All the Gallant Men

An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor
Narrated by: Mike Ortego
Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (417 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

What listeners say about All the Gallant Men

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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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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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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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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.

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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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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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Should be required reading for every American!

I knew of Don Stratton because I’m a fellow Nebraskan. What a story he told and what a life he led! Wish I had read this before visiting Pearl Harbor & the Arizona Memorial. RIP Don.

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A story, a book, a gift to all.

Having relatives who served at Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, and the battle of the Coral Sea, the authors brought the period to life and the sacrifices by all the gallant men. Don, thank you so much for sharing your story with us; Ken, thank you for such a great job putting it down on paper; and Mike, a special thanks to you for bringing this book to life.

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A war story and human drama

I thought I knew most of what this is to know about Pearl Harbor....I was wrong. Well narrated, the story of this tragedy of such a nation changing event unfolds with nuanced heroism and a no nonsense style that keeps the listener totally captivated. Don't miss it.

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Great story - great man!

I had not heard of Don Stratton until he died and was to be buried in my home town of Red Cloud, NE. After hearing his story, I am proud to say I’m from the same little town. He chose not to have his ashes interred at the Arizona. He said he’d already been incinerated once, he didn’t want to do it again. Truly great story by a truly gallant man!