Robert Youngdeer

– Cherokee, NC
1st Marine Raider

Youngdeer, a former Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, was a 1st Marine Raider during World War II. Having joined at age 18 in Philadelphia after he was refused in Asheville due to an overbite, Youngdeer saw action on Tulagi and Guadalcanal where he was shot in the face by a sniper during what later became known as the Battle of Bloody Ridge. After months of recovery, he returned to the Marines on Okinawa and was there when the war ended.

In this excerpt, Robert Youngdeer, a Marine from Cherokee, NC, describes listening to the Battle of Bloody Ridge from inside a bunker after being wounded on the island.