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.
My thanks to your father for his service. I know a veteran who was an MP in Korea. He was pulled from that job to man a machine gun, for a couple of months. He said that it was pretty horrible, just like you hear it described.
They had to stop and push bodies down so they could fire their guns, they stacked up so high.
He said that after the crisis was over, he went back to tossing the GI’s out of bars and brothels. He was pretty old the last time I saw him, and I don’t know for sure how he is doing. But I respect anyone who served in the military, because there is always the chance, no matter what your job, that you could find yourself behind a weapon, fighting battles for our nation.
I wish you and yours a safe and healthy summer.
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