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Fournier's journey to the Marines mirrored that of many young men of the Depression years. At 17 he trekked solo from east to west coast and back. Joe, at 18, joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Chemical Warfare Service in the Panama Canal Zone. His commitment with the Army satisfied, Joe sought an opportunity for more formal education through the National Youth Administration's Quoddy Head project. Next Joe was off to join the Marines, the one organization that might offer him the life he craved, one of adventure and travel. As an enlisted Marine on board the USS Lexington, he boarded the "Lady Lex" as a Private and left her two years later as a Sergeant. The U.S. entry into WWII turned most lives upside down, Sgt. Fournier's was no exception. Identified as an exceptional Marine by his superiors led to his connection with the famed British Commandos and a covert trip to Scotland. This led to a field promotion and Officer Candidate School. His abilities as a leader and trainer plus his connection to the elite Marine Raider Battalions delayed his joining fellow Marines in the Pacific. Lt Fournier entered the fight against the Japanese when he joined the 1st Division, known as the "Old Breed", in Australia, July 1943. The 1st Division was in dire need of rehabilitation and training after the Guadalcanal campaign, Lt Fournier's skills satisfied that need. By December, with less than 6 months assigned with the division, the lieutenant received a Letter of Commendation for the rescue of a Marine. Prior to the December 26, 1944 invasion of occupied New Britain, Lt Fournier participated in a covert reconnaissance mission on Cape Gloucester. Using his expertise in amphibious landing techniques and leadership, led to another recognition when awarded the Bronze Star with Valor. After the invasion, on January 7, 1944, Lt Fournier sustained a gunshot wound and his first Purple Heart. His leadership and fighting spirit was acknowledged in May 1944 with the command of his own company and the rank of Acting Captain. As part of the 1st Marine Infantry Battalions, who were first to land on Peleliu in September 1944, Lt Fournier's company fought valiantly on the infamous Bloody Nose Ridge. Acknowledged for his courageous actions and leadership, Lt Fournier received The Navy Cross.
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|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Joseph Fournier was the author's uncle.