Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir – George Trowbridge

In Striking Eight Bells, George Trowbridge recounts his journey from the Midwest to a warship in the Gulf of Tonkin during the closing months of the Vietnam War. Choosing to enlist in the Navy at 19, versus being drafted into the military, Trowbridge left a wife and newborn son in the States as he traversed the oceans of the globe to fight in America’s most unpopular war. George shares the details of the living conditions on board a naval destroyer during this era, what it was like going through training, the grind for his ship’s crew in supporting ground forces with naval gunfire as well as the strike attacks his ship made on enemy coastal defenses, and finally coming home at the end of the war. This emotional story is not only historically focused, but it also is informative about life in the military, all filtered through the personal lens of a first-hand perspective.