Pvt. Lloyd V. Smith
I was aware that my picture had been taken the day the corpsmen rescued me. Even though I saw the picture in the Marine Corp book, Follow Me, the picture was too small to be sure it was really me, Private Lloyd V. Smith. When I saw the enlarged picture on your website, I could recognize myself for sure. The tatoo on my right arm confirmed it.
I was shot through the chest the first night of the battle. When the Jap shot me, I was knocked backwards into the water. Before I lost all of my strength, I was impressed to put my helmet under my head. When the tide came in, the helmet kept my mouth and nose out of the water. The remaider of my body was submerged in the ocean water. I was on the beach all of that night, all of the next day and night.
During the second day a corpsman crawled out to me, most of my blood veins were collapsed, with great difficulty he was able to locate one artery. He inserted a needle and hooked up a bottle of plasma. He stuck my rifle and baynot into the sand and crawled away to help another wounded marine. The plasma sustained me through the day and into the night. The second night the tide again came in and the salty ocean water washed over my body. A doctor later told me that had it not been for the salt water pumping into the grapfruit size wound under my arm where the dum-dum bullet had exploded, I never would have survived.
It was a terrible battle. The tank with the marines and flame throwers were the men who really disabled the pill boxes. Without them our casualities would have been even greater. I was able to watch most of the battle for the three days, because I never slept during all of those hours. The morning of the third day I was very happy when the corpsmen in the picture, and the cameraman, came to rescue me. At least one of those corpsmen was shot and killed as I was carried down the beach to an amphibious tractor.
Private Lloyd Smith being tended to by corpsmen, Follow Me p.119.
copyright 2006 T.O.T.W.
Created 17 June 2006