15 Aug 2020

75th Anniversary of V-J Day — My Father’s War


My father (on the left, wearing jacket & tie, holding the large envelope), aged 26, was the oldest in this group of Marine Corps volunteers from Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, September 1942, so he was put in charge.


William G. Zincavage, Fall 1942, after graduating Marine Corps Boot Camp


Military Police, North Carolina, Fall 1942
He was only 5′ 6″, but he was so tough that they made him an MP.


Third Marine Division

I Marine Amphibious Corps

First Amphibious Corps, Third Marine Division, Special Troops:
Solomon Islands Consolidation (Guadalcanal), Winter-Spring 1943
New Georgia Group Operation (Vella LaVella, Rendova), Summer 1943
“The Special Troops drew the first blood.” — Third Divisional History.

“We never saw them but they were running away.” — William G. Zincavage


III Marine Amphibious Corps

Third Amphibious Corps, Third Marine Division, Special Troops:
Marianas Operation (Guam), Summer 1944


V Marine Amphibious Corps

Fifth Amphibious Corps, Third Marine Division, Special Troops:
Iwo Jima Operation, February-March 1945


Navy Unit Commendation (Iwo Jima)
Good Conduct Medal
North American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Four Bronze Stars


While recovering from malaria after the Battle of Iwo Jima, he looked 70 years old.


But he was back to normal in December of 1945, when this photo was taken shortly before he received his discharge.

4 Feedbacks on "75th Anniversary of V-J Day — My Father’s War"

M. Murcek

You are justly proud. I thank that man and God Bless him for his service!


high school, a friend’s father. thought him rather nerdy and dismissable. happened to be on the online obit page of the local newspaper from my home town back in ohio, maybe 15 years ago, stumbled over his name&started reading his obit, very soon came to “USMC, two Bronze Stars, Guadalcanal”. Immediately humiliated for my opinion of him, I could read no further, and the humiliation remains.


Your father sounds like quite a guy. I’ve read several memoirs by Marines describing their Pacific experiences. What a horror show! E.B. Sledge wrote one called “With the Old Breed at Pelileu and Okinawa.” I saw a video of a speech Sledge made some years back. He said he woke up screaming every night for 25 years after the war. Mercifully, it stopped.


Thank you to your father! I had an uncle in the Marines on Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Semper Fi.


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