LAWRENCE W. CZIMBAL
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and thought the Ohio River was a huge, moving stretch of water Ö until at age 18 I joined the Marine Corps and within the year found myself in the midst of a very moving experience going and going and going southwest over the not-very-pacific Pacific Ocean to New Zealand.There I was in G Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines in the 2nd Marine Division.††
In New Zealand we did a lot of training in preparation for the amphibious assault on Tarawa Atoll, a mere speck of sand just above the equator about 2400 miles beyond Honolulu.Come to think of it, thatís about as far as Los Angeles to New York City!
About 15 of us guys and a 37mm cannon landed in the 3rd wave on, I think, Red Beach 2.It was hell.Iíll just leave it at that.††
Our job was to close with the enemy and not let them go anywhere.And that is exactly what we did!
We finally made it over to the south side of Betio, and by the time we had been there for about 72 hours, it was all over for us Ė and we lived through it all!It was all over for a lot of other good guys too, and I still think of them.They never came home.
After Tarawa, I went to Camp Tarawa on the Big Island of Hawaii, and a few months later we embarked for the trip to Saipan and Tinian.Eventually, I was at Okinawa, too.
Medals and awards included the Presidential Unit Citation (Tarawa), with one star; the Marine Good Conduct medal; and my honorable discharge!
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (Tarawa)
A PHOTO LINK TO THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION with one star COMES HERE SOON.
USMC GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
A PHOTO LINK TO THE USMC GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL COMES HERE SOON.
Larry, thank you for your service.The grit you show here is one of the essential qualities of a good Marine.The Corps fulfilled its promise to you, and you fulfilled your promise to the Corps.The beneficiary of all this is a very grateful America.
We will remember.
SEMPER FI,LARRY !
Received 22 November 2010
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