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Publisher's Summary

A compilation of real stories told by more than 90 former officers and sailors who served aboard the USS Johnston DD-821. The stories are in each sailor's or officer's own words. It includes stories from commissioning to decommissioning plus WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, and the cold war. A must-hear for any former destroyer sailor or officer, or anyone simply interested in US naval history.

©2010 George A. Sites (P)2015 George A .Sites

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Life on the open seas during the cold war

If you could sum up The Real Story of the USS Johnston DD-821 in three words, what would they be?

Real salior stories.

What other book might you compare The Real Story of the USS Johnston DD-821 to and why?

I would compare it to George's earlier titles Combat Veterans. As it compiles a series of stories compiled directly from the men and women from all standings who were abord the ship.

What about CAPT Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret’s performance did you like?

I have listened to Keven narrate 3 books in total now, all military based and his style and tone suites these books perfectly in my opinion, his voice certainlt gives weight to the stories.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Sea Guardian

Any additional comments?

I found this book very enjoyable. There were a lot of small facts and interesting points given by the men who shared their stories abord the USS Johnston which gave a good sense of the everyday life serving abord the ship, from the cooks' mess to the C.O.

*I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Read For Any Navy Vet

If you could sum up The Real Story of the USS Johnston DD-821 in three words, what would they be?

Brought Back A Lot Old Memories Being A Navy Vet Myself

Who was your favorite character and why?

ALL

Which character – as performed by CAPT Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret – was your favorite?

ALL

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

None

Any additional comments?

Enjoyed Listening To It Very Much

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Stories

Any additional comments?

Kevin Spalding brings to life the stories of the crew of the USS Johnston, and gathered by George Sites. Together they give you a glimpse in time of the life of a Navy ship. They capture the life of a Sailor through his own eyes, regardless of decade or rank, and really gives you a true appreciation for the men that stood the watch day in and day out for our country. I was particularly taken with the stories of the USS Johnston and crew during World War II, and felt like I was really there listening to Kevin Spalding recount the narrative offered by the surviving crew member.

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USS Johnston, Great story and entertainment

Where does The Real Story of the USS Johnston DD-821 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Each genre is different and this is one of the best military books I have listened to. It had great detail with a personal touch on each of the stories.

What did you like best about this story?

Having the sailors tell their most interesting stories added a very personal touch. It was more than just historical information.

What about CAPT Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret’s performance did you like?

The story is well read and clearly spoken by Kevin Spalding.clearly spoken

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The emotion and pride that the stories portrayed demonstrates the quality of our military personnel.

Any additional comments?

A very good book worth listening to.

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  • EP
  • Walnut Creek, CA United States
  • 01-07-16

A piece of US Navy history

Would you listen to The Real Story of the USS Johnston DD-821 again? Why?

Yes-because I love history, especially military history

What other book might you compare The Real Story of the USS Johnston DD-821 to and why?

Any number of audiobooks on military history

Have you listened to any of CAPT Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

N/A

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved multiple times on the immense bravery and commitment of the men on the ships (note: there were two!)

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review

  • Overall
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  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 11-24-15

A little repetitive but very interesting

While George Stiles is listed as the author of this book, he isn't really. He's the curator, collecting stories from dozens of shipmates who sailed on USS Johnston DD-821 and organising them. Each story is told by the shipmate in their own words, telling of their experience on the ship. Stiles has done great work in searching these guys out and collecting their stories, he also tells a little of the history of the ship to provide context to the stories.

The book actually opens not with USS Johnston DD-821 but with it's predecessor USS Johnston DD-557, a WW2 Destroyer that was sunk in the battle of Leyte Gulf, from which DD-821 get's its name (and before that the name came from a USN Civil War veteran. Stiles has collected a story from DD-557 telling a first hand account of the battle and sinking, before moving to the DD-821 stories.

As Stiles opening admits in his introduction, many of these stories get a little repetitive, as the often cover the same or similar situations. Even with the repetition the stories are all interesting, mostly because of the different voices they are told in. Some a very factual, some a more comedic telling of antics on and off the ship, some are "we almost made a cold war hot" stories and some a simply shout outs to friends they served with. It's a great mix, showing the variety of people and events the ship has seen.

The stories cover the 25-odd years of service of the ship, and covers a few interesting time periods (stories reference shooting of JFK, Cuban missile crisis and a few others).

Stiles closes by providing some details on what happened with the ship after it was decommissioned from the USN - sold to Taiwan and eventually sunk (interestingly wikipedia lists fate as "unknown").

The narrator, Capt Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret, does well with the narration. He is crisp and clear and easy to understand. Nothing outstanding, but he made the subject matter easy to follow.