GySgt. Thurman Miller USMC

Thurman Miller was a West Virginia boy when he went into the Marine Corps before the war in 1939.  He was involved as a Marine Rifleman during the entire Guadalcanal fighting from August 7th 1942 until the 1st Marine Div. was relieved by the Army.  He tells of the horrid flies, mosquitoes, malaria, and the very tough Japanese soldiers.  His next campaign was in the northern Solomon Islands at a place named Cape Gloucester.  The weather was so wet and rainy that many historians believe that as many as 25 Marines died from being hit and killed by falling trees.  The forest canopy was so thick that the Marine’s could not use mortars.  I was told this by another Marine that Thurman put me in touch with named R. V. Burgen of Dallas Tx.  He was a mortarman but was used as a front line rifleman at Cape Gloucester.  Thurman came back to the US in late 1943 where he was sent as a combat veteran of the Pacific fighting to train young 2nd Lieutenants who were going to the Pacific to lead the marines in many tough battles.  The Marine Corps wanted the officers to be taught infantry tactics by experienced veterans of the Island fighting in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.

Where: Carnigie Library

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