Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM World War II

Ralph Dunlap | Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion - Marines

5:20   |   Like so many young men following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ralph Dunlap was eager to join the fight. And like so many mothers, his would not sign for him, so on his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted in the Marines. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

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Videos ( 6 )
WWII
  • Ralph Dunlap  |  WWII  |  Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion  |  6:26

    Newly minted Marine Ralph Dunlap was sent from Camp Lejeune to Hawaii, where he volunteered for the Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion, a highly specialized force that approached beachheads ahead of landings to assess the obstacles and dangers. This required some Olympic class swimming. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Ralph Dunlap  |  WWII  |  Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion  |  6:58

    After training in Hawaii, Ralph Dunlap headed for Saipan to reconnoiter the beachhead. He was part of an elite Marine reconnaissance unit that, under cover of night, approached the shore in rubber boats and swam in to assess the defenses. They had to do this, not only on Saipan and Tinian, but on the many small islands that surrounded them. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Ralph Dunlap  |  WWII  |  Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion  |  4:59

    After witnessing an amusing incident involving sake on Saipan, Ralph Dunlap thought he might be headed back to Pearl Harbor, but the destination was a little island called Iwo Jima. His usual reconnaissance mission was to scout out beachheads before invasion, but there, he was needed on shore to assess the situation out in front of the lines. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Ralph Dunlap  |  WWII  |  Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion  |  6:07

    Iwo Jima was a mess. Ralph Dunlap was part of a Marine reconnaissance unit and he was amazed at the gore and devastation. He describes his experience there, which included tense missions ahead of the lines and furious banzai attacks. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Ralph Dunlap  |  WWII  |  Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion  |  3:32

    When Ralph Dunlap's small reconnaissance unit was pulled out of Iwo Jima, he had to listen to some jeering from those who had to remain. His next stop was Okinawa, where a typhoon ruined some much needed down time. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

  • Ralph Dunlap  |  WWII  |  Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion  |  3:32

    Steaming toward Pearl Harbor after the battle of Okinawa, Ralph Dunlap heard about the atomic bomb, which made the good music on Tokyo Rose's broadcast so much sweeter. Soon, he was headed home, not even minding that it was on a clunky LST. (This interview made possible with the support of COL ROBERT W. RUST, USMCR (ret.) in honor of LtGen Lawrence Snowden & LtGen George Christmas.)

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