Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir

Book Cover


1960s & '70s

George Trowbridge

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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.


Adventure, Biographical, War, Action, Memoir,,Memoir,Action

Short Summary

Formerly an Iowa farm boy, I had been married less than a year when my draft number was about to come up for military service. Rather than escape the draft, I decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy and travel across the globe to fight in America’s most unpopular war.


Iowa, Ilinois, Virginia. Onboard a U.S. Navy destroyer from Norfolk, Virginia to Vietnam including ports in Hawaii, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Voyage and Return

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending, Philosophical Questions, Coming of Age, Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: George Trowbridge

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Role: Logical

Key Traits: Flexible, Aspiring, Naive, Strong Moral Code, Adventurous,Naive,Faithful,Adventurous,Aspiring

Additional Character Details

Name: Janice

Age: 20

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous, Beautiful, Engaging, Faithful, Flexible,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious

Additional Character Details

Name: Chip

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Leader, Adventurous, Blunt, Confident, Decisive, Educated,Adventurous,Decisive,Flexible,Honorable

Additional Character Details

Name: Joe

Age: 22

Gender: Male

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Confident,Empathetic

About The Author

George Trowbridge served over 20 years in the U.S. Navy, and retired from active service in 1992 as a Master Chief Petty Officer, Quartermaster with the Surface Warfare (SW) designation. He served at sea in five different destroyers or frigates and on coastal-river fast patrol boats, including the USS Rich. George completed seven overseas deployments, starting with Vietnam and ending with Desert Shield/Desert Storm. His shore tours were as a Navy recruiter in the Chicago metro area and later as a navigation instructor at the Navy’s Officer Candidate School. After retiring from the Navy, George sailed for several years as a Merchant Marine Officer on board various commercial merchant vessels. His experiences working on board merchant vessels prompted him to become a training provider for the maritime industry. George has founded two maritime training institutions and has managed two other similar institutions in the Gulf of Mexico region. George and his wife Janice live in Largo, Florida. He recently semi-retired, but still teaches marine technologies and ship navigation training courses part-time.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54,55+,18-34

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Military active duty, veteran groups, Military and veteran families, Baby boomers and Millennials.

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Richter Publising, LLC

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available



ISBN-10 : 1945812362 ISBN-13 : 978-1945812361