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

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

Title:All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor
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  • Wow! This is the greatest non fiction book that I have ever read. From the beginning to the end it will grab your heart and move you to tears. I had to read awhile and put it down to dry tears and the...

  • I finished this book last night, the eve the 75th anniversary. I don't know where to begin a review of this book. So I think a small quote from page 109 will say it all."Dear Lord,Lest I continueMy co...

  • What an amazing man and story. When I got to the end and found out he lives in Colorado Springs I emailed my dad (who also lives in the Springs). We are going to visit in August and I would like to bu...

  • The memories of a patriot, a war hero, and a great American. If you rate this book anything less than 5 stars you need to have your head examined. Robert Walker...

  • An excellent book who the author survived the U.S.S. Arizona explosion during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Stratton, A seaman first class in the United States Navy ...

  • I wanted to give it a 4, but the writing style jumped and although the time frames were linear, it was difficult to context his life as a whole, IMHO. Not that you didn't get to know Donald and his he...

  • A love story. A sailor and his ship. The Arizona.Possably the best book I have ever read. Just the right length and not alot of flowery descriptions.. Just the facts and such an emotional feel to Dona...

  • Exceeds expectations. The writing was good. The voice was clear. I learned so much from it. The telling of the events of Pearl Harbor and afterwards was so matter of fact. The narrative was not colore...

  • Raw emotionI felt this memoir. It got to me. I could make out the scenes in my mind. The descriptions were palpable. The history rich with sorrow. So sad for the few young people that lived with the h...

  • This book is a great combination of author and sailor who survived the sinking of the USS Arizona at Hawaii of December 7, 1941 driving the US into World War II. Donald Stratton was a teenager living ...

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