Forgotten Raiders of '42: The Fate of the Marines Left Behind on Makin

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Overview

On October 16, 1942, on Kwajalein Atoll, at the fringe of the Japanese Empire, members of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 6th Base Unit ceremonially beheaded nine Marines from the 2nd Raider Battalion. The captives held no hopes for pardon or for rescue as they walked blindfolded, one by one, to the spot of execution, which also became their burial site. The Marine Corps and their families already thought they were dead, the men knew.

Forgotten Raiders of '42 is the account of how these volunteer patriots, unbeknownst to their command, were inadvertently left behind after the Marines' raid on Makin Island in August 1942. The raid, which was a morale boost for the Navy Department and the American public, was hailed at home as a great success even as the condemned Raiders knelt to await their fate. The heroism of the Raiders-under the command of Lt. Col. Evans F. Carlson, who later received the Navy Cross-has been well documented by the press, in books, and in Hollywood. In a country craving good news and heroes, Carlson and the Navy delivered. The details of the raid's shaky beginning and tragic end, however, would not be known until many years later.

After a summary of the dramatic raid, Tripp Wiles focuses on the Raiders' withdrawal from Makin and on Carlson's decisions that directly affected the men who were left behind. Wiles also examines the actions, inactions, and conditions that led to their unintentional abandonment. Finally, he reviews the Navy's private reactions and, using new documents and interviews, the Raiders' fate, bringing a measure of closure to the disappearance and execution of the forgotten Raiders.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597970556
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/30/2007
  • Series: Military Controversies
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.67 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Emerson "Tripp" Wiles III is a graduate of The Citadel and a former Army officer. He holds a masters degree in diplomacy and military studies from Hawaii Pacific University, and a law degree from The University of Memphis. Tripp worked for four years as an analyst at both the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii and the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in Virginia. Tripp and his wife Lindsay live in Charleston, South Carolina, where he is an estate planning attorney with Wiles Law Firm, LLC.
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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Chronology     xi
Introduction     1
The Raiders     11
The Raid     19
Conflicting Reports     35
The Left Behind     49
Victors' Justice     59
Pacific Heroes     71
Carlson and Roosevelt After the Raid     81
The Search for the Forgotten Raiders     85
A Search Through History     93
The Interpreters     113
Good News     119
Raiders Killed and Missing in Action     129
Notes     131
Bibliography     149
Index     161
About the Author     169
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