They’re all gone now


“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 Sieve

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.

Larry Sieve

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.
Ray was my godfather.
They’re all gone now. RIP.

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3 Comments

Filed under Americana, History, Uncle Ray

3 responses to “They’re all gone now

  1. John Vandevelde

    Tom Brokaw got it right–they were the “greatest generation.” Your Uncle Ray gave, to his country and his family, including his bequest of “The Uncle Ray Memorial Bicycle Ride Across America.” My parents, caught up in WW II in Holland, suffered, survived, and strived in their own way for their small family. So many other children of the depression did the same. Sacrifice for those you love and make the world better for those who follow. Not a bad philosophy. Those of us who have been beneficiaries of that generation continue to have opportunities to be benefactors to the next.

    We should hope to do as well.

    And we should honor today those in uniform who suffered the greatest sacrifice of all.

    –John

  2. Ben

    It’s amazing all three brothers survived the Pacific campaign. Thousands of young men, both American and Japanese, were not so fortunate and lost their lives. I’ve just finished watching the HBO mini series, The Pacific, which depicted the Pacific island battles as the hell they were. However, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like in real life. Thanks for the post. Ben

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