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We Were Going to Win, Or Die There : With the Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan


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by Roy H. Elrod and Fred H. Allison
English | 2017 | ISBN: 1574416898 | 334 Pages | PDF | 3.72 MB


In 1940, native West Texan Roy H. Elrod joined the Marine Corps. A few years later his unit, the 8th Marine Regiment, went into the fight at Guadalcanal, where he commanded a platoon of 37 mm gunners. They endured Japanese attacks, malarial tropical weather, and starvation rations. His combat leadership earned him a Silver Star and a battlefield promotion.

On D-Day at Tarawa his platoon waded their 37 mm cannons ashore, each weighing nearly 1,000 pounds, through half a mile of bullet-laced surf to get to an island where the killing never stopped. His was the only platoon to get its guns ashore and into action that first day. At Saipan, Elrod commanded a platoon of 75 mm halftracks, but he was riddled with shrapnel from an enemy artillery shell that took him out of the war.

Fred H. Allison interviewed Elrod, drew upon wartime letters home, and provided annotations to the narrative of this young Marine infantry officer, a job that had an extremely low survival potential.

"We Were Going to Win, or Die There is an excellent way to experience the war through the eyes of one brave man who was there."-Eric Hammel, author of Guadalcanal: Starvation Island

"We are indeed indebted to the late Major Roy H. Elrod, USMC for completing his account of a combat Marine during World War II before he passed away. We are also thankful for the foresight of his editor, Dr. Fred H. Allison. This memoir will become required reading for all students of the great Pacific War well into the future."-Charles P. Neimeyer, Director of History Division, Marine Corps University
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