Archive for the 'Marine Corps' Category

Jan 14

Flying Beer Trucks

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:04 AM

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In October 1944, I was with Marine Scout Bomber Squadron (VMSB) 142 stationed on Emirau Island, 1 degree south of the equator, in the northern Solomons. We were part of the force keeping the Japanese bases of Kavieng and Rabaul isolated. Training flights in our Douglas SBD Dauntlesses plus an occasional strike was the order of the day, as we waited for the Philippine liberation campaign to begin. I had noticed a small growth on the sole of my left foot that made it painful to walk on, and also painful to put pressure on the rudder pedal of the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 5

From Bad to Worse

Thursday, December 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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After two months in Vietnam, I had learned a lot about being a corpsman on the front lines. I had already filled out dozens of casualty cards, and I had seen more KIA’s (Killed-in Action) and WIA’s (Wounded-In-Action) than I cared to think about. On this particular day, we were on another search and destroy mission. The sun was just rising, and with no clouds in the sky, we were already sweating from the heat and humidity. With Vietnam only eight degrees north of the equator, we knew it was going to be another very hot day. In South Vietnam,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 8

The 1st Marines on Bloody Nose Ridge

Thursday, August 8, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 15 September 1944, the 1st Marine Division landed on Peleliu with its commander, Major General William H. Rupertus, confidently predicting the Japanese-held island would be in U.S. hands within four days. But the grueling Battle of Peleliu would last 73 days, with the U.S. Army’s 81st Infantry Division eventually taking over operations. Two key factors contributed to the battle stretching so long: The Japanese abandoned large-scale assaults in favor of attritional, defensive warfare, and they had ideal terrain in which to implement their new tactics—the rugged coral and limestone Umurbrogol Mountain, which Marines nicknamed “Bloody Nose Ridge.”

 
Jul 3

Our First Korean War

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 12:01 AM

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As we remember the 69th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, many Americans forget that it was by no means our first Korean War. That title belongs to a conflict involving the 1871 Korean Expedition. In the period between the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, the Navy’s purpose shifted to various peacetime operations. During this time, the United States sent its Navy to far foreign stations and exerted its power with greater authority than ever before. The 1871 Korean Expedition exemplified the role of the Navy during this time period, as it involved both an attempt at… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 16

When Dissent was a Common Virtue

Thursday, May 16, 2019 12:01 AM

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Admiral Chester Nimitz summed up the Battle of Iwo Jima: “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Nimitz’s words are inscribed on the Marine Memorial in Arlington, VA. The photo of six Marines raising the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi was the defining image of the Allied victory in World War II, the most often viewed photograph of its time. The photographer was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The heroism and sacrifice of those Marines were never in doubt. “When dissent was a common virtue” describes the actions of three Marine Generals during the Vietnam War. There was no iconic photo, no… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 23

The ‘Other’ Flag-Raising Photos from the War in the Pacific

Saturday, February 23, 2019 6:10 AM

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When photographer Joe Rosenthal pointed his camera at a group of men atop of Mount Suribachi and quickly snapped a shot, he did not think he captured anything special. It was not until the film was developed at a lab in Guam that a photo editor noted that the image was “one for all time.” Within a day of the photo being taken, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima was distributed over the wire to hundreds of newspapers and became an immediate sensation. The image won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography and has become one of the most reproduced and parodied… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 22

Day 9 — March 25 — Guam — Our Own Tour

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 12:01 AM

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Lieutenant Leroy Fadem recently revisited sites in the Pacific where he saw action in the Navy during the tumultuous years of the War in the Pacific over 70 years ago. This is a journal of that recent trip as kept by his son, Steven Fadem, who accompanied Lt. Fadem on that journey of rediscovery. I awoke in the dark, the victim of a telemarketing call at 4:47am from, ironically, an alleged veteran’s association in the States. I could not fall back asleep and so decided watch the dawn’s blue-gray fingers creep across the horizon. As the sky lightened I saw… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 25

Day 8- March 24- Iwo Jima

Tuesday, December 25, 2018 12:01 AM

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Lieutenant Leroy Fadem recently revisited sites in the Pacific where he saw action in the Navy during the tumultuous years of the War in the Pacific over 70 years ago. This is a journal of that recent trip as kept by his son, Steven Fadem, who accompanied Lt. Fadem on that journey of rediscovery. For me, the ability to share the experience of Guam with Dad was pretty unbeatable. But Iwo Jima is a once-in-a lifetime experience so today came in a close second. Too many histories exist describing that battle and I cannot possibly do it justice. On 19… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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