A Historian’s Book Tour

On July 25th, G.P. Cox, author of Pacific Paratrooper, commented on my post saying we should compare books. So I thought what better way to do this then to do a book tour. Without further ado, I give you GEhistorian’s bookshelf tour.

Up first we have Top Shelf:


From Right to Left:

  • The Story of World War II by Donald Miller
  • London at War by Clive Hardy
  • Churchill and Hitler by John Strawson
  • The Irregulars by Jennet Conant
  • The Spitfire Summer by Malcolm Brown
  • The Battle of Britain: July-October 1940 by Matthew Parker
  • The Few by Alex Kershaw
  • With Wings like Eagles by Michael Korda
  • Never Surrender by John Kelly
  • Churchill’s Grand Alliance by John Charmley
  • Churchill Edited by Martin Gilbert
  • The Last of the Few by Max Arthur
  • Wartime Britain: 1939-1945 by Juliet Gardiner
  • The Blitz by Juliet Gardiner

Next is the Second Shelf:


From Left to Right:

  • The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel
  • Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
  • Flyboys by James Bradley
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James Hornfischer
  • Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II by J. Todd Moye
  • Ike: The American Hero by Michael Korda
  • Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose
  • The Emmons Saga by Edward Billingsley
  • All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton (which isn’t pictured in this photo)
  • At Dawn We Slept by Gordon Prange
  • Target Tokyo by James Scott
  • Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th by Newt Gingrich
  • A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight by Robert Mrazek (this book is actually my Dad’s but he let me keep it on his shelf)

Third Shelf:


From Top to Bottom:

  • The Men Who Tried to Kill Hitler by Manvell Roger and Franekel, Heinrich
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Inside Hitler’s Bunker by Joachim Fest
  • Hey, Mac! This is Serious Business! A Guy Could Get Killed by William McMurdie
  • One Woman Against the Reich by Helmut Ziefle
  • Hiding in the Open: A Holocaust Memoir by Sabina Zimering
  • The Road to Berlin by John Erickson
  • The Cup of Wrath: A Novel Based on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Resistance to Hitler by Mary Glazener

Here is a photo of All the Gallant Men’s new home.

That’s it for now. Okay, G.P. Cox, it is your turn. What books do you have on your bookshelf?

Virtually Meeting Nikki Stratton (News Part 3)

A couple of weeks ago, after reading Donald Stratton’s book, I came across his Facebook page which his granddaughter Nikki started and runs. Here is the link to it: Donald G Stratton. After watching a video Nikki posted of the inside of Donald’s house, I decided to see if Nikki was on Twitter. And sure enough she was. I eagerly followed her and started liking her tweets and photos. I also shared her post regarding Donald Stratton’s birthday.

I commented on one of her photos which was a collage that included a hardbound copy of her grandfather’s memoir, letting her know how much I enjoyed reading her grandfather’s memoir. And to my surprise and excitement she responded back!

This brings me to the news announcement you have all been waiting for.

Donald Stratton signed my copy of his memoir!!!

Here is the conversation that started it all:



My conversation with USS Arizona Survivor Don Stratton’s granddaughter, Nikki Stratton.

I quickly bought my own copy which came in last Monday and then mailed it to her on Tuesday. I was gone for four days coming back yesterday/early Monday morning. My siblings picked up our mail and the signed book was among the mail.

Here is the package it arrived in:


And last but not least his signature:


Isn’t this exciting! I love it! It makes me so happy and honored.

News Part 2

Today is the day you have all been waiting for. Okay more like evening. Sorry, today was pretty hectic so I haven’t been able to post until now.

It came in today! What came in today you ask?

My very own copy of Donald Stratton’s, one of the five survivors of the USS Arizona, memoir All the Gallant Men. I am so excited! It not only adds to my growing WWII book collection but it also adds to my Pacific Theatre section. So far I have three books maybe four if you count The Emmons Saga (hey, the USS Emmons did participate in the Battle of Okinawa and was in fact sunk by Kamikaze planes off the coast of Okinawa so it does count): Gordon Prange’s excellent book At Dawn We Slept, James M Scott’s Target Tokyo which is all about the Doolittle Raid, America’s revenge attack on Tokyo for Pearl Harbor, and now Don’s book, All the Gallant Men.
Goes right in there

Don’s book will be going here.

I know I promised a video of its arrival but I was SO excited when it came in that I didn’t end up filming one. Here is a photo of the box it came in.

FullSizeRender (2)

And here is the photo of the book.

FullSizeRender (3)

I am so glad I was able to purchase this book and add it to my growing WWII library. You can find Part One is this three part journey here. Stay tuned for Part Three, coming soon to your email inbox.

My Hero: Seaman First Class Donald Stratton



When one hears the word hero, who do you envision? Maybe your parents or grandparents. Perhaps even a favorite aunt or uncle. For me, one person comes to mind. Before I tell you a bit about my hero, let me give the definition of hero.

A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.~This definition was taken from Google Dictionary.

Seaman First Class Donald Stratton fits this definition. Donald Stratton was born on July 14th 1922 in a small town in Nebraska.  After graduating from high school in 1940, he joined the United States Navy. He was assigned to the infamous USS Arizona along with 1,500 other men.

Sunday, December 7, 1941 dawned like any other day…until American sailors spotted Japanese planes heading towards them. It was the day the Japanese had chosen for a surprise attack on the United States in retribution for America placing an embargo on oil, a commodity Japan needed and for preventing Japan from invading China.

During the attack, the USS Arizona was hit by three bombs. While the ship was being attacked, Donald and other sailors fired at the planes. It was the third bomb that caused the ship to go down. Donald and six other men escaped the burning USS Arizona via a line attached to the repair ship USS Vestral. 70% of Donald’s body was burned that day.

However, his burns nor his terrifying experience that day kept him from rejoining. This is what makes him a hero. After recuperating for a year, Donald Stratton reenlisted in the United States Navy and joined the Navy ship the USS Stack.  It is for his courage during the attack and afterwards that makes him my hero.

After the war, he married and had four kids. 2016 ushered in the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. To honor the sacrifices made that day and those who survived, Donald Stratton wrote a book telling his life story and what he witnessed on December 7th. The book is called All the Gallant Men. You can purchase it online at stores such as Amazon or at Barnes Noble. I highly recommend reading it.

Another heroic quality of Donald Stratton is his fight for Joe George to receive the Naval recognition he deserves. Joe George was assigned to the repair vessel USS Vestral during the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is because of him that Donald Stratton and five other men from the USS Arizona survived that day. You can read more about Joe George and the rescue of Donald Stratton and five other men in Don’s book.

Donald Stratton and fellow USS Arizona survivor Lauren Bruner are currently in Washington D.C. meeting with Congress to see if they can succeed in having Joe George receive recognition for his heroic deeds on December 7th. Please join me in praying that Congress and the Navy agree to recognize this brave American hero. Please also join in with countless others in helping to support Arizona Final Solute, which is a campaign to honor the remaining survivors of the USS Arizona.

~Photos taken from Google images.

News Part 1

This is a photo of my second bookshelf which contains mostly my books on World War II. As you can see there is a gap in the second shelf. I hadn’t planned on this gap when I was reorganizing my books at the beginning of summer. To be honest it does look a bit funny having that gap. But the gap won’t be there for much longer. A very important and special book will fill that gap.



Like the title suggests, there will be three blog posts. The second one will be posted on Monday. Hopefully there will be a video of sorts. So be sure to stop by on Monday for the reveal of what special book is coming in the mail.

Also I have decided to transfer A World War II Enthusiast to my other wordpress account. This means all my blogs are under one account: GEhistorian. So you will now be seeing posts written by GEhistorian on this blog instead of awwiienthusiast.

All the Gallant Men

IMG_00432016 marked the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. To commemorate this event, several new documentaries such as Remember Pearl Harbor created by the World War II Foundation and narrated by actor Tom Selleck and Into the Arizona as well as new books on the attack. One such book was All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton (which is pictured on the left).

Ever since I learned of this book’s publication last December, I have been eager to read it for two reasons. The first was I have always had a fascination with the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The second Donald Stratton’s book is the only memoir written by a survivor of the USS Arizona. No other survivor has written a book about their experience during that terrible day in American history–a date which will live in infamy.

Due to school and not having enough time either during school or on break, I was unable to read it…until eight days ago.

The book was amazing! It was well written. During the chapters dedicated to the attack and afterwards, I felt as if I was there watching the horrific events of that day unfold. The images formed in my mind were so vividly painted there were times where I had to put the book down. It was a very emotional yet worthwhile experience. I highly recommend this book.  This book not only supplements the resources already written on the attack but it also brings a new perspective to the table. A perspective only someone who was there could have.

Though it has been eight days since I read the last page of the epilogue of Donald Stratton’s book, I still remember it. I have never read a book that has impacted my life in such a profound way.

This is my check

This is a photo of who checked out the book. July 1st is the day I checked it out. It is sad to see that only three people (including myself) have checked out this book.


To document reading this book, I decided to take a book selfie.

There are SO many wonderful quotes from Donald’s book. One of my favorites comes from his granddaughter Nikki. Here is a photo of it.

Nikki Stratton Quote

Quote from All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton. Photo of quote taken by GEhistorian.


Fireman Third Class Glaydon Iverson

Memorial Day Memories{A Blog Link-up}Every year I try to write a Facebook status post on Memorial Day remembering those who have given up their lives to protect their country and loved ones. While that is still a good thing to do, I wanted to do more than just a Facebook status. A couple days ago, I stumbled upon Historical Fiction author Jesseca Dawn’s website where she came up with a blog link up that will honor those who have fallen. I have decided to join this blog link up.

I have had several family members who have been in the military but I am unsure if any of them died in battle. Because of this I have chosen a local Navy sailor who died during World War II. His name is Fireman 3rd Class Glaydon Ignatius Clement Iverson. He served onboard the USS Oklahoma and died on December 7, 1941 when the ship was attacked by a Japanese torpedo.


This was the telegram his parents received in February the following year after receiving word from the Navy their son was reported missing following the action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country:

“Mr. Edwin M. Iverson, Emmons, Minnesota. Washington, D.C. 10:31 PM February 14, 1942. After an exhaustive search it has been found impossible to locate your son Glaydon Ignatius Clement Iverson, Fireman Third Class, US Navy, and he has therefore been officially declared to have lost his life in the service of his country as of December 7, 1941. The Department expresses to you its sincere sympathy. Rear Admiral Ryndall Jacops, Chief of Bureau of Navigation.”


For 75 years, Glaydon’s remains lay in Halawa Cemetery in Hawaii unable to be identified…until 2016. Thanks to mitochondrial DNA, Glaydon’s remains where identified. A funeral service was held for him yesterday in his home town and he will be buried beside his parents in the local cemetery.

Not much is known about this brave sailor because it was too difficult of a subject to be discussed among Glaydon’s family members.

Glaydon Ignatius Clement Iverson was born on October 31, 1917 in Freeborn Count, Minnesota (Emmons). His parents were Edwin and Anna Iverson. He and his family attended the local Lutheran church in Emmons. He graduated from Emmons Public School in 1936.


In February of 1941, Glaydon enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed at the US Naval School in Dearborn, Michigan. Later in September, he boarded the ship USS Oklahoma and traveled from San Francisco, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He died on December 7, 1941.



Rest in peace Gladyon Iverson and thank you for your service!

Photos of Glaydon were taken from his online obituary.