James L. Evans, K/3/6
I do not remember much about Tarawa other than we were in one fire fight after the other. We went in the second or third day, I don't remember which, as the 6th Marines had been Corps Reserve, but were cut loose very quickly. We waded in. We had to wade through the floating bodies of dead Marines. We knew that we were in trouble, though I guess that things had begun to start going our way by then, but we still had a lot of fighting to do. We had a hell of a battle one night and day, and I believe that we killed what ever Japs were left on the Atoll. We took a few casualties, nothing like the people that went in before us, but a good number. The 1/6 got hit with a night attack, 3/6 was right behind them, but because of the closeness of the units could not fire into the attacking Japs. A number of us moved into the 1/6 lines to help out and we broke their backs that night. They were saked up and were attacking us with whatever they could get their hands on, rifles, spears, sticks, and who knows what. We had some hand-to-hand as the sheer weight of their numbers carried them through or to our lines. The next day 3/6 moved out and secured the atoll.
A smiling Jim in 1941.
Thanks Jim!! Jim is also the keeper of the SMDA website.
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Created 17 April 2001 - Updated 14 May 2001