Tarawa Atoll (Episode Three)

Stretcher Bearers
The sun was just beginning to set, casting long shadows across the sand. Whitie and Durby were back on the beach, hunkered down feasting on beef-n-rocks, bean and franks and chasing it down with black coffee. This first day on the atoll had been rough.  But it wasn’t over just yet. A few hundred yards away just inside the tree line, the fighting was still heavy. The Japanese were dug in everywhere. It seemed that the Naval and Air Bombardments had done nothing at all to soften them up.

The Chief Pharmacist (Navy Corpsman) was putting together a team to go forward and bring back three badly wounded and several walking wounded Marines. He and Sgt Roxberry were collecting the people they needed and of course Whitie and Durby made the team. Sgt Roxberry was from Mike Company and had been wounded earlier that day, but was now volunteering to lead the team back into the fighting and to his wounded Marines. Whitie and Durby were to act as security escorts and would lead t…

Tarawa Atoll (Episode Two)

The Sniper
Whitie could see Doc Wilson, a Navy Pharmacist-mate knelling next to a fallen Marine. Who got it? He thought to himself as he darted by one of the many vehicles situated around the make sift Supply and Medic area. A ricocheting bullet nearly took his head off as he dropped to the sand inside the protected area.The protective area was made up of Higgins Boats (LCVP) and (LVT's). These vehicles were used to bring Marines, equipment, and supplies from the transport ships to the beach head.

“Almost got ya’, didn’t he?!.” Shouted Durby, one of Whitie’s pals. "Who?” Whitie asked, as he shuffled closer to Durby. “That Sniper out there in one of our stranded LVT’s.” Durby replied, motioning with his thumb over his right shoulder. Whitie lied down on his belly and peered around the burned-out vehicle, looking for the sniper. There it was, about 500 yards out, sitting sideways on a sandbar. Just as Whitie was about to speak, the sand in front of him jumped up and flew into his f…

Untold Horrors of War

Tarawa Atoll 20–23 November 1943 76 Hours of Hell
Where does one begin, when you decide to re-construct a (life) story about someone? A story about this someone, whom you idealized, despised, adored and hated all within the duration of one heart-beat. With so many emotions, so many special episodes, some remembered others forgotten. Wonderful adventures, misadventures, moments of love and tenderness, times of cruelty and madness, special moments stolen away by an overwhelming tragedy.  My Father was a troubled man and an abusive alcoholic.  This sadly trumped all his other great qualities as a Son, a Father, a Husband, a Provider and a Retired U.S. Marine.

As a child, the writer in his own mind created elaborate stories about the War (WW II) Adventures of his Hero, his Father. When one is young, and is sheltered from horrid images and the captions that accompany them, you find that you have a tendency to fashion your own reflections of War.

The Invading visions of death and mayhem, …

Louis Armstrong

The Lift-Gourse

The Lift-Gourse as told by: John Vincent Prater
This is the seldom told story of the fabled Lift-Gourse and the Farmer.This story is one of moral and of consequence, a story of greed and ingratitude.A story told many times, for many generations across the lands.At the finish of the story; some may sit in wonder, others may ponder upon when they had first heard this tale and a few will simply smile and nod.
Once upon a time; in a land not so far away, or a time not so long ago, there lived a Farmer and his Wife.The two had no children, no pets, no TV (has it had not yet been invented) and no radio.What they did have was more than five thousand acres of land, five hundred head of cattle, fifty chickens, five goats, a mule and a horse.The Farmer and his Wife worked their massive Farm, from sunup to sundown, month after month, season after season, year after year.However, one day each month (the last Sunday), the Farmer would sit on his front porch and look out over his immense Farm.His wi…

Making Some Changes

I recently decided to change the name of my page to something more in line with my original Blog of 2007.Also the name or theme of "Beyond the Horizon" is very popular.Besides that; I want my page to be a reflection of my time at Dogwood Trail in Breathitt County, Kentucky and more.By adding the preposition ‘Beyond’, I have prepared the reader to expect more.More about the trails and roads I have followed since my time on Dogwood Trail.And; so… as you follow my page, my Blog (website) and possibly purchase my book, I hope you will enjoy a stroll down Dogwood Trail and Beyond.

I have also decided to make the page more readable and easier to navigate.  I will be trying different themes as I look for the most appropriate to represent my page.
I hope you will make comments and suggestions to help me along my way.  Thanks for being a follower and recommending others to follow.


I've been spoofed. So, if You get regular e-mails from me (johnprater2531...) with a different reply to address, it's not me sending them. I found out I was spoofed when I started to receive (many) bounced back - failed emails sent from my address. A little research later and I discovered how easy it is for someone who knows your email address to send mail to anyone in your name. Be careful! Don't open anything from me. Period.