My Brother-in Law, Donald M. Libby, was a PFC in the 2nd Div. USMC and was in the first wave on the landing in Tarawa. He was a gunner on an Amtrac and they took a direct hit from a mortor. Don was a sole survivor of that action. Severely wounded he was ordered on another Amtrac and was again blown off of the 2nd Amtrac. He laid in the water with multiple shrapnel and bullet wounds overnight, hiding be hind a sunken Amtrac to protect himself from sniper fire from under the mile long pier. A Japanese Marine called out “Hey Marine”, Don thinking it was a U.S. Marine answered and the Japanese approached and attempted to bayonet Don. Don was able to subdue the Japanese Marine after receiving a wound from the bayonet. Don then became unconcious, floated out to sea, was picked up by a U.S. Destroyer and was taken to a hospital ship. He was then taken to San Diego and hospitalized for a year or more. Don was from Bangor, Maine and is now living in Florida and is a disabled Vet who never talks about his war time experiences. This information I have obtained from several books written about his service and believed to be accurate. I served in the U.S. Navy and Air Force during the Korean War, but was never in combat.
I am proud of Don and what he and all the others have sacrificed to see that we here in America can remain free. We are deeply indebted to all our combat veterans.