May 28, 1976, 116-page World War II memoir of Marine Corps service in the South Pacific. Copy of original in possession of Dr. Edward P. Leahy, Greenville, N.C.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Edward P. Leahy Papers (#311), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
- Gift of Dr. Edward P. Leahy
Edward P. Leahy was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945. During his tour of duty he was stationed in S.C., N.C., and California, and saw military action in the South Pacific. During the ten years following his military duty he traveled throughout the world.
Leahy began his military career on Feb. 5, 1943. His first few months were spent in basic training at Parris Island, S.C. (pp. 1-7) followed by assignments at Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, N.C. (p. 12), and Camp Pendleton, California (p. 14).
Leahy throughout his memoirs gives one a glimpse of life and personal thoughts of a man in the military. Leahy comments on experiences aboard a transport ship (pp. 16-17), training aboard ship (p. 20), his feelings just before their first combat experience (p. 26), eccentricities of colleagues (pp. 35-38), the average soldier's favorite topics of conversation (p. 72), shore leave in Hawaii (p. 41), and the thrill of being discharged from the military (p. 108).
Leahy was involved in four major military engagements. He recounts the battle for the Marshall Islands (pp. 21-32) and the battles of Saipan (pp. 44-64), Tinian (pp. 66-68), and Iwo Jima (pp. 77-101). These narratives discuss the number of men killed in action by accident (p. 32), the mutilation of dead Japanese soldiers (p. 28), different types of artillery fire (p. 85), and life aboard medical ships (p. 101).
Following the war's end Leahy, after becoming bored with the peacetime lull, traveled around the world for ten years. A brief description of these adventures is provided in the epilogue (p. 111-113).