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Hardcover We Few: The Marine Corps 400 in the War Against Japan Book

ISBN: 1557501688

ISBN13: 9781557501684

We Few: The Marine Corps 400 in the War Against Japan

Desperate for junior officers to meet the wartime demands of its rapid expansion and to replace the mounting casualties in its Pacific battles, the U.S. Marine Corps convened a Special Officer Candidate School (SOCS) at Camp Lejeune in 1944. This special class was to augment the regular Officer Candidates School (OCS) at Quantico, which was operating at full capacity. The young candidates had been enlisted in the V-12 officers procurement program...


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The Few, the Brave, the SOCS

The measure of a great book is not in the total sum of its pages; it is a book written concisely, informatively, clearly and with an abundance of information- "We Few: The Marine Corps 400 in the War Against Japan" is that kind of book. For a book of only 248 pages Dickenson is able to fill those pages with details, facts, statistics, profiles of courage and much more.... Dickenson amasses large amounts of valuable data on the American military build up and, sadly, its losses in men and military armament during the war in the Pacific.Dickenson describes the purpose for the creation of the Special Officers Candidate School, or the SOCS Program; the motives of young college students into the SOCS and the training they went through to become lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Although the focus of Dickenson's book primarily focuses on telling the story of the SOCS Marine, but the book also devotes a good portion of its words to describing the World War II generation-a generation that when the "call to arms" went out, it was quickly answered by young Americans from all walks of life and from all over the country. They scurried to enlist in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and naturally the Marines and the Marine, and the Marine "Special Officers Candidate Schools" (SOCS). Those who would make it through the SOCS Program would became Marine Lieutenants. This book overflows with stories of leadership, heroism, and sacrifices by young Marine lieutenants. Dickenson writes of the enormous responsibilities that fell upon these young lieutenants. They were charged with leading their men, but leading by example. In the battles against Japanese forces, the Marine Lieutenants would make decisions that determined the fates of men under their command. In some instances these young lieutenants would make the ultimate sacrifice-their life. A clear and moving example of this can be read in the case of Lt. Jack Lummus; "Lt Jack Lummus, rose up to rally his men and was knocked down by a grenade blast. He got up, charged the position and killed its defenders with his submachine gun, and was seriously wounded in the shoulder by another grenade. He attacked another emplacement and killed its occupants. Directing the fire of supporting tanks, he again moved into the open, rushed a third heavily defended position, and killed the Japanese in it. He led his men in attacking individual foxholes and spider traps, and, twenty yards in front of his platoon, he motioned them to follow him forward again. He suddenly disappeared in a huge explosion. When the rocks and debris finished falling, his men could see Lummus and it looked like he was standing in a hole. He had stepped on a mine that blew his legs off. He yelled at his cursing, weeping men as they stopped to help him and urged them on to a three hundred yard advance across the area's ravines and ridges. The surgeons in the division hospital could only relieve his pain and give him blood transfusions to try to keep

Few Words..

A worthy companion to "With The Old Breed" and "We Were Soldiers Once and Young" both harrowing tales of horror and heroism in war "on the ground". "We Few" provides another insight into what these men marched into "doing what needs to be done" without much fan fair. Many of these men found bravery and fortitude they did not know they had, but cared little to share more that a few words about it. Not something to brag or even talk much about unless with those "where were there". I know as my father is on the back cover. Thanks to the author for writing it..

Good Behind the Scenes Portrait of Wartime

This is a fascinating and well organized story covering the rather unique Navy-Marine Corps "V-12" college officer program in World War II. The program was much larger than might be assumed. Using oral history, interviews and historical facts, the author follows a dozen or so members of a special USMC officer training program in 1944 -- abbreviated so that the men could be rushed into Pacific combat (Iwo Jima and Okinawa). Emphasis of the book is well balanced between early training and later combat experiences. This is a very good peek into the activities in our country "behind the scenes" of the grand theaters of war. It is also a rewarding affirmation of the quality and character of the nation's young men at that time. Good work, author Dickenson.
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