• William H. Kirk

“We arrived on the day the island was secured, and were a part of the housekeeping forces. I was a high speed radio operator with the Army Airways Communication System (AACS). We established a radio link with Christmas Island and Hawaii. We also communicated with the aircraft.

“During the first few days we began to fully understand the tragic circumstances which befell the marines. I can view their situation in a proper light, as I have a son in the marines. The Japs had set up a web of defense using coconut logs and the coral sand as a way to weave a checkerboard-style defense system, which faced the lagoon. Knocking out one left you facing two. They also managed to swim out to a stranded vessel and set up a crossfire.

“We were bombed almost nightly until the captrure of Kwajalein (I was on that one also). Only one person lost his life due to the bombings.

“The blowflies went from body parts to the messkits, and the stench was terrible. The burial for the Japs was long trenches and throwing bodies in one on top of the other. This method was understandable, as we knew little respect for them, and to preclude disease.

“I pray you and yours never fall heir to a situation such as that. There is much more that could be said. I like to avoid the details and bear a standard for the brave marines who took that place.”


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