Pacific Historic Parks Bookstore

One Marine's War

By Gerald A. Meehl

An unusual account of a young American in combat in the Pacific during World War II, this book describes the experiences of a Marine language officer who was decorated for saving enemy lives, not taking them. Author Gerald Meehl recounts how Robert Sheeks overcame his initial bitter hatred of the Japanese, formed after seeing firsthand the brutal actions perpetrated by the Japanese military against Chinese civilians in Shanghai years before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Meehl traces Sheeks’ extraordinary humanitarian quest to prevent the needless deaths of Japanese soldiers and civilians while serving as a combat interpreter during the intense fighting on the islands of Tarawa, Saipan, and Tinian.

When his studies at Harvard were interrupted following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Sheeks was recruited and trained as a Japanese-language interpreter. During intense training at the U.S. Navy Japanese Language School, first at the University of California-Berkeley and then at the University of Colorado-Boulder, he was deeply impressed by the kindness of his dedicated and cultured Japanese American instructors. He began to reconsider his negative attitudes toward those he had so long despised. Later, during combat on Tarawa in 1943 while serving in the 2nd Marine Division, he became frustrated by the virtual impossibility of communicating with the defending Japanese troops. Deep inside fortified bunkers, attempts to persuade them to surrender were hopeless, since they could not hear voices calling above the din of battle. Following the fighting on Tarawa, Sheeks combined multiple means of communication ranging from voice-amplifying equipment to air-dropped leaflets in an attempt to persuade enemy soldiers and civilians to surrender rather than fight to the death or take their own lives. Ultimately, Sheeks was awarded the Bronze Star, winning the respect of his peers and countless Japanese for his successful efforts that resulted in the surrender of large numbers of enemy civilians and troops during the savage battles on Saipan and Tinian in 1944.

Hard cover. 244 pages. Book measures approximately 6 inches by 9.25 inches.

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Perfect

Everything was perfect. My husband is a Veteran and enjoyed this gift very much. Thank you.

Enjoyed the book I always like reading real history.
One of the cups was completely destroyed, sent you an email when received got no reply, not happy on this
Got no geek patch or black tears.
What I did get intact (book & 1 cup) proved to be quite expensive…………

Loved it so much we bought it twice

My parents brought this shirt back as a souvenir for my 4 year old daughter. She wore it constantly until the day she discovered scissors 😭. She cut it up and was so proud of herself until I freaked out, then we both cried… I would usually take this opportunity to teach a lesson about scissors and say “sorry, you’re SOL.” But this gift was so loved and I felt she learned her lesson when she realized she had ruined it rather than improving it.

Great quality sticker

I bought it to put with my photo book and keepsakes from my trip to visit this incredible memorial.

Great coin

Just a beautiful tribute to those who served at Pearl Harbor on that fateful December 7th.