“Once on a patrol we more or less surprised this group of Japanese. I ended up standing less than three feet from a Japanese officer. I had an automatic weapon pointed at his body. We were just staring at each other. I didn’t know whether I should shoot him, because he wasn’t holding a gun.
Then I saw he was holding a hand grenade to his upper chest with the back of his hand towards me. I just stood there looking at him. It seemed like a long time, but it was probably only seconds. He intended to die. He knew he was going to die and he wanted me to know that. Shooting him was not an option.
As he triggered the hand grenade; I dove out of the way. When the grenade exploded it blew all of his body parts on me. I was covered with the blood and guts.
The others in his group tan and we chased them. One almost bumped into me and I practically cut him in half with my automatic. These men were starving to death at the time, and we found pieces of dried meat in some of the packs. Then we found a man whose leg pieces had been carved off. They were eating each other.”
– Private Art Pendleton, US Marines. Cape Gloucester 1944.
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.