I have just completed my reading of your very fine book. It brought back many memories of my time on Ella Island, Tarawa. (Bonriki Island, at the "elbow" of Tarawa Atoll - DA) At the time, I was 18 years old and attached to the 98th USNCB. We arrived at Tarawa aboard the USS Dashing Wave on D-Day + 3. The battle was still in progress and the 2nd Marine Division,USMC, was about to lose the battle. The U.SCommanding General had called for the reserve troops to land and assist. The 98th CB Battalion was prepared to go ashore. The LCVPs were alongside and as we began to descend the rope net into the LCVPs the order was cancelled because the Island had been secured.
We disembarked the next day and were taken directly to Ella Island, just after the Marines were making their final sweep down the atoll. As soon as our equipment arrived we began construction of Mullinix Field. Mullinix was built entirely by the 98th CB Battalion in record time considering it was primeval territory. As was the custom, the first building built was the Chow Hall, then the tents were put up to live in. The Marines who were left on the Island and half starved on K-rations were welcomed to join us in our Chow Hall, which they gladly did.
We had B-24s Corsairs,
SBDs, B-25s,and Army P-39s Hellcats using Mullinix to attack the Marshall Islands long before a CBMU arrived to relieve
us so we could embark back to Maui, Hawaii. Although your book is magnificent it seemed to allude to fact that the CBMU
did all of the initial work on Mullinix. As a veteran of the 98th I felt it rather demeaning not to have your book give
the 98th the credit it deserved while it appeared the CBMU was responsible. I am, however, pleased that we did such
a good job on Mullinix Field that it is still in service and is the only airport on Tarawa at this date. Semper Fi Can Do
Darrell F. Snideman 1032 W. Union Bell Dr. Green Valley, AZ 85614-5945 P.S. I am also a veteran of the USMC
in Korea at the Chosin Reservoir in 1950.