Facebook and other media reader comments and reviews of “Striking Eight Bells.”

  • Joy K: Even though my husband is an AF Vietnam veteran and a cousin’s husband is a Navy Vietnam veteran, you never think or read about the naval war against North Vietnam. George Trowbridge grew up on an Iowa farm and, although married and with a child, enlisted in the Navy rather than be drafted. He takes you through training and fascinating navigation details. You find out the unusual reason a ship would maneuver INTO a rain squall, why sailors voted for Nixon, what it was like to be underway on the open ocean during a typhoon. You learn what it’s like to endure day after day of combat, and the team spirit and comradeship afterwards of the battle tested, and an unfortunate bar brawl on Christmas. The title comes from a poignant tradition marking the end of war. The ship was deployed just four months before entering Hong Kong, where the ship made a surprising deal with Hong Kong Mary Soo to paint the ship! An important memoir about what it was like to be part of naval gun lines off North Vietnam, and to later be a Naval recruiter in Chicago when it was dangerous to be seen in uniform.
  • John W: Took me 3 sessions but great read! I was there on USS Shelton at same time as George. He captured all of the excitement, dread, weariness, and terror of those days of gunfire support and raids. Bravo Zulu, George!
  • Howard (Bill): Finally a book about our experience in Vietnam. Reading the book brought back many memories from our time on and off the gun line. My time serving on the USS Rich was short but could not have been with a better crew than we had on the Rich. Thank you George for this book, it was great reading about some of my life during my time in the Navy. Great read for anyone who served aboard a Destroyer during the Vietnam Era.
  • Joe F: Just finished your book George. Did it in two sessions. Could not put it down. Highly recommended.
  • Mitchell: Finished your book a couple of weeks ago. Great read! I was a Knox class DE Sailor later on in the Gulf. Thanks for your book.
  • Robert: Read your book, terrific account of what many unheralded Blue water sailors experienced on their WestPac cruises with little notoriety or fanfare, except amongst their own. Great book!
  • Ron: Just finished your book George. Excellent read!! Like you, I NEVER spoke about our time on the gun line, or even much re. that WESTPAC…frankly, no one ever cared enough to ask. After reading your book, I feel “validated” (best term I can come up with) in my impression of the experience, and especially of the officers with which we served. Welcome home George. We made it…
  • John: I’ve read the book, a must read, a slice of history not many people know of……except us!
  • John R: Read the book, found it easy to follow, interesting all the way thru, plus I related to life on a destroyer, a must read.
  • Lavonne: Thank you for finally sharing your story. I couldn’t put the book down right up to the end. Even though we all knew it was a happy ending because you’re here, the counterbattery and storms had me anxious. Your book was exceptional. I knew nothing about naval life, ships, or their role in Vietnam, and now have a view and understanding of all three. I wish I would have heard your quote “hardwork and production talks, while bullshit walks” when I was raising my 4 boys. Lol. Well done.
  • Doreen: A great book & true story I highly recommend it to everyone.

All Five Star Reviews on

Reader’s Reviews of Striking Eight Bells
John M: Excellent Story of a Tin Can Sailor off Vietnam 1972. This was an enjoyable read! George captured the excitement, boredom, terror and challenge of serving aboard a WW II destroyer (tin can) during the Vietnam War. I was there on another tin can during the same time and many of the stories and experiences described brought back memories of those days. From the background stories of growing up on a farm in Iowa to joining the Navy then being assigned to a rating and school through the Vietnam war action and return to Norfolk, George clearly described many of my own experiences. Bravo Zulu!
Bobby J: Fun Read. Great book – enjoyed the memories as I was there before and during this time on the gun line on the USS Robison DDG12. Great memories.
Allen: A great story for a rare subject. There’s countless books on the US Navy during WW2, but hardly any during Korea and Vietnam. As such, this book was a breath of fresh air for the history nerd in me. I loved George Trowbridge’s account of life aboard the USS Rich from start to finish, and recommend it to anyone who loves history as much as I do.

Jerry: He told us our story. While reading this book I found myself being projected back through time to find myself back aboard my navy destroyer during the Vietnam War while on Yankee Station and the “Gun line.” This book is a must read for every tin can sailor who served his country in WESTPAC during this war. Highly recommended!

Joe: Eat every crappy meal, experience every round that the five inch … The author puts you right in the ship. You feel every pitch and yaw, eat every crappy meal, experience every round that the five inch guns fire. You will know what it is like to live aboard a cramped smelly ship,not being able to wear clean clothes and know what it is like to hear counter fire explode over your head. For those of us in the navy during the same time it makes us realize how fortunate we were to not be were George was, Some had it a lot worse, most of us had it much, much better.

Mark: Striking Eight Bells is a terrific read. George Trowbridge adeptly describes what many of us who served felt throughout the sixties and early seventies. Trowbridge’s book brings back many memories of a time, though turbulent, that was a great time to be young and see the world. His descriptions of every day life aboard a naval vessel is very accurate. His descriptions of just what “Liberty Calls” were like in foreign ports are also right on the money. A lot of us came of age then, but at the same time, saw the hardships that people overseas were struggling with and the great lengths they would go to to overcome their disadvantages. We came to appreciate the lives we had in the United States and those experiences helped strengthened our resolve to do our part to help defend our country no matter the hardship. Trowbridge’s technical descriptions of seamanship may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found them very informative and they certainly proved to me the hard work and experience required to effectively operate a Naval Destroyer in combat. Striking Eight Bells is a wonderful addition to any naval and war buff’s library.
Amazon Customer: An inspiring and fascinating read. In Striking Eight Bells, George Trowbridge gives us a glimpse into his years spent in the US Navy as a young man. He gives us an inspiring look at hard work despite fatigue and homesickness – finding out just how much you can sleep through if you’re tired enough, and how much of the exact same food you can stand to eat while during weeks at sea. His determination and good attitude kept up the spirits of his crewmates, and his many stories of ports visited and people encountered make this a great read for anyone. A true story of a brave young man who worked hard for his country.
Amazon Customer: Highly Recommended. After hearing stories of my elders going through similar hardships from the war, it is really refreshing to hear a firsthand experience. Trowbridge makes you feel like you’re right there with him, which is essential to any great read. His story is one that needed to be told, and I’m glad he did.
Janice: I loved this book. It recounts the author’s life as a teenager to growing into manhood while juggling the events life threw at him. Great read and a fantastic story.
Marlene: One of the best books you will ever read. This is one excellent book!! Trowbridge’s writing style makes you feel like you were right there with him. As he recounted his years as a farm kid to joining the Navy to avoid the Vietnam draft I couldn’t put the book down. The later sections of the story where Trowbridge reports onboard his Navy destroyer and later makes the deployment to Vietnam, are riveting and written in such detail the reader stays fully engaged. I never knew navy destroyers and other ships carried out the type of combat operations Trowbridge tells of in this book. This book is one of the best books I have ever read!!
Rita: You will love the author’s personal stories! “Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir” is packed full of history about life as a Navy crewman during the end of the Vietnam War presented in very funny and personal stories. The stories are written in such an incredible way that I felt I was right there on the ship with the author. An excellent book!

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©2018 George Trowbridge
ISBN-10: 1945812338. ISBN-13: 978/1945812330/978-1945812361
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