Cpl. Louis E. Malerba 2/8
My Uncle Louis E. Malerba was on Tarawa November 20 1943 with the 2nd Marine Division. He is still living today but he does not talk much about Tarawa or other operations he was involved in while in the Marine Corps. He does talk about Samoa, Hawaii, and Boot camp but that is it. He's got a collection of photos in a album from of Tarawa and Pango Pango.
I do know he went through boot camp at Paris Island in late 1942 and was sent to Guadalcanal with 2/8 where he joined up with the Raiders and was involved in several operations. I am not sure if he was with 2/8 or 5th Tracts when he went to Tarawa.
He did say that the Raider outfit he was with was disbanded for reasons unknown before he went to Tarawa. I remember one time a long time ago at a family party he was drinking and talked about being dug in when night time came on the first day of Tarawa. He said you did not dare get out of your position. You could smell the DOPE in the air and you knew they were going to come but you did not know when that would be. If you moved they would get you or maybe one of your own would get you. So you stayed in your hole and shit and pissed there. You didn't worry about falling asleep because you just could not even if you wanted too.
He was one of the first marine to be discharged at wars end. He was in Clamtin Falls, Oregon when it ended. He said once that the Captain in charge there remarked to him, "You've seen your share of action Malerba."
copyright 2004 T.O.T.W.
Created 8 October 2004