Excerpt from
“The Battle of Saipan ”
Four Stars in the Window

On several occasions, David was sent with two or three other men on reconnaissance missions to determine if the tanks could negotiate the terrain on their own or if engineering support was required. These missions required David and his men to venture two or three thousand yards behind enemy lines, but fortunately, they always managed to return.... The platoon of tanks returned to the battalion command post and was forced to park in the open. The lack of cover almost cost David his life. Just 4,000 yards away loomed Mt. Tapochau, still under Japanese control. From this commanding height, the Japanese could easily spot the stationary tanks and lock in their artillery. As David climbed upon top of the turret, four artillery shells exploded right next to the tank. Pieces of dirt flew through the air, and the pure percussive power of the shells rocked David to the core. He felt like he had been hit in the head, not by one, but by hundreds of baseball bats simultaneously.

Return to home page.