Tarawa Betio Gilbert Islands USMC WWII 2nd Marine Division

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Author Topic: More on 44  (Read 34 times)

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More on 44
« on: July 09, 2020, 05:11:52 pm »
Perhaps more than speculation on this one??...

From book, Echoes of the Last World War by Lt William Sanders of D-1-2

Second Day

"After emptying the .50 Caliber machine gun, a Sherman tank came along the beach and stopped at the end of the perpendicular structure and fired several rounds into the window or slit of the pillbox. At that time, Petrie, Wolford and I walked over to the pillbox at the sea wall front and observed the worst carnage I ever seen in the war. I recognized the body of Private/Corporal Casto [PFC William Monroe Casto D-1-2] of West Virginia hanging head and upper body down over the left side of the rightmost of the two Amtracs stalled and their occupants virtually wiped out in front of the pillbox. Casto had been a member of the first platoon that I commanded, the command of which was taken from  me prior to leaving New Zealand. Bodies and body parts of Marines were strewn all around both of the Amtracs with Casto’s Amtrac stopped at a 45 degree angle on the sea wall and the other several yards before reaching the sea wall and closer in the corner formed with the sea wall by the perpendicular structure."
"These Marines of my first weapon’s company platoon were simply trapped in the corner of the sea wall and the perpendicular structure. "

Sanders mentions other Marines that he corresponded with in 2002 of 2ndMarDiv that identified themselves as being with the tracs.  Fred Clements being one of A-Co 2nd Amphib. Haven't absorbed that info yet. Map with arrow put in by Sanders where tracs were.

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Re: More on 44
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2020, 12:08:35 am »
Interesting. thanks for the post. I have referred to the "perpendicular structure" as a stone jetty. To the left (east) of the jetty the seawall was constructed of coral blocks with log emplacements along its length in the direction of the main pier. at the base of the jetty to the right is where LVT-2 #2 and LVT-2 #9 ended up. LVT-1 #44 was just west of them and LVT-1 #41 behind them on the second day. Lots of good Marines floating around them. Here is the rear entrance to that pillbox and the Marine wandering around looking at the carnage.      [ Guests cannot view attachments ]
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 10:56:31 am by gunnygp »
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Kim Harrison

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Re: More on 44
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2020, 06:25:38 pm »
Hi All
Sorry been a while. Glad to see everybody, and prey you and your familys are well.
As always we all band together and solve much.
Great topic. I havnt got much to add. But hope you injoy pic. 1930s base of Pier.

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