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Friday, October 02, 2009

Army Was at Guadalcanal Too!

Edwin Shanahan at the Menlo Park, NJ Veteran's Home tells about the Army's 754th Tank BN at Guadalcanal which is known largely as a Navy and Marine battle with the Japanese. In his full interview - (of which parts will be posted later)- he tells us the Marines were not fully prepared with equipment such as tanks for Guadalcanal (this was very early in the war), so his Army unit - (the 754th Armored BN) shipped out with them. In battles on Gudalcanal, Edwin was present and saw the action that earned Sgt. Basilone one of his several awards for gallantry. Edwin also received a silver star for action that day. Basilone is remembered for his Medal of Honor, awarded for action at Guadalcanal. Basilone Day in Raritan, NJ commemorates his memory. He died early in the fight for Iwo Jima. In THIS clip - Mr. Shanahan relates the surprise of Adm.Halsey (or was it Nimitz?) placing a silver star on an **ARMY** soldier at Guadalcanal. Shanahan is a rare honorary member of the Marine Corps League in Raritan. This video was shot on my Panasonic Lumix still camera as a MOV file. I had already put away the big video camera for the main interview.


shea said...

My dad is a survivor of Guadalcanal and was a Marine. He is looking to have lunch with other survivors of Guadalcanal in Monmouth County, NJ. Anyone interested?

Vic said...

contact the webmaster here. vic at buzzcreek dot com. I'll try to get some email around here in sussex county, nj.

Anonymous said...

Anyway to get this interview in its entirety? Ed Shanahan is my grandfather and passed last night. myself and a few other family members would love this as a small memento to hang on to

Vic Campbell said...

I will try to find this interview in my files and make copies for you. NO CHARGE.
I am pretty sure I have them in a special file from several interviews I made that day.
Let me know an address to mail them. I'll try to have them to you before Christmas.
I am very sorry for your loss. I distinctly remember the interview and his great pride in his service in the war. His humor was infectuous. He had a twinkle in his eye. He knew how to have fun with people and bring out the best. His Army/Navy/Marine humor was special for someone with a uniform in their past. These men and women for that era are examples of our best selves. He was also one of the last people to have served in combat with NJ's Medal of Honor exemplar - John Basilone. Basilone earned a silver star with your grandfather (silver star as well) in their time at Guadlacanal. Such history !

We can only hope to honor their memory by giving our best every day for our country and for our fellow travelers on God's good earth.
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