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Rick Holly

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Christening Tarawa LHA-1 DEC 1, 1973 11:00 AM Pascagoula, Mississippi

Until that day in November, 1943, it was an still, just one of the many islands called the Gilberts. Enclosing a lagoon, by simple dimensions it was about 13 miles wide and 18 miles long. To the American military strategist, it was one important step closer to the Japanese home islands, whose warlords had to be subdued. Hopefully then, the great ocean in which all this was happening would once more be called the Pacific. To the Japanese who defended it at the cost of more than 4,000 of its men, and to the United States Marines who attacked it, it became a 76 hour hell on earth. The Marines were awarded a shower of decorations for gallantry, among them four Medals of Honor. Three of those were posthumous - 1st Lieutenants Alexander Bonnyman and William Hawkins, and Staff Sgt. William Bordelon - and the 4th who lived through it all, Col. David M. Shoup, became Commandant of the Marine orps later. One of the reasons casualties to the Marines were so high was a hangup on outlying reefs, due in part to inadequate landing craft. "On day," said many of those who survived Tarawa's battle, "we will have our own ship, one which will help us respond to a greater variety of situations at less cost in lives, Marine lives..." So, in memory of those who gave everything they had - their blood, their lives - today, there is a ship, the USS Tarawa, which makes that old Marine dream come true at last. 
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Keith Brownmiller

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I have uncovered several older editions of books chronicling The Battle of Tarawa. I would be willing to share them, provided I ship them to you, that after you have read them they are returned, kinda like a library. Once sent, you should read them rather than holding on to them for a while before reading and returning.

Those that are interested in knowing what our fathers or grandfathers went through, that would not talk about it, I would urge you to read one or both of them.

Semper Fi

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Rick Holly

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David, this is the area on the forum where I digitized the Tarawa Record for everyone to listen to. 
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