|Sid and his mortar squad grimaced as they landed on the black sand beaches of Cape Gloucester, at the southern tip of New Britain. Jungle foliage crept to the water’s edge and again, the Japanese had fled. Sid and his buddies carried a new attitude, of wanting to get the job done, win the war, and get home. Their mission was to block a coastal trail, really a footpath through|
Sid (second from right)
on Cape Gloucester
jungle, while other units pushed the Japanese toward them. But, a second adversary
appeared; the island itself. Monsoon season began and Sid remembers being deluged
with near constant rain for all of four months. Sid watched a mud hole swallow
a bulldozer and flash floods sweep away men from their hammocks. The downpour
cast the island in shades of black and white. Misery gave way to terror, one
night, when the Japanese launched a banzai charge against Sid’s battalion
at the height of a monsoon. Of the company’s four mortars, only Sid’s
was operational because only he had a working flashlight. The next morning,
Sid watched helplessly as stretcher bearers carried his badly wounded friends
back from the frontlines. He vowed, then and there, to study medicine if he
ever made it home.
To learn more, about Sid’s departure from Gloucester, his reunion with Eugene Sledge in the islands, his encounter with Lewis B. Chesty Puller, his triumphant return home, and the biggest challenge of his life—to win the prettiest girl in Mobile, we recommend Sid’s book, You’ll Be Sor-ree! available in the site store, autographed by Sid!
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