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Horace “Chuck” Barbee « North Carolina's WWII ExperienceNorth Carolina's WWII Experience

Horace “Chuck” Barbee

Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Branch of Service
: Marines
Location of Service
: Pacific

Horace Barbee, native of Raleigh, NC, enlisted in the Marine Corps on Oct. 1, 1942, then completed basic training at Parris Island SC; combat training at Camp Lejeune NC; elite USMC Raider training on Samoa Pacific Island US in 1943; joined 3rd USMC Div. at Guadalcanal, mid 1943. Combat (D-Day): Bougainvile Nov. 1, 1943, Emirau March 20, 1944; Guam July 1, 1944; Iwo Jima Feb. 19, 1945 (member of 5th Marine Div.,28th Reg. Assault Combat Team, initial goal: take Mt. Surabachi.) Hon. Disch. 12/07/45.

For my WW2 Story I am relating my personal horrific experiences of the 1st 4 days on Iwo Jima. I was crew chief Corporal)of a 3 man crew on an amphibian tractor (amtrac)3rd Amtrac Bn. As amtrac driver (Assault 3rd wave) on DDay my job was to deposit a squad of Marines on Green Beach at the foot of Mt Suribachi. My amtrac, on the extreme left of the wave formation, passed (very closely) the battleship North Carolina just as it delivered a salvo of large shells in the direction of Mt. Suribachi. The shock level in my cab was almost unbearable. (I have had ear trouble in my left ear ever since). About 100 yards from the beach the enemy began firing Machine guns my way; Thanks to armor plate recently installed on the cab, the bullets bounced off, saving my life. As we landed on he beach, things were ominously quiet. Gen. Kuribayashi had ordered his men to hold fire until marines covered the beaches. The Marines on my Amtrac “hit” the black sandy beach & began to crawl up the terraces. I returned to my “home” LST, about 2 miles offshore, & loaded on ammo for my return trip to the beach.