As a note, this week is the 76th anniversary of the bloody and hard-fought Battle of Tarawa.
Maj. Gen. Julian C. Smith’s 2nd Mar Div– consisting of the 2nd, 8th, 10th, and 18th Marines– hit the Red Beach 1, 2, and 3 and Green Beach. The Marines were opposed by 4,800 mixed Imperial Japanese Navy SNLF and Korean construction troops, who were holed up in more than 500 sand-and-log pillboxes under command of RADM Keiji Shibazaki.
The effort for the Gilbert Islands atoll raged for three days, resulting in 3,301 Marine casualties out of the 18,000 that landed– a rate of one-in-six.
Of the four Marines who received the Medal of Honor for Tarawa, three did so posthumously.