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Graphic submitted
A diagram of Hellzapoppin’ Attack. Note the 1st Battalion, 21st Marines, which includes Van Stockum's Heavy Weapons Company, is highlighted to show its passage through the Parachute Battalion to make the final assault.

Later on Bougainville, while the Executive Officer (second-in-command) of the 1st Battalion, Major Eugene Strayhorn, a former Vanderbilt football star, and I were occupying our rudimentary advanced command post, a small mortar shell, the size of a hand grenade dropped into our hole.

Fortunately after striking my carbine, and breaking its stock, it did not explode, so my Marine Corps career was not terminated. Strayhorn’s immediate reaction was “Van, they’ve got the range. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

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