battle Fatigue, Psychoneurosis, and PTSD in World War II 251
Appendix C Further Reading 255
Notes and Sources 259