Voices of the Pacific: Untold Stories from the Marine Heroes of World War II
Adam Makos, Marcus Brotherton
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A firsthand chronicle of United States Marine Corps’ actions in the Pacific
Following fifteen Marines from the Pearl Harbor attack, through battles with the Japanese, to their return home after V-J Day, Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton have compiled an oral history of the Pacific War in the words of the men who fought on the front lines. With unflinching honesty, these Marines reveal harrowing accounts of combat with an implacable enemy, the friendships and camaraderie they found—and lost—and the aftermath of the war’s impact on their lives.
With unprecedented access to the veterans, rare photographs, and unpublished memoirs, Voices of the Pacific presents true stories of heroism as told by such World War II veterans as Sid Phillips, R. V. Burgin, and Chuck Tatum—whose exploits were featured in the HBO® miniseries, The Pacific—and their Marine buddies from the legendary 1st Marine Division.
Includes rare photos!
because they needed troops overseas as soon as possible. I got to Australia on March 31, 1943, and was put in the mortar section of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines or “K-3-5.” When I got to K Company, it was right after the Guadalcanal campaign, so they merged us raw recruits in with the old-timers. We were welcomed, but a Marine still needs to prove himself. At the rifle range I shot “Expert” designation on my M1 rifle. The commander commended me, and shortly after I was promoted to
what it was all about. She walked straight to the hospital door and saw me standing there. I came to present arms. The thing that startled me was how tall she was. She was the same height as me, and she had on low heels. She walked right up to me and said, “Young man, are you a Marine?” I thought that was a strange question because here I was in uniform with the insignia on it, but I said, “Yes, ma’am.” You’re really not supposed to talk to anybody when you’re on sentry duty, but of course if
anyway. But you didn’t spend it on much except on cigarettes and gambling. They signed us up for life insurance, and that cost $11 per month, a big chunk of our pay. But you didn’t have a choice. You signed up whether you wanted to or not. SID PHILLIPS People ask me how well I knew one of our machine gunners, Bob Leckie, who later wrote a famous book about our time in the islands. I explain that H Company was a large company. There were sixty-five men in our mortar platoon alone. Nobody ever
way out while I was coming in. I could have been his replacement. I was from Sugar Land, Texas. There were just thirteen boys and twelve girls in my senior class in high school if that tells you anything. I still didn’t do too well. I wasn’t too good at studying. I was small, just five foot seven inches and just over one hundred pounds. I broke my leg and ankle playing football, so I became a manager. Got nowhere with the girls. Being short didn’t help. But we had some nice girls—I loved them
could get killed. But I always figured it wasn’t going to happen to me. Even being wounded—all the way along I never figured it would happen—until we got to Okinawa, my third battle. Then I started figuring—well, you keep sticking your chin out, somebody’s bound to hit it. April 1, 1945, was both Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day. Together, the 1st and 6th Marine divisions landed on Okinawa’s western beaches, along with two Army divisions. WAYBURN HALL The military feared that the Japs