The Marines on Guadalcanal
ROBERT YOUNGDEER, 1st Raider BattalionConverted for the Web from "Into The Rising Sun: In Their Own Words, World War II's Pacific Veterans Reveal the Heart of Combat" by Patrick K. O'Donnell
Jump to: The Marines on Guadalcanal | John Sweeney, 1st Raider Battalion
Robert Youngdeer of E-Company | John Sweeney commands B-Company
Dave Taber at Bloody Ridge | Ira Gilliand throwing grenades
John Mielke defends Henderson Field | Tom Lyons, 1st Parachute Battalion
"Horse Collar" James Smith | Frank Guidone and the mortar squad
Dean Winters, 2nd Raider Battalion | Ray Bauml on the Long Patrol
Like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's last stand at Gettysburg's Little Round Top seventy-nine years earlier, the battle for Bloody Ridge was the crucial land battle for Guadalcanal. On the night of September 12 and 13, 1942, most of Major General Kiyotaki Kawaguchi's converging battalions were not in their assigned places for the attack on the ridge. As darkness fell, Kawaguchi's haphazard first attack fell on the Raiders' C Company and attached machine-gun platoon from E Company, forcing several platoons to withdraw. Robert Youngdeer, an E Company scout-rifleman, was manning a strong point along the main approach of the Japanese attack that night.
We heard them splashing across the river. They weren't very quiet. We could hear them jabbering away. They weren't attacking; they just were coming down the fire lane trying to find us. Soon they were all around our position. I could hear the bolts being pulled back on their weapons. Next they sprayed the bushes near us. We didn't fire because we knew if we did, we'd give away our position and they'd overwhelm us. So we threw grenades into them as they went around us, toward the ridge. We just kept throwing grenades. There wasn't the kind of fear you might think. There wasn't any panic or anything.
The Marines on Guadalcanal |
John Sweeney, 1st Raider Battalion
Copyright © 2002 by Patrick O'Donnell. All rights reserved. Converted for the Web with the permission of Simon & Schuster.
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