Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nov

21

1943

The second desperate day on Tarawa

Sprawled bodies on beach of Tarawa, testifying to ferocity of the struggle for this stretch of sand.  November 1943.

0600: One of the fresh battalions is coming in. Its Higgins boats are being hit before they pass the old hulk of a freighter seven hundred yards from shore. One boat blows up, then another. The survivors start swimming for shore, but machine-gun bullets dot the water all around them. Back of us the Marines have started an offensive to clean out the jap machine guns which are now firing at our men in the water.They evidently do not have much success, because there is no diminution of the fire that rips into the two dozen or more Higgins boats.