79 years ago

Grif

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From Nov. 20-23, 1943, my Grandpa and other men of the 2nd Marine Div. were fighting for their lives, after storming ashore on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Nearly 6400 men, from both sides, died in the 4 day battle. My Grandpa was one of 2 survivors from his platoon.

The only story he ever told me was that when he went off the landing craft he went straight to the bottom of the ocean in 15 feet of water. He said most of his platoon drowned before ever making it to the beach. He told me that he shed his gear, made his way to the surface, and amid the complete chaos of the landing and the battle he had no idea where he was. He told me he saw a Navy Sailor, in full dress uniform, maybe 8-10 feet tall, standing on the water, pointing the way to shore. He must of noticed the incredulous look on my face, because he just stared at me and said, "that's what I saw and that's why I'm here".

Never forget.

Semper Fi
 

Lip Shooter

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Cool story. Thanks
 

Tejas

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From Nov. 20-23, 1943, my Grandpa and other men of the 2nd Marine Div. were fighting for their lives, after storming ashore on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Nearly 6400 men, from both sides, died in the 4 day battle. My Grandpa was one of 2 survivors from his platoon.

The only story he ever told me was that when he went off the landing craft he went straight to the bottom of the ocean in 15 feet of water. He said most of his platoon drowned before ever making it to the beach. He told me that he shed his gear, made his way to the surface, and amid the complete chaos of the landing and the battle he had no idea where he was. He told me he saw a Navy Sailor, in full dress uniform, maybe 8-10 feet tall, standing on the water, pointing the way to shore. He must of noticed the incredulous look on my face, because he just stared at me and said, "that's what I saw and that's why I'm here".

Never forget.

Semper Fi
It was rare for any of that generation to talk. Those of us they shared with are truly lucky for the first hand experience and insight into such a formative part of history.
 

Larry Welch

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Those of that generation had pockets in their drawers to help carry the extra load. Very few shared, and to those that did I'm thankful they did so with me.
 

tripper

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The Greatest Generation. We still owe them.
 

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