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"I wrote a piece for Father's Day and I said, 'My father was the Marine Corps.' It was everything. I didn't have a father before that." (Audio Interview, 19:53)

   Arthur Buchwald
Image of Arthur Buchwald
Art Buchwald [2005]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: VMF-113 (Marine Fighter Squadron), 4th MAW (Marine Aircraft Wing)
Service Location: Cherry Point, North Carolina; El Toro, California; Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands); Parris Island, South Carolina; Pacific Theater
Rank: Sergeant
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As a youth, Art Buchwald grew up in foster homes. After Pearl Harbor the 17 year old tried unsuccessfully to enlist. While visiting an out-of-state friend, Buchwald decided to pay a vagrant to pretend to be his father and he got into the Marines. Assigned to an air wing, he served in the Pacific Theater in an ordnance unit. On the side, he picked up valuable experience by editing the company newspaper, appropriately titled The Human Comedy. As a world-famous columnist, Buchwald always emphasized what a positive experience serving in the Marines was for a troubled young man.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview  (41 min.)
»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album (1 photo)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
How he came to join the Marines. (04:15) Why he chose the Marines; boot camp experience with memorable drill instructor, Pete Bernardi. (02:55) Tour of duty on Enewetak; sent home before his squadron went to Iwo Jima; self-admitted "lousy ordnance man;" dropping a 500-pound bomb on his leg and getting a medal out of the incident. (02:51)
Life in Marines for a Jewish boy from New York. (00:53) Being honored by the Marines at their Barracks in Washington, DC; how the Marine Corps was his father; returning with his DI to Parris Island for an article in Life Magazine; later sending the dying DI a signed photo of them from that trip. (03:57) The luck of not being assigned to the infantry; passing time on troop ship playing chess; concentrating on the man on your left, the man on your right, and not the enemy; frightened by a bomb that fell nearby; part of a burial detail on the next island. (04:14)
Looking back on the war, each person has his own version of what happened; his gratitude for how the Marine Corps straightened him out. (01:12)  
  
 
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  October 26, 2011
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