Interview with Donald Stratton and Ken Gire

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

Donald Stratton

author of "All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor"
Ken Gire All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor

Ken Gire

author of "All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor"
John A. Girardi

John A. Girardi

Co-Host & Partner at Girardi | Keese

Donald Stratton, author of "All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor"

Donald Stratton's Website

Born in 1922, Donald Stratton grew up in Red Cloud, Nebraska. Upon graduating high school in 1940, he enlisted in the United States Navy, and reported for duty on the battleship USS Arizona. After more than a year of recuperation following the Pearl Harbor attacks, Stratton reenlisted in the Navy and was commissioned to the destroyer USS Stack. From 1944-45, he served in the Pacific at the naval campaigns for New Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa. He has been married to his wife, Velma, for sixty-six years. They live in Colorado Springs.

The Book: "All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor"

ISBN: 0062645358

Get the book

THE FIRST MEMOIR BY A USS ARIZONA SURVIVOR: Donald Stratton, one of the battleship’s five living heroes, delivers an “epic,”* “powerful,”** and “intimate”** eyewitness account of Pearl Harbor and his unforgettable return to the fight. A TOP-TEN NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

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.

*New York Post

**Library Journal

Ken Gire, author of "All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor"

Ken Gire attended Texas Christian University where he earned a degree in History and Speech. In 1978 he graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Masters in Old Testament Literature and Exegisis. From there he embarked on a career of fulltime writing which has resulted in the publication of more than twenty books, several of which have won prestigious awards. He has worked with well known names such as Chuck Swindoll and Eugene Peterson. As well, Ken serves as a speaker in a variety of settings such as the Billy Graham Training Center, Young Life and Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Praise Gathering.

Ken has a heart for helping individuals create space for reflection so as to develop their personal relationships with others and God. While his books speak to the deep seated need of individuals to slow down and live more reflective lives, Ken has also founded a nonprofit ministry to address this issue. Reflective Living works with individuals, helping them to develop a more reflective lifestyle in order that they might experience radical change, authentic relationships and most importantly: a deeper walk with God.

The Book: "All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor"

ISBN: 0062645358

Get the book

THE FIRST MEMOIR BY A USS ARIZONA SURVIVOR: Donald Stratton, one of the battleship’s five living heroes, delivers an “epic,”* “powerful,”** and “intimate”** eyewitness account of Pearl Harbor and his unforgettable return to the fight. A TOP-TEN NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

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.

*New York Post

**Library Journal

John A. Girardi, Co-Host & Partner at Girardi | Keese

John A. Girardi's Website

John Girardi, Partner at Girardi Keese, is one of America's Finest Trial Lawyers and our Co-Host, as always, brings out the most important key elements to the success of today's guests. He and his firm have been dedicated to working hard and getting the best possible recovery for its clients. Girardi Keese's mission is to provide aggressive representation of individuals and businesses who have been injured in sous way, whether by physical harm, property damage, damage to business, or damage to economic interests. Girardi & Keese has two offices in California: Downtown Los Angeles and San Bernardino.