Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pacific Part Three Sunday Night

Another great night watching Pacific. I got a few questions in to Jerry.

What branch of the service was Paul Brousseau in.
"He was in the Army and served in Europe. He had a brother that was in the Army. He was killed, I think, in Italy."

How about Vin Campbell?
"Oh he was in the Army. He was a mechanic. I met him at Fort Shafter. You know Fran went out to California and just missed him. He was on a boat for Hawaii. He couldn't get off. She said she would have married him in California!"

Jerry was asked at the VA why he and others didn't talk about the War. He told me he responded.
"No one would believe what I had been through. They'd never understand what happened. We just moved on with our lives. I think the government made a mistake. They should have taught the history and told in schools, what happened in 1946 after the war ended."

Jerry chuckled about the MP's showing up at the bar. When the bottles started coming there way he began laughing.
"I was involved in a couple of those. As an MP. I was teamed up with a Sailor. At any given time, you'd have 70,00 sailors and Marines on liberty. I was told to report to the Provost Marshal. Geez, I just started this and I'm already in trouble. Turned out his name was Cardi and he was from Pawtucket. I went to school with his brother!"

Jerry remarked about the Marines being issued Garands in Australia. When he got to Camp Lejuene he was issued a Garand. Jerry said alot of the Snipers carried Springfields. Once Jerry got his assignment in Hawaii for 1st Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO), he requested a Carbine. Jerry and two others were issued the Carbine.

He fired the Garand for record along with the Carbine. He did shoot the Browning Automatic Rifle, .30 Caliber MG and the .50 Cal Browning M2. In case something happened he could operate those weapons. He shot the 1911A1 Colt .45 ACP Pistol. His buddy Jones had a Colt .44 Single action pistol. Jones was a cowboy from Colorado.
"Jones was good with that pistol. He used it to shoot animals back home."

What happened to Jones I asked. Jones was killed at Iwo Jima. Jerry recounted his time with Jones and he on Iwo. Semper Fi JONES.

Liberty. Jerry got liberty from 12:00pm to 6:00pm.
"I never ran int any barbers that were men in Hawaii. They were all women. So one of them asked me to go to a dance at her church. I went to the dance and it was getting around 9:30 or so. We headed back and were trying to hitch a ride. Bad idea. The jeep that stopped, it was my commander. 24 hours of extra duty." Of course Jerry starts laughing.

Guys were lucky to go to Australia. Jerry said that a lot of girls from Australia and New Zealand married Marines.

Oh by the way. Jerry says you can make a great cup of coffee in a Steel Pot. The M1 Helmet! He forgot to mention that at his presentation at the VA.

On Steve Cileli.
"You can tell Steve is MARINE. I don't care where you go, that guy is the epitome of MARINE. He is just so squared away. He was like guys I served with. You know that were ever you went, there are some guys that stand out as MARINES. Everything he does, the way he does it. He's a MARINE! He just is."

The Marines of the 1st MARDIV are shipping out for a mission in the Pacific. John Basilone has gotten the Congressional Medal of Honor (CMH). Basilone is headed Stateside to raise money for the war effort. Jerry says it's getting good!

"Goodnight Chesty Puller whereever you are."

Recommended reading by Jerry: "Goodbye Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War." William Manchester

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