Lewis Puller enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1918 at the age of twenty. That day he and the Corps formed a bond that would forever link them together in history. "Chesty" received his nickname for his barrel chest, but he became a legend in his own time while serving valiantly in Haiti, Nicaragua, the Pacific during WW2, and Korea. His record of earning five Navy Crosses for valor has never been matched, nor has his place in Marine Corps history as one of the finest combat officers ever. Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sgt. Lena Basilone Pictures

Marine Sergeant Lena Basilone was the wife of Medal of Honor winner John Basilone. I just watched HBO's The Pacific episode 7, it was great, tons of action. Anyway it looks like John and Lena Basilone meet and fall in love during episode 8. I thought I would share some of the information I have found on Lena Basilone, it's not much, but here it is.

 Lena Basilone's Obituary, this has some good info, click image for a larger view.

The happy couple on there wedding day.

HBO's The Pacific a ten part mini-series includes the love story of John and Lena Basilone.

Lena christens the USS Basilone after John's death. She was a stunning women.

Actress Annie Parisse plays Lena Riggi Basilone in HBO's The Pacific. More info on Annie here -- Wiki and -- IMDB

Annie Parisse and Jon Seda, as Lena Riggi and John Basilone.

The Basilone wedding party.

The grave of Lena Basilone. God Bless and Semper Fi.

Check here for more info on Lena Riggi Basilone.

Check here for more info on John Basilone

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More Pictures Of Chesty Puller -- Bad Ass Marine

The title basically says it all, more pictures of Marine Legend, Lewis "Chesty" Puller.
Chesty Puller In Korea

Lewis Puller during his line-crossing ceremony

Puller getting shit done in color

Bring It

The Legend

Puller at Inchon

General Puller wearing his Marine Dress Uniform

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eugene Sledge -- Author and War Hero

Having just finished Helmet For My Pillow by Robert Leckie (great book by the way) I am now starting With The Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. HBO's miniseries The Pacific was based on these two books.

Eugene Sledge and Actor Joe Mazzello from HBO's The Pacific

I you are watching The Pacific then you might have some interest in the real men behind the characters in the show. Please enjoy some of the information I have located on Marine Veteran and Author E.B. Sledge.

A young Eugene Sledge

Eugene Bondurant Sledge (November 4, 1923 – March 3, 2001) was a United States Marine, university professor, and author. His 1981 memoir With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa was, in part, the basis for Ken Burn's PBS documentary, The War on World War II and for the HBO series on the Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

E.B. Sledge

Eugene B. Sledge was born on November 4, 1923 and grew up at Georgia Cottage in Mobile, Alabama. The great-grandson of Confederate officers, Sledge was bookish and frail as a child. However, his physician father brought him up to be accustomed to the outdoors. Having learned to fish and hunt from his father, he was fond of venturing outdoors into the woods with his best friend Sidney Phillips. After Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, Sledge wished to join the Marines with his friend Phillips. A heart murmur prevented him from joining up at that time, however, and Phillips went off to the recruitment post alone. Sledge graduated from Murphy High School in Mobile in May 1942, and entered Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama, that fall.

Sledge and His Father in HBO's The Pacific

During the scene pictured above Sledge's father, a doctor, tells him "The worst thing about treating those combat boys from the Great War wasn't that they had had their flesh torn, it was that they had had their souls torn out."

Sledge (Joseph Mazzello) hits the beach at Peleliu

Sledge enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in December 1942 to train as an officer, but in order not to "miss the war" he joined as an enlisted man and was eventually assigned to Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (K/3/5). He served as a Private First Class in the Pacific Theater and saw combat as a 60 mm mortarman at Peleliu and Okinawa. When fighting grew too close for effective use of the mortar he served other duties such as stretcher bearer and providing rifle fire. During his service, Sledge kept notes of what happened in his pocket sized New Testament. When the war ended, he took these notes and compiled them into the memoir that was to be known as With the Old Breed. After being posted to Beijing (then known as Peiping), China after the war, he was discharged from the Marine Corps in February 1946 with the rank of Corporal.

Sledge during happy times in the Marine Corps

After the war, Sledge attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in the summer of 1949. Sledge, like many other war veterans, had a hard time readjusting to civilian life. “As I strolled the streets of Mobile, civilian life seemed so strange,” Sledge wrote. “People rushed around in a hurry about seemingly insignificant things. Few seemed to realize how blessed they were to be free and untouched by the horrors of war. To them, a veteran was a veteran – all were the same, whether one man had survived the deadliest combat or another had pounded a typewriter while in uniform.”

Sledge is center smoking the pipe

Once an avid hunter, Sledge gave up his hobby. He found that he could not endure the thought of wounding a bird and said that killing a deer felt like shooting a cow in a pasture. His father found him weeping after a dove hunt where Sledge had to kill a wounded dove and in the ensuing conversations he told his father he could no longer tolerate seeing any suffering. A key turning point in his life and career followed when his father advised him that he could substitute bird watching as a hobby. Sledge started to assist the conservation department in its banding study efforts, the origin of his well known passion for the science of ornithology.

Sledge was such a young man, imagine the horror he witnessed

When he came to enroll at Auburn University, the female at the register office asked him if the Marine Corps taught him anything useful. Sledge replied saying "Lady, there was a killing war. The Marine Corps taught me how to kill Japs and try to survive. Now, if that don't fit into any academic course, I'm sorry. But some of us had to do the killing -- and most of my buddies got killed or wounded." He found his salvation in science, it kept the flashbacks of Peleliu and Okinawa at bay. Close, constant study of nature prevented him from going mad. However, the war stayed with him, and finally at the urging of his wife, he began to put his thoughts on paper, at last allowing him to put his horrors behind him. He returned to Auburn in 1953 where he worked as a research assistant until 1955. That same year he graduated from API with a Master of Science degree in botany. From 1956 to 1960 Sledge attended the University of Florida and worked as a research assistant. He published numerous papers on helminthology and in 1956 joined the Helminthological Society of Washington. He received his doctorate in biology from the University of Florida in 1960. He was employed by the Division of Plant Industries for the Florida State Department of Agriculture from 1959 to 1962.

Sledge loved Biology

In the summer of 1962, Sledge was appointed Assistant Professor of Biology at Alabama College (now the University of Montevallo). In 1970 he became a professor, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. He taught zoology, ornithology, comparative vertebrate anatomy and other courses during his long tenure there. Sledge was popular with his students, organizing field trips and collections around town. Eugene Sledge died after a long battle with stomach cancer in 2001. (source wiki  )

Eugene's Marine Discharge

Check Out E.B. Sledge's Books Below

With the Old Breed


God Bless You SledgeHammer!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chesty Puller Pictures -- One Bad Mother

You love him, I love him, here are some pictures of Lewis "Chesty" Puller getting things done. This dude was one hell of a Marine!

Chesty about to draw down

Puller arrives on the scene to kick some ass

Chesty Puller smoking his pipe and staring down death

Colonel Puller the Marine Legend
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