“My gramps was a soldier on Saipan. He told me about the last Banzai charge a few years before he died. He wasn’t proud of what he did, and for that I’d like him to be anonymous. This is how he said it to me.
‘On the morning of the 7th, a whole mess of Japanese came at us. Running with flags and rifles right at us. My foxhole buddy was on the machine gun, and I had my carbine and was trying to fire into them as fast as I could.
They came closer and closer. To many to shoot. One jumped in our hole, right on top of me. My friend was too busy on the machine gun to stop firing. If he stopped to help me, we’d be overrun. I had to fight this Japanese by myself. He put his hands round my neck, but my heart was beating so fast I couldn’t feel them there. He was winning.
Another Japanese jumped in the hole with his rifle and a bayonet attached. He tried to stab me laying on the ground, but we kept tussling back and forth and ended up stabbing his fellow Japanese. I took this chance to push him off at me, and smacked that man right across the jaw with a shovel in the hole.
I must have broken his jaw because he dropped his rifle and tried to crawl out the hole. I hit him again and again and picked up my carbine and kept firing into the mess of them still coming. They were all around, and some had even passed us and were behind our hole.’
Growing up, Gramps was kind of racist and didn’t like anything made in Asia. He only told me this story after we had watched ‘Wind Talkers’ and I said the Japanese had cool uniforms. He said, ‘I’ve seen them as close up as you can get.’ And then told me that story.”
– Anonymous US Soldier. 105th Infantry Regiment. Battle of Saipan, 1944
This story was documented by Battles and Beers. Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.