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Showing posts from September, 2017

Tarawa Atoll (Episode Three)

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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)

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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

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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, …