By Correspondent Carolyn Hutchings Carino
Special to Marines.mil
After 66 years, Navy Corpsman Bill “Doc” Lynne, of George Company, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1ST MARDIV was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” attachment for heroic action during the Battle for Okinawa by Major General Lawrence D. Nicholson. Read below for his incredible story about D-Day in Japan and the actions that led to his award. His story is told from the first person and is not for the feint of heart.
April 1, 1945 on D-DAY in Okinawa, Japan:
Nineteen- year- old “Doc” Lynne, was back with his beloved George Company after he had been injured by artillery and mortar fire as he landed on D-Day, 15 September 1944, with 2nd Bn/5th Marines at Peleliu. “On the morning of April Fool’s day, Easter Sunday morning, April 1, 1945, we had the traditional breakfast of steak and eggs. We then gathered topside for roll call. This is traditional in the Corps, the last roll call prior to combat. Ships lay at anchor everywhere as far as you could see in every direction.”
“After roll call, we proceeded to board the amtracs in the same way that we had practiced many times. When we were all aboard and at a given signal, the two big bow doors opened and the amtracs swam out into the China Sea.
“We knew that many of our fellow Marines would be dead before long and that we might be among that number. It was expected that the first waves would take horrible casualties. We felt the amtracs lumber ashore and the big back door drop down…we scrambled out and onto the beach. Who could believe it, I couldn’t there was no opposition! A few scattered rounds of artillery came in and in the distance you can hear scattered rifle fire, but all in all there was eerie silence. Was it a trap? No one knew what to expect,” Doc Lynne wrote.