Alligator Marines, A story of the 5th Amphibious Tractor Battalion in WW II (2nd Edition)by Donald B. Marshall
Second edition, this book has been updated, re-edited, and additional illustrations by the barefoot Marine have been included. This is a book about the 5th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, World War II, three tiny pacific islands, and the story of the 'young men' who became 'legendary men' fighting for their mothers and fathers, flag and country, you and… See more details below
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Second edition, this book has been updated, re-edited, and additional illustrations by the barefoot Marine have been included. This is a book about the 5th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, World War II, three tiny pacific islands, and the story of the 'young men' who became 'legendary men' fighting for their mothers and fathers, flag and country, you and me.
Undoubtedly you know the story of Iwo Jima and have seen Joe Rosenthal's photo of the six heroes who raised the flag over Mount Suribachi. The battle for the volcano was an epic in itself, the capture of Suribachi becoming a legend in the long and varied history of the United States Marine Corps. What you haven't read about, however, is the story behind the legend, the story of the barefoot Marine who won't call himself a hero but never-the-less is. It is the story of my Dad who by 18 was already a veteran of Saipan and Tinian and then drove an Amtrac with the 5th Amphibious Tractor Battalion as they went ashore on Iwo.
The story is about heroes, coming of age, and facing the enemy. It is both tragic and humorous; it is the telling of the tale of Don Marshall, proud to number himself among those amphibians of the 5th who wore the eagle, globe, and anchor--an Alligator Marine!
- Day By Day
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Meet the Author
Little did the tranquil Belgian couple, Louie and Nettie know about the son, Donald, they produced on a quiet July morning in 1926. As he grew to manhood, it was obvious that Donald would match their tranquil steadfastness with an opposite and equal boisterousness and lust for life known to few but the most auspicious of adventurers. The place, Elmhurst, Illinois. His birth was soon followed by the Great Depression of '29 wherein the family was forced to move.
About that time WW II beckoned and Marshall successfully coned his way into in the United States Marine Corps, with the aid of a phony birth certificate. He excelled in knife, club, and bayonet fighting and was assigned to the hard hitting, first wave, 5th Amphibious Tractor Battalion. After serving a riotous life in the pacific from age 17 through 19, he returned to join the Los Angeles Police Department working the San Pedro waterfront and eventually advancing to Special Investigator.
In Marshall's very active life, he had been declared dead, missing or captured on several occasions including by the Department of Defense, as having died in 2001, "A slight exaggeration" stated Marshall when he heard, "but nothing new."
The day did dawn though, when Don Marshall, 84 years old ended the last chapter of his own life. On Nov. 3, 2010 in Tok, Alaska, the last proclamation of death was finally real. A wake was held the following Monday at the Tok Lodge because Marshall always wanted to buy all his friends a parting drink as he transitioned from this life to the next.
Though he was in poor health the last few years, his life was rich with tales of a bygone era. He was always polite and never complained of his many ailments. And if anyone had a moment, Don had a story. His interests were archaeology, criminology, flying, gold mining, the Civil War, and WWII. He had a large collection of antique guns and bayonets as well as other various antiques. When his legs could not take him far, Don piled books about his room and continued to read about places his body would no longer take him. His imagination and curiosity never wavered. He was a true hero and your hero too--read his book and find out what it was really like on Iwo.
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