This is an eyewitness-and eye-opening-account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman. R. V. Burgin enlisted at the age of twenty and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did-from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat.An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.
R. V. Burgin served as a sergeant in the First Marine Division in World War II. He is a veteran of the campaigns for New Georgia, Peleliu, and Okinawa and was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He was featured in Eugene Sledge's classic memoir With the Old Breed, and he is portrayed in HBO's dramatic series The Pacific, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. William Marvel, now retired, had been writing features for the Dallas Morning News since 1986. He earned his bachelor of arts from Regis University in Denver and did two years of graduate study in English literature at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He worked as a reporter and editor at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, an art critic and senior arts editor at the National Observer, and an art writer at the Dallas Times Herald. William also freelanced for numerous publications. Sean Runnette, a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has produced several Audie Award-winning audiobooks. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured internationally with Mabou Mines, an avant-garde theater company. Sean's television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Copland, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Third Watch, and lots and lots of commercials, for which he apologizes.