Anthony J. Jackubowski
As told to Ray Jackubowski by Anthony J. Jackubowski
My dadís stories seems to start out at Camp Elliot in Calif. Where he started his basic training, after which he continued at Camp Pendelton. He was than shipped out to the Hawaiian Islands, he related the story to me about how he was on one of the smaller islands called Marui, and that if you missed the bus for liberty you were pretty much stuck there on base, so you made an effort not to miss it.
I think he was then shipped out to New Zealand where he and others awaited their being shipped out to the combat area, which was going to be Tarawa atoll. He was in the third wave of marines going in.
The landing craft was prevented from going all the way to shore by landing obstacles and with the heavy fire that was still taking place the order was given to jump over the sides and wade to the beach. His landing area was near the center of the island. He made his way to a sand bar where he had to pass by a wounded marine, but had to leave him lay or become a causality himself. He made it to the beach and took cover behind a sand edge. After about a half hour or so he was able to move inland. He mentioned being in some kind of trench and than jumped into a bomb crater when a mortar shell hit while he was half way up the side of the crater. He said he was lucky because if it had hit anywhere else he could have been wounded. Fortunately the only injury was a flesh wound to a sergeantís arm. Everyone else nearby was unhurt.
The next story my dad remembered about Tarawa was when he had dug a fox hole near a Jap bunker. Some other guys had made theirs a bit closer. After they were dug in some civilian slave laborer tried to surrender, but with tensions high they shot first( not my dad but the other guys) and asked questions later. They got him in the torso and he fell dead near my dad's fox hole with his hand draped over the edge.
In another story, unconfirmed secondhand, about a Marine who wandered into a bunker for the night to catch some sleep. In the morning he woke up and walked out to discover that there were six or seven Japs inside who I imagine were sleeping also.
Another secondhand story was about a Sergeant who had a bullet hit the side of his helmet and opened it like a can opener leaving the occupant unhurt. I guess that could be one for the facts are stranger than fiction section.
So far thatís all I have on dadís Tarawa experience, after this the Second Marines were divided up and two new divisions were formed the Third and Fourth Marine division, than it was off to Saipan.
Created May 4, 2000
Copyright 2000 Wheaton, Illinois