Segment 4


Fortunately the boat Mervosh was in did not get hit [Annotator's Note: during the invasion of Saipan in June 1944]. After they hit the beach they had to move in very quickly to make room on the beach. Within the first two hours their battalion commander was killed. It was a low blow to Mervosh but they kept on going because someone was going to replace them. Saipan was tough because the men did not have much drinkable water. Disease also took its toll on Saipan. They were warned of all the ills there; bugs, snakes, disease, flies and other harmful devices of nature took their toll on Saipan.After the island was secure, Mervosh caught a case of dysentery. He was convinced that his first hot meal caused his dysentery. His first hot meal since the landing was chili.One of the toughest moments on Saipan was towards the end of the battle when American interpreters were trying to convince the Japanese to surrender. The civilians on the island were brainwashed into thinking that the Americans were going to rape and kill them so they committed suicide. Men, women, and children would jump off cliffs to their deaths rather then be captured or occupied. It was one of the toughest things he saw.Mervosh recalls an incident where their company commander by the name of Captain Parks helped to save their lives. They occupied a position on Saipan and at night Parks told them they were moving out. They moved out to a position about 150 yards behind their original position. It was dark so they did not realize it at the time, but the Japanese launched an attack and brought artillery down on their original position. As the Japanese shelled the previously occupied position, they also began a banzai attack. Thinking that the artillery would put the Americans in disarray they attacked only to find the Americans a few hundred yards back, completely unaffected by the artillery and ready to fight.


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