Seventy years ago, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 1st Marine Division engaged the Japanese at Alligator Creek (often referred to as the Battle of the Tenaru River).
I guess I'm lucky to be here today, My Dad was there.
My Dad was a Corporal with the Regimental Intelligence Section. He and three others were sent out to establish observation posts. The first was on the Lunga River, and then they were sent to the west bank of the Tenaru River.
#As he told a local newspaper a few years ago: "We put a seat up in a coconut tree and were able to see all the way across the sound with a spotoscope. I saw one of our B17s bomb the fantail of a Jap destroyer and I could see the Japs running around in their skivvies," XXXXXXXXl said.
#He was on duty in the tree early in the morning of Aug. 21 and heard gunfire.
#"I had a cheap tommygun. I climbed down and saw a bunch of Japs coming across the sand and started shooting. After eight shots the gun jammed, so I found a dugout where another Marine had an extra gun, but when his buddy came back, he wanted his gun back. I had grenades. I crawled back to where there were dead Japanese and picked up a sword and made my way to our guns."
#XXXXXXXXXX said he helped get the guns turned from the ocean to where the enemy was crossing the river and helped fire a 37 mm cannon. He and two of his team were wounded.
#"I was not a hero. I just did what came naturally. We use the word hero too much today," he said.
Dad always said that the war was a "great adventure" and that he was lucky to make it to twenty-six. When he was carried off the riverbank, " ... my dungarees were shredded below my knees."
He carried much of that Japanese metal until he died.
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