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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 edition has a new foreword and index, boasts nine new photographs, and a map of the action. It resumes its place as 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.
About the Author
Patrick F. Caruso was a native of New Jersey. He was educated at Western Maryland College and later earned two M.A. degrees from Seton Hall University. Eager to join the war effort, Caruso enlisted in the Marine Corps while still in college and attended Officer Candidates School at Quantico, Virginia.
After receiving his commission, he was assigned to the Ninth Regiment, Third Marine Division, and in February 1945, his company launched its attack in Iwo Jima. By the end of the attack, all five of Caruso’s senior officers had been killed or wounded, leaving him in command of K Company. Before the battle was over, Caruso was also a casualty.
Following the war, Caruso was employed by the Veterans Administration as a rehabilitation officer assisting disabled veterans. In 1953 he began a career in education, retiring in 1981 after thirteen years as superintendent of the Morris Hills, New Jersey, district schools.
Caruso was also the author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, including an Associated Press article commemorating the Battle of Iwo Jima. His widow, Mary, lives in New Jersey and Florida.
Table of Contents
Foreword David G. Rathgeber ix
Map of Iwo Jima 2
A New Assignment
The Preparation 3
En Route 10
On the Alert 19
Over the Side 27
Lieutenant, You're in Charge 33
Motoyama Airfield No. 2 38
Attack and Counterattack 51
The Hill That Opened 61
Lunch with a Dead Man and Other Thoughts 66
Motoyama Village and Beyond 73
Night Attack on Hill 362-C 75
Know Thine Enemy 82
The Last Patrol
Barabbas or Jesus? 110
Our New Neighbors 114
Nightmare in Hell
Men of Uncommon Valor 123