Ron Kocher of Arcadia, Fla. started out to join the Navy in 1951, but ended up in the Marines because the Navy recruiter wasn’t there when he showed to sign up.
Fred Holzweiss of Englewood, Fla. was a first lieutenant in the 1st Engineering Battalion attached to the 1st Marine Division in Korea in 1953.
Joe Taylor was a black Marine who served three tours of duty in Vietnam. The death and devastation this grunt witnessed while serving in the Corps over there was almost too much for him to bear.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor shortly before 8 a.m., Dec. 7, 1941 George Hire was a Marine recovering from coral poisoning at the Naval Hospital. He was looking out the window while washing dishes and saw the first bomb hit the dry dock 100 yards from where he was standing.
Ed Bremen was a Marine sharpshooter in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment, 4th Marine Division. He became a Browning Automatic Weapon man who saw action in the Pacific on Roi and Namur islands near Kwajalein Atoll in February 1944 and Saipan in the Mariana Island chain in June, 1944. He was wounded there and spent the next 16 months recuperating in a trio of hospitals throughout the country.
“Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division was a black flag outfit. We were a skull and crossbones unit comprised of assault hunter-killer teams. We took no prisoners,” Charles Shaughnessy, who saw considerable action in 1968 in Vietnam as a 20-year-old Marine corporal and squad leader, said.
Willard Chamberlin was a Marine mess sergeant and rifleman who saw action at Okinawa, the biggest battle in the Pacific during the closing days of World War II. He quit high school in 1943, when he was just 17-year-old, and joined the Marines with his parents’ permission. Before the war was over he had three brothers who also served in the Army, Navy and Air Corps.
Bill Toledo, a Navajo Code Talker with the 3rd Marine Division in World War II, was in the area talking to several organizations and school groups, along with Frank Willetton, another Navajo who fought with the 2nd Marine Division at Okinawa. The Rotary Club of Englewood, Fla. brought them to town to speak at their 7 a.m. weekly meeting Thursday, March 25, 2010. While here they also talked to the general public at a two hour session held at Lemon Bay High School in Englewood on Thursday evening. A full house of 1st Marine Division Assn. member listened to the…
Lance Cpl Brian Rory Buesing, killed in an ambush in the Iraqi desert, was buried in a north Florida fishing village as his Marine unit marched on downtown Baghdad half a world away.