History of War


Gunnery Sergeant Robert H. McCard was 25 years old, a fine example of the dedicated, rock-solid non-commissioned officers that were the backbone of the United States Marine Corps. McCard did not wait for his country to enter World War II to become a Marine, enlisting three years earlier in December 1939.

By the spring of 1944, McCard was a combat veteran, a platoon sergeant in Company A, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, who had participated in the seizure of the island of Kwajalein in the Marshalls group that January. While the eyes of the world were on the events in French Normandy as Allied soldiers assaulted Hitler’s Fortress Europe, McCard was on the other side of the globe in the Pacific, engaged in a life-and-death struggle against the Japanese occupiers of Saipan, the administrative centre of the Marianas archipelago.

On the island road to the Japanese homeland, the Marianas were 1,931 kilometres (1,200 miles) from

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