Every Man a Hero: A Memoir of D-Day, the First Wave at Omaha Beach, and a World at War
This is the recollection of Ray Lambert as written by Jim deFelice. Mr Lambert, 98 years old at the writing of this book in 2019, grew up during the US depression era. a son of a farmer. Volunteered for the army when the US mobilized in 1940 and became a medic for the US Army 1st Division – the “Big Red One”. The books starts of with a short introduction to his youth, what it was like being poor living growing up in a farm during that time period, and eventually joining the Army. After training, we follow Mr Lambert to North Africa, then Sicily, and eventually to Normandy on D-Day – 3 years he served until his back was broken on the beaches of France.
In the span of those years, he personally saved dozen of men’s lives, received three purple hearts and the Silver star for bravery. The remarkable about this book is that Mr DeFelice were able to let Jim Lambert voice come through, and what a voice it is. He is able to describe the situation, the chaos, the confusion, in a way that puts you into his place. I have not read a finer piece of war time memoir for quite some time. This is not a large scale work – even though enough context is given even if you are not up to your ww2 history – but a very personal view of the some the greatest events that the US army participated in. Highly Recommended.
Here’s a short interview with Mr Lambert on NPR – including when he returned to France to honor him. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/06/730126155/at-98-d-day-veteran-medic-returns-to-normandy-to-remember-a-generations-sacrific