"Late one afternoon a buddy and I returned to the gun pit. We passed a shallow defilade we hadn't noticed previously. In it were three Marine dead. They were lying on stretchers where they had died before their comrades had been forced to withdraw sometime earlier. (I usually avoided confronting such pitiful remains. I never could bear the sight of American dead neglected on the battlefield. In contrast, the sight of Japanese corpses bothered me little aside from the stench and flies they nourished.)
As I moved past the defilade, my buddy groaned, "Jesus!" I took a look into the depression and recoiled in revulsion and pity at what I saw. The bodies were badly decomposed and nearly blackened by exposure. This was to be expected in the tropics, but these Marines had been mutilated hideously by the enemy. One man had been decapitated. His head lay on his chest; his hands had been severed from his wrists and also lay on his chest near his chin. In disbelief I stared at the face as I realized that the Japanese had cut off the dead Marine's penis and stuffed it into his mouth. The corpse next to him had been treated similarly. The third had been butchered, chopped up like a carcass torn by a predatory animal.
My emotions solidified into rage and a hatred for the Japanese beyond anything I had ever experienced. From that moment on I never felt the least bit pity or compass for them no matter what the circumstances. My comrades would field strip their packs and pockets for souvenirs and take gold teeth but I never saw a Marine commit the kind of barbaric mutilation the Japanese committed if they had access to our dead.
When we got back to our gun pit, my buddy said, "Sledgehammer, did you see what the Nips did to them bodies? Did you see what them poor guys had in their mouths?" I nodded as he continued, "Christ! I hate them yellow-monkey slant-eyed bastards!"
"Me too. They're mean as hell," was all I could say." -Eugene Sledge, With the Old Breed.
Done with colored pencils on tan illustration board.
(Original Available, 12X16 inches)
Museum-quality posters made on thick and durable matte paper. Add a wonderful accent to your room and office with these posters that are sure to brighten any environment.
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