We Were Going to Win, or Die There: With the Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan: Roy H. Elrod
vol. 10: North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series
- Colonel Joseph Alexander Award, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, 2018
32 b&w illus. 3 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.
About Allison's We Were Going to Win, or Die There
In 1940, native West Texan Roy H. Elrod joined the Marine Corps. A few years later his unit, the 8th Marine Regiment, went into the fight at Guadalcanal, where he commanded a platoon of 37 mm gunners. They endured Japanese attacks, malarial tropical weather, and starvation rations. His combat leadership earned him a Silver Star and a battlefield promotion.
On D-Day at Tarawa his platoon waded their 37 mm cannons ashore, each weighing nearly 1,000 pounds, through half a mile of bullet-laced surf to get to an island where the killing never stopped. His was the only platoon to get its guns ashore and into action that first day. At Saipan, Elrod commanded a platoon of 75 mm halftracks, but he was riddled with shrapnel from an enemy artillery shell that took him out of the war.
Fred H. Allison interviewed Elrod, drew upon wartime letters home, and provided annotations to the narrative of this young Marine infantry officer, a job that had an extremely low survival potential.
“This compares favorably to E. B. Sledge’s With the Old Breed. What a terrific account of the combat on Tarawa!”—Ronald E. Marcello, author of Small Town America in World War II
About the Editor
Editor FRED H. ALLISON has served as the Marine Corps oral historian since 2000. A retired Marine officer, he has written numerous articles and co-produced the Marine Corps books Pathbreakers and The History of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
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