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 face, causing him to immediately pull his head back. 
"Almost got ya’ again!” Durby laughed, slapping Whitie on the back.
“That boy’s a hell of a shot, must be about 500 yards between here and there.” Whitie sputtered, trying to clean all the sand from his eyes, nose and mouth. 
“Yeap, so you’d better keep down unless you wan’a get one in the head like the Lieutenant did.” Durby said, pointing toward Doc Wilson.
Japanese Snipers taking refuge in damaged amphibious vehicles were a real nuisance. Marines were being forced to fight front and rear as they tried to make their way across the beach. If the Marines on the beach were going to make any headway, something would have to be done about the snipers at their rear. Master Sergeant Oaks, a real tough Marine and survivor of the Great War (WWI) was already devising a plan when Whitie approached him. Whitie and the Top Sergeant talked for a few minutes as Durby watched and wondered aloud; “What the heck is that Hill-Billy getting us into now?” A moment later, Whitie scooted back over to Durby with a big smile on his face. 

“Grab your gear Cowboy!, we’ve been volunteered to take care of that Sniper!” Whitie said, punching Durby on the shoulder and reaching for his own gear. 
Durby got to his feet making sure to keep low behind the vehicles, cursing at Whitie all the while. The two gathered a Bazooka, several 3.5inch rockets, hand-grenades and their Carbines. The Gunner on the LVT provided cover-fire in the direction of the sniper as the vehicle was loaded. The Lieutenant and four other wounded Marines were put on board first, followed by Whitie and Durby. The Navy Coxswain backed away from the beach and headed for the far left side of the sand-bar. He zigged and zagged along the way as the sniper took several unsuccessful shots at them. The ride to the sand-bar was very bumpy and the wounded Marines moaned and groaned with each slap of the waves. The gunner opened fire as the ramp began to fall out and forward. This was the signal for Whitie and Durby to get off, and they did. As soon as they were clear of the ramp, the Coxswain slammed her into reverse, raising the ramp as he did. The gunner continued to provide cover-fire while to two Marines scrambled for some cover behind a small dune. The two turned briefly in the direction for the LVT, looking at each other, as if to say, “There goes our ride!”

The Sniper had not seen Whitie and Durby land on his little piece of the world. But, he did wonder why the vehicle had seemed to stop. He had been hunkered down inside the LVT while the gunner was shooting at him so he didn’t get to see what was coming next. Whitie was now lying atop the small dune with the Bazooka aimed at the stranded LVT. Durby shoved the rocket into the rear of the weapon and patted Whitie on the head. Whitie took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he squeezed the trigger. Making a loud whooshing sound, the rocket sped towards its target, causing the sniper to take a quick peek. At that instant, Whitie, Durby and the Japanese Solider made eye contact. The rocket sped forward, exploding as it impacted. The two shocked Marines covered their heads as human remains mixed with fragments from the LVT rained down around them. They had been only 20 yards from the explosion.


NOTE:  When I copy and paste, I have a very difficult time getting the spacing right between paragraphs.  Anyone have any ideas?
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