Segment 4


When the Marines were about half way down Okinawa the Japanese got around behind them. The enemy was everywhere.Akins and some of his buddies got into one of the tombs then couldn't get out for fear that they would be hit by one of their own tanks. He was hit a number of times but never bad enough to be sent to the rear.He thinks that the corpsmen were great.On a patrol one night someone tripped an explosive. Akins looked back and saw two men flying through the air. The men were in bad shape. The corpsman cared for the men and told them that they would be ok. Moving the wounded was difficult. Jeeps were outfitted to carry stretchers.Okinawa having a civilian population didn't hinder the Marines' movement. When the Japanese used the civilians as shields the Marines killed them all.War is hell. During the war they didn't have the media and politicians breathing down their backs. If so, things would be different.The first time Akins thought he was going to die he was being strafed by friendly planes. He doesn't know how he was missed.Right after boot camp Akins did guard duty at Vallejo, California at an ammunition dump where powder charges were being packed for 16 inch shells. He hoped that the people working wouldn't make a mistake.The Marines made very few mistakes. If you make mistakes you may not get a second chance. Akins used this philosophy when coaching football and won over 300 games.


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