• Days of Steel Rain

  • The Epic Story of a WWII Vengeance Ship in the Year of the Kamikaze
  • By: Brent E. Jones
  • Narrated by: Dan Woren
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This intimate true account of Americans at war follows the epic drama of an unlikely group of men forced to work together in the face of an increasingly desperate enemy during the final year of World War II.

Sprawling across the Pacific, this untold story follows the crew of the newly-built "vengeance ship" USS Astoria, named for her sunken predecessor lost earlier in the war. At its center lies US Navy Captain George Dyer, who vowed to return to action after suffering a horrific wound. He accepted the ship's command in 1944, knowing it would be his last chance to avenge his injuries and salvage his career. Yet with the nation's resources and personnel stretched thin by the war, he found that just getting the ship into action would prove to be a battle.

Tensions among the crew flared from the start. Astoria's sailors and Marines were a collection of replacements, retreads, and older men. Some were broken by previous traumatic combat, most had no desire to be in the war, yet all found themselves fighting an enemy more afraid of surrender than death.

The reluctant ship was called to respond to challenges that its men never could have anticipated. From a typhoon where the ocean was enemy to daring rescue missions, a gallant turn at Iwo Jima, and the ultimate crucible against the Kamikaze at Okinawa, they endured the worst of the final year of the war at sea.

Days of Steel Rain brings to life more than a decade of research and firsthand interviews, depicting with unprecedented insight the singular drama of a captain grappling with an untested crew and men who had endured enough amidst some of the most brutal fighting of World War II. Throughout, Brent Jones fills the narrative with secret diaries, memoirs, letters, interpersonal conflicts, and the innermost thoughts of the Astoria men - and more than 80 photographs that have never before been published. Days of Steel Rain weaves an intimate, unforgettable portrait of leadership, heroism, endurance, and redemption.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Brent E. Jones (P)2021 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Days of Steel Rain relates in graphic and dramatic detail how cruiser USS Astoria and her sailors withstood Japan's dreaded Kamikaze assaults during the most deadly [and] decisive campaigns of the Pacific War. A first-rate account of American courage, selfless sacrifice, and perseverance against high odds in the crucible of combat. A must-read for anyone interested in the battle history of U.S. Navy." (Edward J. Marolda, former senior historian of the US Navy)

"Brent E. Jones strikes gold with his stirring Days of Steel Rain, which relates the exploits of his World War II relative, Lawrence Jones, and his shipmates aboard the light cruiser, USS Astoria, as they battle their foe off Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Japan in the Pacific War's final year. Relying on vivid combat sequences, Jones has provided touching testimony that humans, not guns and weapons, win wars. He offers a fitting tribute to his relative and to the other courageous sailors who manned that cruiser." (John Wukovits, author of Tin Can Titans and Dogfight over Tokyo

"Finally, a seafaring story we can steer into at top speed. This is World War II as we seldom get to see it. First-hand. Fast-paced. And arriving not a moment too late. Batten down the hatches - you’re about to follow a fraternity of heroes as they plunge into chaos. It’s time to go to sea.” (Adam Makos, author of the New York Times best seller A Higher Call

What listeners say about Days of Steel Rain

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The Other Side of the Story: USS Astoria CL-90

This is a unique, revealing, detailed account of a fighting Light Cruiser during the waning months of the Pacific War. It traces the challenges faced in bringing this ship to the war while providing a contemporary view of issues those challenges exposed. Far from the mythological halo cast upon “The Greatest Generation,” this book shows the rather ugly underbelly of that canonization. Not all shipyard construction was efficient and effective, not all production was pristine, and not everyone wanted to go in harm’s way for the USA. In spite of the difficulties encountered, the ship’s Captain managed to overcome these adversities, and take Astoria to war, where she proved herself, over and over. The book is captivatingly well written, the contemporary history enlightening. The author thoroughly researched his subject and presented it in such a way to quickly gain then maintain interest. The narration was almost flawless. Highly recommended!

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Read it you won't regret it!

Get ready to take a journey with this incredible ship and men. You'll get an understanding what they went through, what they sacrificed, and why they didn't talk about the war that often. Mr. Jones does a fantastic job of putting you on the ship during the storms, battles, attacks, and everyday life of the men of Astoria. They took care of her and in turn she took care of them!

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The real story.

This book add something to every book written about the Pacific Theater. Days of Steel Rain fills in so many blanks on the story of this epic time.

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Document of Naval conflict to win back the Pacific

This book is based on the diaries, of the salors in WWII on the ship "Mighty 90".

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Steel Rain is an American Treasure

the audio version puts you almost on the deck of the ship. this captures the details that fade into history