Platok Island, South Pacific,
“In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.” — Field Marshall Erwin Rommel
Barely able to catch his breath, Sergeant Albert ‘Al’ Zabloski was reinforced by a fire team from 3rd Rifle Squad from his platoon.
Sgt. Zabloski told the marines about the wounded on the beach.
A runner from HQ arrived shortly with orders for Sgt. Zabloski to take command of the four marines and clear out the defenders of a bunker situated on a small hill overlooking the road south of their current position. The gunners in the bunker have pinned down 1st Platoon as they moved into the area.
Working their way along west of the bunker’s position, Sgt. Zabloski’s fire team came upon a lone Navy corpsman tending to a dying marine.
Sgt. Zabloski questioned the corpsman, James Marcus Holland, who told the sergeant about his being separated from his unit and losing his way in the thick fog. Corpsman Holland then joined the fire team as they made their way to the bunker.
When they reached the bunker, they were able to surprise the Japanese infantry defending the trench which cut its way towards the rear of the bunker.
When the Japanese regrouped, Sgt. Zabloski ordered his fire team to push towards the bunker. He lost two marines during the firefight. But in the end, he was able to reach the bunker’s only entrance.
Sgt. Zabloski planted the satchel charge and destroyed the bunker’s steel doors.
Through thick smoke, Sgt. Zabloski, his two remaining marines, and Corpsman Holland heard the Japanese soldiers inside the bunker preparing themselves for the bloody firefight about to unfold.
USMC 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, Foxtrot Company, 2nd Rifle Platoon, 3rd Rifle Squad