Monday, April 19, 2010

Episode 6 Pacific

18 April 1942 Lt. Col. James Doolittle USAAF with 16 B-25 Bombers and 80 Airmen launch from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet and strike Japan.

I asked Jerry if he remembered much about the incident.
"Well it was in the papers about the raid. I was a junior in high school. It was a big deal. Hey the military struck right at the heart of Japan."
On Pacific Jerry agreed water was a problem. He recalled on Saipan that his canteen got hit with shrapnel. When he brought a wounded Marine back to the beach he found a quick remedy for no canteen.
"I grabbed the wounded guys canteen. He didn't need it and I'd put it to good use." Simple shrug of the shoulders.
Guys getting hit.
"Well if a guy got hit several guys would jump up and carry the stretcher. Depending on the size of the guy we'd have two or four guys. There was never a shortage. I and others always felt that if we were hit, someone would take care of us in the same fashion. Plus it got you out of immediate gunfire for a few minutes. I'd try and get a hot cup of coffee and grab as much ammo as I could get, to bring back. We'd drop our packs and ammo belts and grab more at the beach head.'
"The LST's that beached or damaged would be set a up as an aid station. The serious cases would be taken out to the hospital ships."
Chamorro Prisoners at Saipan.
"We took a lot of Chamorro Prisoners. They were natives the island. The Japs had forced them into working for them. Myself and another guy were bringing Chamorro prisoners to a camp and a woman went into labor. The other guy said 'Have you ever birthed an animal?" "Ah gee no, I grew up in the city."
The other Marine said no sweat. He delivered the baby and I helped. I carried the baby back to the POW camp. The mother was in better shape then I was for God's sake. It was an experience watching the baby get born and helping."
The assault on the airfield on Pacific.
"The thing that strikes me the most is the guys bunching up. We were told that you shouldn't ever bunch up. Lot of guys together. One shell could take everyone out, or a machine gun could do alot of damage . But then you had the senior guys saying follow me or stay close."
"I remember one guy in combat running around hollering; ' I can't find my plate I lost my plate.' He had lost the base plate for the mortar. I was always glad I wasn't in the weapons section carrying the parts to the mortar or the machine gun. It was bad enough having to run like hell but to carry all that equipment..." Then that trade mark chuckle.
Jerry said it was a great depiction of combat in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Speilberg and Hanks have captured the moments well. When the Gunny said ' Check your ammo. What do you got and what do you need. Standby to standby." Jerry chuckled.
"Yeah, hey you were glad to have survived. Make a check of your equipment and grab a smoke if you could. You know they filled water in the jerry can. Then they put fuel in them. I think the Navy carted those cans all over the Pacific. God the water tasted like sh#@ from those cans."
Intelligence sources say Jerry was getting a little tired of the soap opera part with the girlfriends and other drama. Lets just say G2 had it on good authority.

Jerry was happy with Episode 6. The depiction of guys getting wounded and getting a corpsman up to treat them. The confusion during combat. Scouting up front and getting shot at. All things that Jerry has experienced first hand. He has that great sense of humor and laughs a lot about the crazy things that happened in combat.

He said that there were alot of guys from the southern states.
"They used to laugh like hell at my accent. They always got me to say; 'I parked my car in Harvard yard.' Those guys would fall over laughing. Saying a spoke funny. " Hey you guys should listen to yourselves. You sound pretty funny to me."

Jerry give tonight's episode high marks.

Stay tuned, G-3 (operations) is planning to have something special cooking for the episode covering the Invasion of Iwo Jima. Get together with some of Jerry's Marine buddies from the Birthday Ball for chow and them watching the show. Should be good!

"There are two kind of people who understand the MARINES. Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second hand opinion."

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