Tag Archives: One Book One Nebraska

‘All the Gallant Men: The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor’


Donald Stratton, native of Red Cloud, Nebraska, tells the story of how he survived the sinking of the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Stratton was severely burned and survived only by crossing a rope, hand over hand, far above the water to another ship. Stratton was one of the 335 men onboard who survived the attack. Over 1500 sailors were onboard the USS Arizona at the time.

Hundreds and hundreds of books have been written about World War II. This slim book stands out because it tells a personal story, with just enough backstory to put the reader in the time and place but not so much that someone who isn’t a WWII buff wouldn’t enjoy it.

Stratton’s story of grit and perseverance is incredible. After being medically discharged he recovered from his burns and then reenlisted in the Navy. Stratton fought in the first battle of WWII and the last major battle of the war, at Okinawa. Towards the end of the book he warns the reader to not forget lessons learned at Pearl Harbor. As a veteran he is proud of his country, but he sees serious flaws in how the government and the armed services in particular handled information hinting at an impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He encourages leaders to be expedient with passing down information so military leaders can make informed decisions.

“In January 1941, Admiral Kimmel and General Short were advised by the secretaries of the Navy and the Army that Japan might launch a surprise attack against the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. They went on to say the attack would most likely be from the air…Overconfident is too generous a term. The more accurate word is arrogant. We just thought we knew it all.”

Donald Stratton passed away this spring in Colorado Springs. He wanted people to not forget what happened during the attack on Pearl Harbor and he fought for recognition of the sailor who tossed the rope, against orders, that he and his crewmates were able to cross over into the USS Vestal.

You can find “All the Gallant Men” on the biography shelf at the Gering Public Library. We also have a large variety of WWII biographies and more detailed books about the war.

June 21, 2020 | www.starherald.com

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NCompass Live: 2020 One Book One Nebraska: ‘All the Gallant Men’

Celebrate the 2020 One Book One Nebraska selection, All the Gallant Men, with us on NCompass Live, Wednesday, February 19, 10:00am-11:00am CT. The recording of this FREE NCompass Live webinar is now available via the NCompass Live website.

In this sixteenth year of One Book One Nebraska, Nebraska libraries and other literary and cultural organizations continue to plan activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans to read and discuss the same book. Join us to hear more about this state reading promotion activity, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and the Nebraska Library Commission.

We are very pleased to announce that our 2020 selection is, All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor (William Morrow, 2016) by Donald Stratton, with Ken Gire.

Join Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Communication Coordinator Tessa Terry, and Nebraska Center for the Book Board Member Becky Faber to:

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s year-long, statewide celebration featuring All the Gallant Men, by Donald Stratton.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss All the Gallant Men.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the 2020 Celebration of Nebraska Books, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2020 Nebraska Book Awards.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Which Coding Language Should I Learn?
  • March 4 – The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending
  • March 11- Holiday Break at the Library!

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Governor Ricketts Proclaims 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men

January 13, 2020

Rod Wagner

Governor Ricketts Proclaims 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men   

On Jan. 13, 2020 Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation honoring 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor (William Morrow, 2016) by Donald Stratton with Ken Gire. Rebecca Faber, Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB) Board member presented the governor with a copy of the book. All the Gallant Men is the first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor. Born in Inavale, Nebraska and raised in Red Cloud, Donald Stratton joined the Navy in 1940 at the age of eighteen. On December 7, 1941 he was a Seaman First Class on the USS Arizona. Stratton’s account of the Pearl Harbor attack is seventy-five years in the making, as he finally shares his personal tale at the age of ninety-four. His story is one of survival and determination as he recovered from the severe injuries he sustained in the attack, and ultimately re-enlisted to fight again.

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, and Humanities Nebraska is entering its sixteenth year. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events to encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities are available at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted there and on http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.  

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As Nebraska’s state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services-“bringing together people and information.”


The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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