First, I would like to thank you for your visit. In Spaceship Harvey you'll find posts and links which interest me and, hopefully, you as well. This blog will mainly - but not always - concentrate on topics of general interest such as current events, sports, national and international political news. I'll also include off the cuff stuff which have nothing to do with anything and stuff that I just make up. This blog will also carry my personal opinion on a variety of subjects of interest to me, ranging from military history to politics, environmental wackos, dangerous animals and religious nuts. As you will see my opinions will sometimes be controversial, but I make a lot of stuff up. Profanity and abusive language will not be tolerated- that includes the use of gratuitous insults but no topic is off limits. Unlike many other blogs Spaceship Harvey will contain my views on the subject, not just a copy and link to a news item - unless I post a lifted article that I liked. This blog encourages feedback by use of the comment link.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Battle of Saipan

In the early morning hours of July 7, 1944, Lieutenant Colonel William J. O’Brien, commander of the 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, was killed in action at Saipan during a massive Japanese suicide attack. His last words were: ‘Don’t give them a damned inch! It was a gyokusai attack–a suicidal assault ordered by Imperial General Headquarters in which each Japanese soldier on the island was meant to die for the emperor and, in dying, was supposed to kill seven Americans. The Japanese were ordered to take no prisoners.

The gyokusai attack on the Tanapag plain has been described by many historians of World War II as the most devastating attack by the Japanese during the war. For his heroic conduct during that battle, Colonel O’Brien was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. One of his soldiers, Sergeant Thomas A. Baker, who was also killed in the battle, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, as well.

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