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Robert Addison was born in Akron, Ohio in December 1922. Growing up he was very athletic and played many different sports in high school and at Overland College.They knew war was coming. There had been fighting over in Europe for a while. On his nineteenth birthday, 7 December 1941, he was at his house with some friends. His sister had gone to the movies and when she returned she told them that the movie had been interrupted and an announcement had been made that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. The next day he went down to the Marine recruiter. He was still recovering from appendicitis but the recruiter told him he could go anytime. His mother did not feel the same way and did not let him go into the Marines until 7 January 1945.Addison joined the Marine Corps because he wanted to be the best of the best. He took his boot camp training at Parris Island. Boot camp had been cut down from three months to six weeks. They took three weeks of drill and three weeks on the rifle range. Since there was no room for them on the rifle range at Parris Island 500 recruits including Addison were sent to the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia to fire on the rifle range there.The 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines had moved up to Quantico and had been renamed the Raider Battalion. It was a skeleton outfit and needed men so after boot camp Addison was interviewed for a place in the raiders.After being accepted into the Raiders Addison took intensive training at Quantico. He was then sent to demolition school. In the mean time the rest of the outfit had been sent to Samoa for several months of training. When it was time for them to go they picked up the men who were in Samoa and continued on to their big base at New Caledonia.Addison never met Edson [Annotators Note: US Marine Corps Major General Merritt Edson] personally but feels that he was a great leader.On Saturday mornings they would go on 25 mile hikes. During the hikes Edson was always with them. They were all in very good shape. Their boot training did not compare to their training with the Raider Battalion.
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