Every once in a while I’ll read some story about WWII or Vietnam vets and their heart felt stories of love, life, war, and survival. I found this story today as part of the Memorial Day celebrations.
Twins fought in the Pacific, survived, together…
The shipped out to Hawaii for training for the Guam invasion, although they didn’t know at the time they were headed for Guam.
After a week at sea, the 77th Division invaded Guam on July 23, 1944. The Higgins boat carrying the twins landed on the beachhead under fire.
The battle for Guam lasted nearly a month and a half. The brothers stayed in the same foxholes but split up in battle so they wouldn’t be killed together. Sammy was wounded by shrapnel and would have been awarded a Purple Heart, but refused out of respect for those who lost a limb, or more, in the battles. And, after one battle, Artie discovered a bullet hole in his fatigues.
When Guam was finally secured, the 77th left for New Caledonia near Australia for rehabilitation, but before they arrived, the Pacific command shipped them to Leyte to help with the invasion that was underway. The 77th landed in Ormach on the side of the island opposite the established beachhead, with the mission to fight across the island and meet allied forces on the other side, cutting the island in two for the Japanese. The Japanese called in reinforcements and U.S. troops were bombed and strafed.