4:03 | Exhausted after three days of hard fighting on Peleliu with multiple wounds, Frank Pomroy finds himself separated from his unit. He runs into a Japanese patrol and then is almost killed by his own men.
Frank Pomroy recounts his exploits upon arriving at Guadalcanal on the USS George F. Elliot, his numerous brushes with death on that ship, and witnessing firsthand the Allied defeat at the Battle of Savo Island.
In the marshes of Peleliu, Frank Pomroy has a face to face encounter with a Japanese soldier where neither man comes out unscathed.
Frank Pomroy recalls having to leave his commanding officer, Lt. Fournier, behind, to hold a position by himself, as Frank tries to escape with a badly wounded leg.
After the severe damage to the USS George F. Elliot, Frank Pomroy and a few other men try to survive in the shark infested waters of the South Pacific.
On October 13, 1942, Frank Pomroy and his unit try to survive a Japanese bombing run on an airport on the island of Guadalcanal.
Frank Pomroy recounts the injury of friend and fellow Marine, Ben Coffee, while in combat on Peleliu.
On Peleliu, Frank Pomroy gets into combat with Japanese troops in the dead of night in the Battle of Coffin Corner.
Frank Pomroy recalls the landing at Peleliu from the prep to the landing on the sandy beaches where Frank and a fellow Marine tried desperately to stay alive.
Frank Pomroy recalls how a fellow Marine is seriously injured by friendly fire.
Frank Pomroy tells the "sinful little story" about how he joined the Marine Corps in 1941.
Frank Pomroy describes how the Battle of Savo Island was the Navy's greatest defeat during World War II due primarily to Japan's night-fighting superiority.
Aside from the fronts in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, Frank Pomroy contends that there was actually a third war going on at the time with General MacArthur.
After fighting at Guadalcanal and arriving at Cape Gloucester, Frank Pomroy describes the Battle of Coffin Corner, which resulted in the loss of a close friend.
Frank Pomroy remembers being part of the first wave onto the island of Peleliu and coming face to face with a Japanese soldier during a banzai charge.
Frank Pomroy recalls a memorable experience with legendary Marine officer Chesty Puller on the island of Pelelieu.
While fighting Japanese forces on the island of Pelelieu, Frank Pomroy remembers trying to save a fellow soldier who had been hit by friendly artillery.
He came off the landing craft on the Iwo Jima beach and hit the deck, wishing he had a hole to jump in. But when his Captain said, "Let's go," Donald Whipple got up and took off. His job was to bring in a machine gun cart and he struggled to pull it through the loose volcanic soil. Then, just as he reached the top of the beach terrace, a mortar shell hit right next to him. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
As Al Brown's unit moved North from Italy into the Rhone Valley, the Germans fought very skillful delaying actions. Digging in near Belmont, France, he noticed an officer and a radio operator casually sitting in the open. Before long, they were all running.
The method was primitive but effective, says Donald Whipple as he describes the targeting procedures of the artillery Forward Observer. It usually only took three shots to zero in a target. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
He knew that being a replacement was a difficult thing, so Donald Whipple took the new guy who joined the unit at the last minute under his wing. Then, in a foxhole on Iwo Jima, the kid raised his head up a little too high. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
After a mission, Mitch Touart and his crew notice that one of the planes has gone missing, only to find out that it has crashed into an embankment. COL Dunning ends up having to make a tragic decision about SGT Edelman, who is trapped in the aircraft.
The first operation for the 4th Division was the landing on Roi-Namur. Lawrence Snowden remembers that, though it was an easy victory, valuable combat experience and important lessons were imparted on the Marines.
Gilbert Jensen had a best friend named Billy Ricketts. The war caught up with their friendship on a three man patrol in the jungle of Guadalcanal. Other combat memories from this time include a night attack on a Japanese camp and nighttime Japanese banzai attacks.
Eugene Whitfield tells the story of the twin kamikaze attacks on the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga. The first plane caught them by surprise when the Japanese pilot came straight down out of the sun. The second one hit the bridge and the captain was wounded, but he proved to be very tough.
As Donald Whipple walked guard duty in postwar Japan, he could hear the mothers and the babies wailing and crying in the adjacent refugee camp as a lonesome train whistle blew. To this day, when he hears a train whistle, he is taken back in his mind to that sad place and time. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
One of the duties for the Occupation Force in Honshu was the repatriation of Chinese POW's who were still being held by Japan. Harold Topping recalls taking a group of these prisoners on a ferry and locking them up in the hold, but not because he thought they might escape. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
After being shot down over Europe, Howard Snyder was being moved and protected by an underground French and Belgian resistance group. Although they were unsure of him at first, eventually they took him on missions to destroy German convoys. (Provided by the family of Howard Snyder)
At first the Japanese civilians were very scared of the occupying American troops, but Harold Topping says that as they realized the Americans weren't going to hurt them, they became helpful. Eventually Topping's unit set up shop at a bombed out air base up north in Hokkaido. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
Donald Whipple explains how his unit could suffer a 200% casualty rate in the battle of Iwo Jima. He also recalls a moment of panic when there was a gas attack alert and the gas mask he'd found had a bullet hole right through it. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
The call for help went out from a seaplane on a rescue mission. Japanese Zeroes were attacking and when P-47 pilot Richard Fleischer got there, they headed for the cover of a cloud bank. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
Howard Snyder, a B-17 pilot, remembers being shot down by German fighter planes during a mission, jumping from his damaged aircraft into the European countryside, and being protected by French and Belgian members of the resistance group known as The Underground. He was missing in action for eight months before finding his way back to Third Army forces. (Provided by the family of Howard Snyder)
The fighter group had an ex-RAF pilot with great skills who had turned down any leadership role offered him. He just wanted to fly, says Richard Fleischer, who describes the tragic day when a pin-point fuel leak led to disaster. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
Young Donald Whipple had just read a book named They Were Expendable about PT Boat crews in the retreat from the Philippines. He was inspired to see if he could measure up to the heroics he read about, so he joined the Marines. As he got off the train, he heard from Marines at the station a refrain he would hear many times in the next few weeks, "You'll be sorry!" (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
He was finally going home, but an unusual group of service members were taking priority on the available seats home. P-47 pilot Richard Fleischer could only wait and hope as the flights went out without him. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
Donald Whipple had to get back to his unit. The wounded Marine was off shore on a hospital ship and he couldn't stand the thought of sitting on Guam while his buddies were under fire on Iwo JIma. He saw a sailor working on a landing craft and asked for a lift back to the beach. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
As the ship approached Yokohama, a terrible odor hung over the water. Harold Topping reveals what that turned out to be and then tells of the utter devastation wrought by the unrelenting Allied bombing campaign. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
New Marine Donald Whipple had practiced amphibious landings over and over in California. That was good because it helped him remain calm as he waited to go ashore at Iwo Jima, watching in amazement the unrelenting Naval bombardment of the island. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)
Bombardier and navigator Charlie Gribi recounts trying to knock a bomb loose after it failed to release during a bombing mission, only for it to fall out later on its own within 20 miles of his air base. Video provided by the Clermont County Public Library. Visit charliegribi.com for more information on his life and missions.
The demanding physical conditions during the battle for Iwo Jima are recalled by Donald Whipple. Not being able to get any sleep was probably the worst but there was also a strange, low fog which the mind filled with enemies who weren't really there. (Provided by LifeCairn, Inc.)