Cpl. Robert Robb was a sniper attached to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Division in Korea during the war. His unit took Hill 749, a volcanic mound known as the ‘Punchbowl,’ away from a regiment of North Koreans holding the high ground in mid-September 1951. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘U.S. Marine Corps’ Category
Pfc. Harold Tyler of Crystal Bay Condominiums, Lake Suzy, Fla. was in Charley Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Regiment, 6th Marine Division on Palm Sunday morning, April 1, 1945, when his unit charged ashore on Okinawa, the biggest Pacific island battle of World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
Before Bill Ditto of Englewood, Fla. went aboard the battleship USS Missouri as a Marine guard in 1949, growing up in West Virginia, he had never seen the sea or a ship the size of the “Mighty Mo.” Read the rest of this entry »
Enemy artillery rounds and small-arms fire rained down in the water all around them as they came ashore on “Red Beach,” near the base of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, with U.S. Marines. Seaman/3rd Milt Alligood manned the steel ramp in the bow of the plywood Higgins Boat. He lowered it as the “Leathernecks” charged from their landing craft into the mouth of hell. Read the rest of this entry »
Chris Eaton was a spit and polish Marine. The lance corporal was a member of Alpha Company, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. His company was part of a special contingent of “Leathernecks” who presided at military funerals held in Arlington National Cemetery, at Tuesday evening Sunset Parade in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial in the cemetery and at the Friday Night Parade outside the home of the Marine Corps Commandant near 8th and I-Street in D.C.
In his dark blue Marine dress uniform trimmed with red piping, wearing white gloves and a white hat, Ernie O’Brien of Port Charlotte, Fla. stands ramrod straight at 87. He looks as if he could hit the beach at Guadalcanal, as he did more than 65 years ago. His silver mustache adds a touch of manliness to a face that has seen war up close and personal. Read the rest of this entry »
Search continues for Marines killed during battle for Guadalcanal in WW II – Ken Budd has spent 25 years looking for older brotherIn U.S. Marine Corps, World War II on February 8, 2013 at 4:38 am
Ken Budd has an obsession.
For 25 years he’s been trying to locate the remains of his older brother who was killed on Guadalcanal during World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
Lt. j.g. Vernon Martens United States Marine Corps was in the first wave of “Leathernecks” on the beach at Guadalcanal on Aug. 7, 1942. A doctor in the 3rd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division, he came ashore with his 1906 Springfield rifle in one hand and his medical supplies in the other. Read the rest of this entry »
Bob Hemingway of Lake Suzy, near Port Charlotte, Fla. was a junior in high school in New Haven, Conn. when he dropped out of school and joined the Marine Corps. He ended up in the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division stationed at Camp Lajeune, N.C. Read the rest of this entry »
Twelve-year-old Slade Tully talked to his dad, Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Michael Joseph Tully, by phone from Baghdad for the last time Aug. 18, 2007. The sergeant was killed by a roadside bomb. Read the rest of this entry »
Ken Heitel was a “Cold War Warrior.” He flew an A-4E “Skyhawk,” jet fighter off the USS Independence, a Forrestal Class carrier, as a Marine Corps aviator serving in the Mediterranean during the early 1970s. Read the rest of this entry »
Paul Gailey, of Burnt Store Marina, Fla., was a crew chief in Marine Air Group 31, Squadron VMF-441, during the Battle of Okinawa, the last major island battle in the Pacific in World War II. As a sergeant, it was his job to keep his squadron of F4U Corsair fighters airborne. Read the rest of this entry »
Col. Ivar Svenson, United States Marine Corps, was in charge of plans and operations for the III Marine Amphibious Force headquarters unit stationed in Da Nang, South Vietnam in 1968. Ann Byerlein was head nurse of the intensive care unit at Da Nang Provincial Hospital in May of that year, during the height of the Vietnam War. Read the rest of this entry »
Rodger Craig had just graduated from high school in 1950 and signed up to be a Marine about the time the Korean War started. He was in boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. when war broke out. Read the rest of this entry »
Homer Beach was a “Buffalo,” amphibious vehicle driver, in the 3rd Marine Division. The 20-year-old corporal drove assault troops ashore on Guam, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima during World World II. Read the rest of this entry »
A week after the Japanese bombed the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, dragging the United States into World War II, Frank Garcia joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Read the rest of this entry »
Two days after graduating from high school in 1963 Skip Libby of La Casa mobile home park in North Port, Fla. joined the Marines and went to Parris Island, S.C. for basic training. Two years later he was sent to Vietnam as a member of the 3rd Marine Division, the first division of Marines in country. Read the rest of this entry »
John Campbell was gung-ho to join the Marine Corp. He quit high school in his sophomore year at 17 and became a “Leatherneck” in 1946. Read the rest of this entry »
Charlie Kukla arrived in Korea in June 1950 as a 19-year-old “grunt” in the 1st Marine Division.
Within a week he was a prisoner of war. Read the rest of this entry »
Jim Mazy, who lives south of Englewood, Fla. was a radio operator in Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. He was wounded in “Operation Starlite,” the first major battle of the Vietnam War between American forces and the Viet Cong near Chu Lai, South Vietnam in 1965. Read the rest of this entry »
Lance Cpl. Chali Wolfrom, a 20-year-old Marine and North Port, Fla. High School graduate, has just returned from a six-month tour of duty in Ramadi, Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »
Southwest Florida man landed on Iwo Jima – Among third wave of Marines, Crossley ate roasted chicken during battleIn Purple Heart, U.S. Marine Corps, World War II on November 5, 2011 at 4:38 am
U.S. Marine Pfc. Bob Crossley of Venice, Fla. hit the beach on Iwo Jima in a Higgins boat in the third wave on Feb. 19, 1945. He was a member of the 5th Marine Division, 26th Regiment, 2nd Battalion D-Company. Read the rest of this entry »
Lawrence Houle joined the Marine Corps in 1943 after graduating from high school in Grosvenordale, Conn. He first served with the 4th Marine Division during the invasion of the Marshal Islands. Read the rest of this entry »
Capt. Tom Smith United States Marine Corps wrote this account of his tour in Vietnam:
“On July 1, 1968, while serving as platoon commander of 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines, I received orders for a mission. It was a four-day, three-night patrol to establish various platoon patrol bases and then conduct numerous small unit patrols out of them. Read the rest of this entry »
Frank Bloom joined the Marine Corps Aviation Cadet Program while still in high school and learned to fly F4U Corsair fighters during World War II. He was called back during the Korean War. Read the rest of this entry »
Nick Melone of Port Charlotte, Fla. sat in a big gray cushy chair, a tether running from his nose to a nearby oxygen bottle. He reached for a folded flag stuffed in the top of a blue plastic storage tub of World War II memorabilia. The 89-year-old Marine sergeant shook the folds out of the white cotton flag with a bright red sun in the center - it was a Japanese battle flag signed by members of the enemy soldier’s unit. Read the rest of this entry »
For the past year, in addition to writing war stories about local veterans, I’ve provided DVD interviews of these same veterans to the Library of Congress’ “Veterans History Project.”
This week I reached a milestone in these interviews. A couple of days ago I sent 25 DVDs and supporting material on each disk to the Library of Congress. That’s a total for the year of 100 interviews, 100 DVDs the “Veterans History Project” has received since this time last year. Read the rest of this entry »
Robert Stilson of Alameda Isles Mobile Home Park in Englewood, Fla. was a 19-year-old Marine Corps corporal who charged ashore from a Higgins Boat onto the black sandy beach at Iwo Jima on the first first day in the second wave –Feb. 19, 1945– to play his part in one of the major battles in the Pacific during the closing months of World War II.
Dick Honyak walked into the Charlotte Sun newspaper office in Englewood, Fla. six years ago and dropped a big, thick, loose leaf notebook full of 8 by 10 black and white photographs on my desk. The historic photos were of the Marines taking Iwo Jima from the Japanese at the close of World War II. Read the rest of this entry »
John Thomas Murphy was a Marine pilot who flew helicopters and observation planes in Vietnam during his two combat tours. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross on each deployment while piloting an H-34 helicopter and a OV-10 Bronco twin-engine spotter plane into withering North Vietnam Army fire.
John Henry Thomas was a Marine who served in the Pacific during World War II, but never fired a shot in battle. He was a carpenter before the war who worked in the woodworking shop at the Marine Corps barracks in Pearl Harbor almost a year after the Japanese bombed the Pacific Fleet at Pearl dragging the United States into war. Read the rest of this entry »
To everyone else, Sgt. William Harrell was a war hero. He was the recipient of the Medal of Honor, “…for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” at Iwo Jima during World War II. To Gary Harrell he was just dad. Read the rest of this entry »
Pvt. Hector Cafferata was a 20-year-old green Marine replacement. He joined Fox Company’s 2nd Platoon a few days before the first wave of Chinese troops attacked his listening post at the Toktong Pass during the early months of the Korean War that cold November night half a century ago . Read the rest of this entry »
Father Bill Magill of Venice, Fla. was a “Devil Dog.” He flew a Corsair, F-4U fighter, in the Pacific during World War II before he began working for the Lord.
The former Marine aviator and retired Episcopal priest was a member of Marine Fighter Squadron VMF-111. “Devil Dogs” is what they called themselves. He saw action in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands in the Central Pacific from December 1943 until March 1945.
“Our job was to bomb and strafe everything and keep the Japanese‘s heads down,” said Magill, 85. “The first thing we did was shoot up their planes on the ground and then we would pound the heck out of them with bombs.”
By the time his tour was finished he logged 89 combat missions. The side of his Corsair was covered with yellow bombs, one for each mission.
Cpl. Randy Smith knew the war in South Vietnam was over when he was ordered to take down the American flag at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. Read the rest of this entry »
She emerged slowly from the car with cane in hand and walked hunched over along a serpentine concrete path. At its end was The Wall. Read the rest of this entry »