Tarawa Beaches

Getting on the island was one thing…

moving off the beachhead well now, that was another thing altogether. marines_Beach-586x228

Once you reach the beach you are surely glad, if not downright amazed that you are still alive. The question now becomes one of just how long can I personally remain in this state of aliveness.

While in camp and even on the landing craft, most of us tried to play down the Japanese soldiers by envisioning them as little shrimpy guys. You know, not some big strapping U.S. Marine mountain man. Well maybe so, but I’ll tell you one thing, those “little” guys could fight, yes sir.jap_soldiers_1939

If you would dwell on it enough it could really spook you out, if you know what I mean. There were tales of atrocities at the hands of the enemy and most times, we couldn’t tell if our own guys were playing with us or telling us the truth!

jap sword

We had talked to guys who had already seen action on some of the other islands and they said, “brother, don’t you go under estimating them now, cause you want to paint them in an inferior light. These guys may not be as big as the typical GI or Marine, but they are ferocious fighters, so much so that 99% of them would not surrender.”

No sir, to surrender meant shame to themselves and their families. These dudes were going to literally go down fighting, whether it was by your effort or their own. Know what I mean?

So the only thing you would be thinking of was to move ahead, get off that beach and keep firing where the enemy was, which was pretty much right up ahead of you. Even if you couldn’t see the little bas… I mean the bad guys.Marines_BW_BAR

Well, as they say in the movies, there we were right in the middle of things. Keep your head down, fire away hoping you hit some of them and pray. Yeah boy, no atheists on those beaches, uh, uh.

Being pinned down like that wasn’t much fun and no matter what your mind told you, like you were safer on the beach behind some kind of debris, or maybe another dead Marine. No, no. The safest bet was also the most aggressive and scarier move, that was to get up and charge ahead. Boy, you have to check your shorts after that one alright.


So, that’s just what we did and you know what? We made it. Well some of us didn’t of course, I mean that’s what war is all about right. You know, kill or be killed, right? Darned right you are too!

Many of those boys left on the beaches that day were nameless faces to me but faces just the same. I know that after a while I just didn’t want to get to know the new guys cause I figured they wouldn’t be around all that long.deadmarine

Well, no use dwelling on those thoughts now. Nope, no use to that at all.

~ by Vinnie on March 5, 2015.

One Response to “Tarawa Beaches”

  1. My first time to this blog. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

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