Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific

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Penguin, Mar 2, 2010 - History - 304 pages
7 Reviews
The true story of R.V. Burgin, the real-life World War II Marine Corps hero featured in HBOŽ's The Pacific.

“Read his story and marvel at the man...and those like him.”—Tom Hanks

When a young Texan named R.V. Burgin joined the Marines 1942, he never imagined what was waiting for him a world away in the Pacific. There, amid steamy jungles, he encountered a ferocious and desperate enemy in the Japanese, engaging them in some of the most grueling and deadly fights of the war.
In this remarkable memoir, Burgin reveals his life as a special breed of Marine. Schooled by veterans who had endured the cauldron of Guadalcanal, Burgin’s company soon confronted snipers, repulsed jungle ambushes, encountered abandoned corpses of hara-kiri victims, and warded off howling banzai attacks as they island-hopped from one bloody battle to the next. In his two years at war, Burgin rose from a green private to a seasoned sergeant, fighting from New Britain through Peleliu and on to Okinawa, where he earned a Bronze Star for valor.
With unforgettable drama and an understated elegance, Burgin’s gripping narrative stands alongside those of classic Pacific chroniclers like Robert Leckie and Eugene Sledge—indeed, Burgin was even Sledge’s platoon sergeant. Here is a deeply moving account of World War II, bringing to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

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User Review  - Chris_El - LibraryThing

There is great power in reading the story of someone that has actually been there. This is the not the back seat telling of war from the scholars desk. It is the front line experiences of a man that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marshapetry - LibraryThing

Easy to listen to (excellent narrator) book about WWII stories in the Pacific. I thought it was very similar to With the Old Breed (Eugene Sledge) in style and, of course, content (because Mr. Sledge ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

R.V. Burgin earned a Bronze Star for his actions in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He was the platoon sergeant featured in Eugene Sledge's classic memoir, With the Old Breed, and was portrayed by Martin McCann is HBO's miniseries The Pacific. He lives in Lancaster, Texas.

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