“Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning.”
— Marine Col. David M. Shoup, battle report from Tarawa, Nov. 21, 1943
A tribute on this Memorial Day to three brothers — Ray, Larry and Harold (Hally) Sieve — who fought in such Pacific hellholes as Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Saipan during the Marines’ island-hopping campaign to Japan in World War II.
Ray landed with the 2nd Marine Division at Tarawa, where four Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor. Shoup, commander of the 2nd Marines, was the only one of the four Medal of Honor recipients to survive the four-day battle for the tiny atoll in the Gilbert Islands, but he was wounded in the assault.
All of the Sieve brothers survived their hell in the Pacific and came home to St. Louis to build lives and families.
They were my uncles — my mother’s brothers.
was my godfather.
They’re all gone now. RIP.