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“I went in the second day…the morning of the second day. That’s why I’m still here.” (Audio Interview, 42:29)

   John Herbert Armstrong
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS LCI 579 (Landing Craft Infantry)
Service Location: New Zealand; Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands); Tarawa Atoll (Gilbert Islands); San Diego, California; Puget Sound, Washington; Pacific Theater
Rank: Pharmacist's Mate Second Class
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Trained to assist doctors in treating the wounded and dying on invasion beaches, John Armstrong was witness to the horrific results of war. One of the first wounded brought to his aid camp on Tarawa was a Marine mortally wounded by a sniper. Armstrong and the doctors he assisted had to stand by and watch him die, helpless to stabilize him. On the third day at Tarawa, Armstrong met a Marine who was killed later that night during a Japanese bombing raid. In one of the twists of war, he would be contacted by the man’s grandniece 60 years later.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview  (92 min.)
More like this
»The War
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Invasion of Tarawa (04:07) Tarawa: the 2nd day (first part) (00:26) Tarawa: the 2nd day (second part) (02:42)
Tarawa: the 3rd day (04:13) Learning of the death of a Marine he met on the third day; contacted by the Marine‚Äôs grandniece 60 years later. (02:58) 
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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