View Full Version : Faithful Warriors: A Combat Marine Remembers the Pacific War

06-23-09, 10:50 AM
“Taken altogether, Faithful Warriors presents some of the most powerful descriptions of combat that I have ever read. I am confidant that this book will be widely read and treasured by both former and future members of the “Follow Me” Division, as well as deeply appreciated and frequently cited by future military historians writing on the Pacific theater during the Second World War.”
-- Maj. Gen. O. K. Steele, USMC (Ret.) CG, 2d Marine Division, 1987–89

“Ladd is at his best in this manuscript when he is describing exactly what he saw, heard, and smelled within the mythical 50-yard circle of his foxhole. From his narrative we learn what it's like to be shot in the stomach, to undergo crude surgery in an improvised sickbay aboard a troop transport, to go down the scramble nets for the next landing, knowing so painfully what to expect. We also learn from Ladd what few combat veterans have ever been able to express the cumulative, fatalistic conviction that one's luck in surviving so many violent beachheads was bound to expire before the war's end.”
-- Joseph Alexander author of Utmost Savagery and co-author of Through the Wheat

“By far the most lucid and moving account of the Battle of Tarawa that I have read since Robert Sherrod's first person depiction written many years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and hope many of our younger Marines are reading it as well.”
-- Lt. Gen. William Keys, USMC (Ret.), former 2nd Div. commander

To all Marines and friends of the Marine Corps: I’m pleased to announce the release of Faithful Warriors: A Combat Marine Remembers the Pacific War, by Lt. Col. Dean Ladd, USMCR (Ret.), and Steven Weingartner.

Published by Naval Institute Press in May, Faithful Warriors is now available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and all major book dealers.

Full disclosure: I’m Steve Weingartner, the book’s co-author. I’m contacting Marine Corps web sites such as yours to spread the word about the book because Naval Institute Press has cut marketing budgets to the bone. Which means, if I want to want people to know about the book, I pretty much have to take matters into my own hands. Emailing Marine Corps web sites is the best way I know to do this.

Ladd’s memoir tells the story of how both he and the Marine Corps came of age during history’s greatest military conflict. His journey through the war is representative of many Marines in World War II: training during the prewar outside of San Diego, awaiting the Japanese attack after Pearl Harbor as part of the Marine garrison on Samoa, surviving the savage fighting on Guadalcanal, resting and recuperating afterwards in New Zealand; participating in the bloodbath on Tarawa; recovering in Hawaii after being wounded; and returning to face combat yet again on Saipan and Tinian.

His recollections and descriptions of life--and death--on the far-flung island battlefronts of the Pacific War are vividly rendered, augmented by first-person accounts of a number of the men with whom he served. In the Guadalcanal campaign and in the battle for Betio, Ladd commanded the 2nd Platoon, B/1/8, of the 2nd Marine Division. At Betio he participated in the 8th Marines’ amphibious assault on the island, conducted on the second day of the Tarawa operation, a 600-yard trek through open water, swept by machine-gun and automatic cannon fire--one of the bloodiest actions in Marine Corps history.

Some 90 men in Ladd’s B Company (over half the company’s pre-invasion strength) were cut down in the water. Ladd was one of those casualties: gut-shot some 300 yards from the beach, he was rescued by a young navy officer named Edward Heimberger, who would later become famous as the film actor Eddie Albert. Returned to his troop transport, Ladd received treatment and survived what is nearly always a fatal wound to fight (and suffer more wounds) on Saipan and Tinian as the commander first of a mortar section and eventually as a company commander.

Several of the men whose stories are included Faithful Warriors passed way during the writing of the book; the rest, in their mid-to-late 80s, are will no doubt soon be leaving us. In a few year’s time they, and the entire World War II generation, will be gone. This book is, therefore, one of the last of its kind, providing one last look back at that deeds and experiences of the men who fought in the war, told in their own words.

In writing Faithful Warriors our goal was to cast in the brightest of lights the courage and valor, the deeds and the sacrifices, the forbearance and patriotism, of the men of the United States Marine Corps who fought in World War II: “That they may never be forgotten.” In doing so it is our desire that Faithful Warriors will help serve as a corrective to trends in our society to disparage the virtues of courage, sacrifice, and patriotism that animate and inspire Marines in particular, as well as all the men and women who are serving or who have their country in uniform.

It is our earnest hope that we have succeeded at this task, and we further hope that these efforts will be favorably regarded by you and other readers.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the book. Same goes for visitors to your site and anyone else who might be interested. My email address is homeric@ameritech.net. I will endeavor to respond to each email promptly.