Saturday, June 12, 2010

Author Scott Carmichael Completing Book on Captain Geary Bundschu - Guam Hero and My Father's Skipper

After my Dad passed away on April 25th, I was contacted by author Scott Carmichael. Mr. Carmichael is the author of two books - one about the return of Apollo 11 and the other about a Cuban spy. Scott Carmichael has been doing research on the horrific fight for Bundschu Ridge - part of the Chorito Cliff system near Guam's Adelup Point. Ir was here on July 21, 1944 that the 21st Battlion, 3rd Marines of 3rd Marine Division landed on Red Beach One and lost more men that day than the entire 3rd Division in the Bougainville Campaign.

Mr. Carmichael had interviewed a gentleman from Michigan who had been a close friend of my father and had intended to speak with my father's platoon commander who had died in January of this year. The subject of the book is the battle and the man for whom the men of Able Company named the ridge systen - their "Skipper" ( WWII Marines refered to the Company Commander as The Skipper) - Captain Geary Bundschu, USMCR - recipient of the Navy Cross ( post.). The gentleman in Michigan and I talked shortly after my father's funeral. He and the platoon commander were badly wounded and evacuated on the first day of the battle. My father and very few of his comrades survived that fight and continued through the Guam campaign and later Iwo Jima.

I saw this news article about SCott Carmnichael's book on Apollo 11 -click my post title for more.

Carmichael, meanwhile, already has completed most of the research for his next book, tentatively titled "Bundschu Ridge." He said the book is a "nonfictional account of an effort by USMC Capt. Geary R. Bundschu* to seize a prominent ridge located inland of the Asan Beach landing zone during the July 21, 1944, liberation of Guam."

Four men in the company were left behind; known to have been killed in action, their bodies never were recovered.

Carmichael thinks he has located the body of one of the Marines whose body remains on Bundschu ridge. He said he hopes he and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii can retrieve it within the next few months.


The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Geary R. Bundschu (0-8276), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Commanding Officer of Company A, First Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on the Asan-Adelup Beachhead, Guam, Marianas Islands, on 22 July 1944. With his company pinned down by bitter hostile machine-gun, mortar and rifle fire during an advance up a vital enemy ridge, Captain Bundschu unhesitatingly exposed himself to an intense barrage from Japanese guns and, fearlessly proceeding forward, observed and sketched the enemy position retarding the advance of his unit. Again making himself a target for hostile weapons, despite painful wounds in the shoulder, he continued to observe enemy defenses and skillfully reorganized his men in preparation for another fierce assault against the Japanese-held ridge. Although his right arm was rendered useless by a grenade fragment when his platoon was caught in a hostile machine-gun crossfire and simultaneously subjected to a vicious grenade attack, Captain Bundschu courageously directed his men to take cover then, valiantly pressing forward succeeded in destroying the nearest Japanese machine-gun position with grenades before he was mortally wounded. His great personal courage and inspiring leadership in the face of grave peril were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Commander In Chief, Pacific Forces, Serial: 004424 (December 18, 1945)
Home Town: Oakland, California

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