On February 19, 1945, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions stormed ashore from a naval support force. Among them was green young Lieutenant Pat Caruso who became de facto company commander when the five officers ranking him were killed or wounded. He led his rapidly diminishing force steadily forward for the next few days, when a day's gains were measured in yards. Caruso was eventually wounded himself and was evacuated.
Realizing that the heroism of his comrades would be lost by the decimation of his unit, Caruso latched onto any paper he could find and filled every blank space with his memory of the fighting. This is a classic account of the experience of being in close, direct, and constant contact with a determined enemy at close quarters. Many did not survive; those who did were changed forever.
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