R.I.P. Marine Corps Pfc. James O. Whitehurst.
Pfc. James O. Whitehurst
Marine Corps Pfc. James O. Whitehurst, of Ashford, Alabama, was 20 when he was killed on the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands during a battle with the Japanese in World War II.
He was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2ndMarine Division. They were trying to take the small island from the Japanese and met a strong defensive effort from the enemy. Around 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed, and over 2,000 more were injured during the fighting which nearly wiped out the entire Japanese defensive force. Whitehurst was killed on the first day of the fighting, November 20, 1943.
Even with heavy casualties, the victory in Tarawa was a huge success for the US Navy Pacific Fleet. Having…
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