All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton
An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor

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Synopsis

The first memoir ever published 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 8:06 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 five 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

 

About Donald Stratton

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Donald G. Stratton was born in 1922 in Inavale, Nebraska. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the Navy, and reported for duty on the USS Arizona on December 9, 1940. After a year of recuperation following the Pearl Harbor attacks, Stratton re-enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned to the USS Stack, where he finished his tour of duty in the Pacific. He is one of only seven living survivors from the USS Arizona. He lives with his wife, Velma, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.Ken Gire is a writer and speaker, and the bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Windows of the Soul and the Moments with the Savior series, and two CS Lewis Honor books. The winner of two Gold Medallion awards, he is a graduate of Texas Christian University and Dallas Theological Seminary, and the founder of Reflective Living, a nonprofit ministry. He lives in Monument, Colorado.
 
Published November 22, 2016 by William Morrow. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Dec 25 2016
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