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Every Man a Hero: A Memoir of D-Day, the First Wave at Omaha Beach, and a World at War Hardcover – Illustrated, 28 May 2019
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- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062937480
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062937483
- Customer reviews:
“[Lambert] was able to save well more than a dozen lives thanks to his bravery, skill and presence of mind. . . . The responsibility he felt for those men on Omaha Beach 75 years ago has never left Ray Lambert, and it never will.” -- Smithsonian
“Lambert is nothing short of miraculous. … Reading Lambert’s account is like sitting at your grandfather’s feet and hearing some of the best tales you’ll ever know. All Americans owe Lambert gratitude for his service and sacrifice, and for sharing his memories.” -- Booklist, STARRED review
“Gripping. … This excellent memoir stands out. … A treasure trove of details about WWII.” -- Publishers Weekly
“At 98, Lambert, who earned a Silver Star and multiple Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts, is still around to tell his story. Readers will be grateful. … Lambert’s narrative flows smoothly throughout, clearly showing the author’s heroism.” -- Kirkus Reviews
From the Back Cover
AN UNFORGETTABLE NEW FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF D-DAY
Seventy-five years ago, he hit Omaha Beach with the first wave. Now Ray Lambert, ninety-eight years old, delivers one of the most remarkable memoirs of our time, a tour-de-force of remembrance evoking his role as a decorated World War II medic who risked his life to save the heroes of D-Day.
At five a.m. on June 6, 1944, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ray Lambert worked his way through a throng of nervous soldiers to the windswept deck of a troopship off the coast of Normandy, France. A familiar voice cut through the wind and rumble of the ship's engines. "Ray!" called his brother, Bill. Ray, head of a medical team for the First Division's famed 16th Infantry Regiment, had already won a Silver Star in 1943 for running through German lines to save trapped men, one of countless rescues he'd made in North Africa and Sicily.
"This is going to be the worst yet," Ray told his brother, who served alongside him throughout the war.
"If I don't make it," said Bill, "take care of my family."
"I will," said Ray. He thought about his wife and son--a boy he had yet to see. "Same for me." The words were barely out of Ray's mouth when a shout came from below.
To the landing craft!
The brothers parted. Their destinies lay ten miles away, on the bloodiest shore of Normandy, a plot of Omaha Beach ironically code-named "Easy Red."
Less than five hours later, after saving dozens of lives and being wounded at least three separate times, Ray would lose consciousness in the shallow water of the beach under heavy fire. He would wake on the deck of a landing ship to find his battered brother clinging to life next to him.
Every Man a Hero is the unforgettable story not only of what happened in the incredible and desperate hours on Omaha Beach, but of the bravery and courage that preceded them, throughout the Second World War--from the sands of Africa, through the treacherous mountain passes of Sicily, and beyond to the greatest military victory the world has ever known.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Reviewed in the United States on 30 August 2019
Lambert writes with concise detail of the beginnings of his entry into the United States Army Air Corps, predecessor to the Air Force and his place in the historic First Division, 2nd Battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment and World War II in Europe in 1939 at the ripe age of 20 years old. His story reads much like something out of the movies but no doubt very much true from his down home farm in Clanton, Alabama, to the days before he departed and met who would be his wife-to-be Estelle while at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and the day he heard Pearl Harbor was struck December 7, 1941 his life would never be the same; Japan began its path to war in the Southwest Pacific and the US declared war, a domino effect thereafter with Germany's declaration of war on the US -- same week and month of '41. Lambert does a fine job writing the parallels of both fronts, and made an interesting insight of five star General Douglas MacArthur, "Douglas MacArthur's famous "I shall return" speech sounds thrilling now, but a the time it was only a bunch of brave words, and very possibly an empty prediction... not that we soldiers felt that way. We were eager to fight... that we'd been attacked, and sure that we could beat anyone. Maybe too sure" (Kindle location 612). Lambert spoke with much bluntness and told it like it was having served in the African, Middle East, and European fronts of the war. He saw it all of the ravages of war from injury, illness and health. And one of the footnotes he concludes with at the end of the book, the effects of war that was not only physical but mental. What was described as Shell Shock in World War I can now be described as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD, it existed then and it existed during the Second World War and beyond.
"Every Man a Hero" is not the typical memoir that readers may have encountered in the past. It is the story of one man's life, a history lesson, and an enlightening experience that was told by someone who lived to tell. Ray Lambert shares his no nonsense story that is worth reading and understanding not only his life but the lives of the Greatest Generation during war time.