Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guam Liberated 66 Years Ago Today -



LVT under heavy fire on Red Beach 2 Guam -July 21, 1944

PFC Patrick E. Hickey USMCR carrying the Tripod for a .30 Cal. Machine Gun - July, 1944 on the ridges above Guam's Red Beach 2.


My father, Patrick E. Hickey, died last April 25, 2010. Most of the young men in his WWII Marine Company - Able, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines were wounded or killed on this day.

My Dad's platoon leader Lt. Krawiec of Chicago was wounded and evacuated getting out of the LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) on the Red Beach 2. PFC Boyd Curtis Troup of Jones, Michigan one of my Dad's best friends and fellow .30 Caliber Heavy Machine Gun crew member was wounded on this beach and evacuated as well.

The balance of Company A ( Able)including it's heroic company commander "Skipper" was pretty much wiped out over the next seventy-two hours taking Chorito Cliff and Bundschu Ridge ( named for Capt. Geary Bundschu-Navy Cross Skipper of A-1-3). Very few members of Able Company continued through the Guam Campaign, in fact the regimental casualties on the first day of the battle, exceeded the 3rd Marine Division Campaign casulties for the previous Battle for Bougainville ( Nov. 1-Dec. 25, 1943).

Author Scott Carmichael is completing a book on my Dad's Company and the battles that he never talked about for the balance of his life. I informed him that my cousin Willie had found my Dad's Seabag with the number 312 stenciled next to his name. Mr. Carmichael replied -

Wow. Do you know what the number 312 represents? The men used a numbering
system for their gear. They didn't take their seabags along as they rode
their amtraks onto the beach, of course. Seabags were left behind on the
LSTs, for later retrieval. The men numbered not only their seabags, but a
lot of other equipment and gear. 312 = 3rd Marine Regiment/1st Battalion/2nd
company. The headquarters company was always listed as the 1st company
(311). That made Able company the 2nd company in the battalion (312).
Thanks for the information about the photograph.
The photograph above was confirmed to be my Dad carrying the tripod of the machine gun.


Mr. Carmichael contacted me days after my Dad passed away. He was looking for the few survivors of Able Company. Marine Lt. Krawiec died in January 0f 2010, but the gentle and humorous Mr. Troup still lives with his wife and the horrible and multiple wounds he received on Red Beach 2 Sixty Six years ago. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Troup, back in May.

God Bless Every American Veteran!

4 comments:

Matt said...

Mr. Hickey, my grandfather served with the 1st Batt., 3d Marines in 1944-45 and was in Hq. Company during the liberation of Guam. His name was PFC Raynel Jennings. I never had the opportunity to know him because he passed away in 1958, but I have been doing some research to try and reconstruct his time in the service, and I stumbled across your blog. Thank you for sharing your father's experiences, it has added to my own understanding of my grandfather's service. I would love to correspond with you directly if you are willing; I didn't see a way to contact you but you are welcome to email me at mjence@gmail.com. Thanks again.

Jane Retherford said...

Mr. Hickey, the man behind your father was my father, Boyd E. Dewey.

Jane Retherford said...

Mr. Hickey, please contact me at Redwhtandblue@msn.com. My father passed away in December of 1988, but I would like to tell you some of the stories he told me and my brother regarding his service in the 3rd Marine Division (A-1-3). He fought on Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. He was wounded on Iwo Jima, and evacuated to the Seattle Navy Hospital where he met my mother (a WAVE). They were married at the hospital on November 23rd 1945. He didn't talk much about the battles he fought (and fought many demons and memories), but he did mention how he lost most of his Alpha Company buddies on Guam.

Jane Retherford said...

Mr. Hickey, please contact me at Redwhtandblue@msn.com. My father passed away in December of 1988, but I would like to tell you some of the stories he told me and my brother regarding his service in the 3rd Marine Division (A-1-3). He fought on Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. He was wounded on Iwo Jima, and evacuated to the Seattle Navy Hospital where he met my mother (a WAVE). They were married at the hospital on November 23rd 1945. He didn't talk much about the battles he fought (and fought many demons and memories), but he did mention how he lost most of his Alpha Company buddies on Guam.