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All the Gallant Men

An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor
Narrated by: Mike Ortego
Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: History, Military
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

The extraordinary first and only memoir by a survivor of the USS Arizona, published in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

An unforgettable and moving story of tragedy, heroism, resilience, and redemption that is sure to become an enduring document of American history, All the Brave Men is a sailor's moment-by-moment eyewitness account of the Japanese surprise attack that decimated the US Pacific Fleet in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and his inspiring return to active duty to carry on the Allied fight in the Pacific.

On December 7, 1941, the Arizona was moored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, alongside seven other American battleships. At 7:55 a.m., the leisurely Sunday morning's serenity was broken by the drone of bomb-laden Japanese Zeros swooping from the sky. The Arizona was the first battleship targeted in a massive surprise attack by the Empire of Japan; 353 imperial warplanes swarmed Battleship Row and neighboring Hickam Airfield in a meticulously planned assault launched to cripple America's Pacific Fleet.

Amid the terrifying chaos of explosions and incessant machine gun fire, 19-year-old Seaman First Class Donald Stratton raced to his battle station on the Arizona. Barely 15 minutes into the attack, a 1,760-pound armor-piercing bomb hit the ship, setting off a million pounds of munitions and 180,000 gallons of aviation fuel aboard. The explosion lifted the massive battleship out of the water, causing the forward deck to buckle, and engulfed it in an enormous 50-foot fireball that tore through the antiaircraft platform where Don and his team were stationed.

Burned over more than 65 percent of his body, Don, with his gunnery team, miraculously escaped the inferno; using their charred hands, they climbed across a 70-foot-long rope stretched 45 feet above flaming, oil-slicked water to reach the Vestal, moored nearby. While Don made it out alive, 1,177 of his crewmates perished - more than half the American casualty total of the attack.

But this remarkable story does not end here. After more than a year of grueling treatment, including learning to walk again, Don recovered and doggedly battled navy bureaucracy to reenlist. Determined to take the fight to the enemy, he participated in some of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific, including the invasions of New Guinea, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

Told in remarkable, never-before-revealed first-person detail, this powerful and uplifting memoir of war and survival resonates with the spirit, heart, and undaunted courage of such beloved best sellers as Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat.

©2016 Donald Stratton and Ken Gire (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cris Conerty
  • Cris Conerty
  • 15-01-17

Absolutely wonderful book!

I am just a normal middle aged mom with a interest in war history due to my grandfather being a WW2 vet. this book is about much more than the war, or Pearl Harbor. It is full of life lessons and inspiration that made a permanent mark in my mind and on my heart.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-18

To be a classic !

I believe this story should be made into a movie. To go with the movie
"Saving Private Ryan". Outstanding read.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 09-12-16

Fiirst person account of Pearl Harbor attack

94 year old Don Stratton was a 19 year old Navy man aboard the USS Arizona when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941. He writes about his youth in Nebraska , joining the Navy fresh out of high school, the Japanese attack, his injuries (burns over 60% of his body), rejoining the Navy 2 years later despite having been honorably discharged, and his life since. I've toured the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor three times and Mr. Stratton mentions details of which I was unaware. Three of my mothers brothers, two Marines and one Navy sailor, were there on the "day that will live in infamy". All three lived with relatively minor injuries, but none would discuss the attack in detail other than to say they were on duty when the attack occurred and it was horrible.

All the Gallant Men is a must listen treasure which I VERY, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Thank you, Mr. Stratton!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sandcastle
  • 30-12-18

Hard to Verbalize

How they managed to allow me to see and feel a piece of that horrible moment in our history and the affect it had on so many? I am at a loss of words to describe the emotions this story invoked. God Bless our country, our armed forces and all the great things they represent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-11-17

Great book

What a great message. I am am army brat from a father who served 30 years in army / navy and brother served 25 years navy.

What a great story and thank goodness for brave men and women who serve so gallantly.

Our parents generation are truly the greatest ever.

I will be sharing this book with many

Thank you
Mike golden

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  • Scott
  • 27-11-16

Great First Person Account

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes

What did you like best about this story?

The first person account was one of the best I have read about WW2.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

4 people found this helpful

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  • Alan Rasmussen
  • 04-03-20

Intimate, personnal, and relays important lessons.

Relates just how difficult restoration can be. I feel the most important part of the story is how the US put Japan in a position where they had to give up their conquest or strike. It is really what we are doing to Iran and hopefully we are ready for the strike.

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  • Michael Smith
  • 26-02-20

Amazing book!

The stories of these gallant men truly leaves you without words. This is an amazing story and I’m very glad I read it. As a veteran this speaks volumes. You never forget sailing down battleship row and seeing the names of the ships as you go. This story gives a lot of details you normally don’t hear about. Very well written and performance was great.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-02-20

Words can not describe...

One of the best books I have encountered in a long while. While I was taught the history, I lacked the emotion for the event that this gentleman brought to the surface. I will be going back to Oahu to visit the Memorial, this time I will see it with different eyes and respect.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. Learn from a survivor. And cry as you ask yourself, "Am I worth dying for?".

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-02-20

read or listen, it's a must, I thought I knew but

loved it. I learned a lot. but it's not just a documentary it's a life well lived.