6:17 | 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.
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The tool and die factory looked dark and bleak so Gilbert Jensen wanted to enlist and join the war effort. It took a family meeting to convince his mother to let him become a Marine. Boot camp in San Diego featured an erratic drill instructor and a surprise swimming coach.
Gilbert Jensen thought Guadalcanal was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. The only danger the first night was from local sea creatures but soon he was face to face with the determined Japanese occupiers.
Marine Gilbert Jensen recalls when a Japanese force of 500 men landed on Guadalcanal and was beaten. Then they landed 900 with the same result. What happened when they upped the ante to 1500?
You were always close to the enemy in the jungle on Guadalcanal, according to Gilbert Jensen. And he had the stains on his shirt to prove it. You could see strange things as well, like the time the Kansas farmer of the unit thought he saw the Japanese climbing coconut trees with lit cigars.
In the daytime, it was Japanese artillery. At night, they brought their naval guns to bear on the Marines in the jungle. If that wasn't bad enough, Gilbert Jensen couldn't cross a river without checking for their hygiene conscious troops, who would bathe anytime they got near a body of water.
Years after his duty on Guadalcanal, Marine Gilbert Jensen saw his unit's exploits turned into a Hollywood movie, Battle Cry. He says it was pretty accurate, but they did change the commander's nickname to something a little more flattering,
He can laugh, now, about the t-shirts the chaplain gave the native girls, and about the fruitcake his sister sent that he still has. But Gilbert Jensen doesn't laugh about contracting four tropical diseases at the same time.
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.
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.
There was no way paratroop trainee Al Mampre wanted to be a medic. So, naturally, he became a medic. On his first jump into Holland, he had an unusual experience under fire involving civilians and cherries.
When the war ended, Al Brown experienced high and low emotions. Happy for victory and sad for fallen comrades, and even for the Germans. The turmoil followed him on the trip home in the form of a raging hurricane.
He knew it was somewhere and he found it. In a tunnel under a hotel, Al Mampre found hundreds of bottles of booze hidden by the Nazis. What he didn't expect was when a woman flanked by two MP's came in and pointed to a seat cushion he was using.
Medic Al Mampre was wounded when he went to the aid of a soldier who was in the open, with no cover at all. He was impressed with the Dutch civilians who ran, unarmed, out to help him. He recovered and stayed with the Allied push all the way to Bastogne, which he allowed was, "A little chilly."
It was the best duty he ever had. Al Mampre was in charge of health care for visiting dignitaries in a luxury hotel in Berchtesgaden. He learned to love the speckled trout and how to dodge MP's in a big Packard.
Red Onines' weapon was a carbine. He says it was so inaccurate, you might as well just hit someone over the head with it. Still, he gave harassing fire towards the German gun emplacements just to give them something to think about. The randomness of death in an artillery barrage was the thing that bothered him most.
Al Mampre says the medics were fastest on the mountain, fastest on the obstacle course and better on the firing range, except for him. He tells how a sergeant in his outfit inspired the story of the Band of Brothers. And he reveals his parting comments to his commanding officer and his girlfriend's premonition.
In a mountain village during the Battle of the Bulge, Tank Mechanic Cecil Gladney could look down and see German troops in their positions below. Following combat units into Germany, he noted that the German civilians treated him better than the French.