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WWII Veterans Burl Grose and Ed Barber[Part_1]

Listen to profiles of World War II veterans Burl Grose and Ed Barber. Both men fought in the Pacific theatre.

During World War II, Burl Grose was a Corporal in the First Engineer Battalion, First Marine Division. He grew up in Cabool and wanted to enlist in the Marine Corps right out of high school but...

When Burl Grose was drafted, the Marines were glad to have him. He left his job with the Frisco Transportation Company and went to boot camp in San Diego.

It was in boot camp that Burl Grose met Jack. They would go through motor transport school and several battles together and become life-long friends.

The first time that Burl Grose and his buddy Jack went into combat was at Cape Gloucester, New Britain. It was the first in a series of bloody battles they and their fellow Marines would face on islands in the Pacific.

Grose recalls the tenacity of the Japanese fighters and their willingness to die for their empire.

He had a chance to talk to a Japanese prisoner at Cape Gloucester.

At another battle, on the island of Peleliu, Burl Grose and the First Division Marines made an amphibious invasion but at great cost. There were many casualties. Burl Grose was almost one of them.

Burl Grose had a will to live and his family knew it.

Though the First Marine Division saw plenty of action during World War II, there was certainly some time for amusement.

Like the time Burl Grose and some of his fellow Marines built a stage so Bob Hope and others could perform on the island of Pavuvu.

Then there was the time at New Britain when Burl Grose befriended a native chief.

Burl Grose came down with malaria and diphtheria. He eventually recovered and came back to the U.S., to his wife, Louise and a son who was born while Burl Grose was at war. They eventually had 2 more children, both daughters. He now lives in Springfield and has 2 grandchildren. He and Louise have been married 66 years. Since his military service, he's lived by a simple philosophy.

Join us this afternoon for a profile of World War II veteran Ed Barber.