United States Marine Corps
2nd Marine Air Wing, 4th Marine Air Group,
1st Scout Bombing Squadron (VMSB-241)
(As related by his daughter Sharyn O’Hare and recorded in his personal war-time diary)
The official United States Navy account of the Battle of Midway and the events of June 4 – 7, 1942 presented on the Naval Historical Center Internet site provides this summation of the battle:
The Battle of Midway, fought near the Central Pacific island of Midway, is considered the decisive battle of the war in the Pacific. Before this battle the Japanese were on the offensive, capturing territory throughout Asia and the Pacific. By their attack, the Japanese had planned to capture Midway to use as an advance base, as well as to entrap and destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Because of communication intelligence successes, the U.S. Pacific Fleet surprised the Japanese forces, sinking the four Japanese carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor only six months before, while only losing one carrier. After Midway, the Americans and their Allies took the offensive in the Pacific.
Philip J. Guarino provides another perspective, that of an 18 year old Marine gunner and armorer who had arrived at Midway on April 17, 1942. His writing describes long periods of boredom interspersed with brief periods of excitement, sheer terror and the horrors of warfare as seen through the eyes of a young Marine private. His brevity reflects a shortage of writing paper and his spelling and grammar reflect the fact that he had quit school to join the Marines and was raised in a home where Italian was the spoken language.
May 22, 42 (Friday) – Still on alert. Guns clearing self’s today for action. Everyone issued more ammunition. 6 P.B.Y. came in today. Expect more. Japs are 350 miles out. Everyone ready for them. Planes & guns practicing all day at targets put in Ocean. Everyone busy building trenches for defense. Everyone to be on alert. Not scared a bit. Am going to bed now at 9:30 PM
May 23, 42 (Saturday) – Air Raid today. Six P.B.Y. came in. Almost real thing. Makes 12 on this island & 4 on Sand Island. All sure of attack. Expect enemy any minute. Planes came in to help in attack. Work started at 4:30 AM till 7:30 PM. Everyone working extra long hrs. sand bags & such.
May 24, 42 (Sunday) – Work at 4:30 AM till —. Last day I can write. Have to hand in all personal property for safe protection. Went to confession & communion today. Right now it is 9:30 AM. Everyone ready for raid. Priest made special mass for everyone that attended. Well that is all so far. Attack not far off. Wish me luck!
Notice the positive, confident attitude during the days leading up to the Japanese attack in spite of the fact that on May 23, Headquarters, Sixth Defense Battalion, Fleet Marine Force issued “BATTALION INTELLIGENCE INSTRUCTIONS” on the subject of “Defense Against Japanese Landing Tactics.” A copy of this document was found with Phil’s papers. It included the following instructions:
1. All personnel will be thoroughly familiar with the following intelligence information. Men must be prepared for infiltration at night by English-speaking Japanese in uniforms similar to ours.
a) Night landings are invariably used against defended positions…
b) There is no such thing as an impossible landing place….
c) When the attack on shore has started there is rapid penetration inland for the purpose of out-flanking beach positions…
d) There is the possibility of parachute troops being used….
e) The Japanese have been known to use the following ruses and treachery:
1. Speaking perfect English to hide their identity…
2. Offering to surrender by holding up both hands with a grenade in each and then throwing the grenades at the unsuspecting captors.
3. Using firecrackers and other sounds to create a diversion…
4. Using clever and effective camouflage…
5. Giving landing boats only enough gasoline to get to the beach. The troops know there is no hope of escape or withdrawal for themselves and will resist until exterminated…
The document goes on to describe some of the munitions that the Japanese will use. It was clearly intended to impress upon the troops the fact that they would be facing a clever and determined enemy. Phil and most of his comrades had not yet experienced real combat. His earlier comment “Not scared a bit” reflected an almost cocky attitude that would soon change. His diary entry indicates his disappointment at not getting one of the three aerial gunner’s positions. Not getting it probably saved his life as most of his squadron was annihilated.
May 31, 42 (Sunday) – Capt. Blane told us three Gunners needed immediately. Will pick them tomorrow. Have a hunch the ones that know radio will get it. Well tomorrow will tell. Rummors (sic) Japs out three hundred miles out. 1 guy (sailor) shot in Back. 6 B-17 Army Bombers came in today. Sure look swell. More comming (sic) tommorrow (sic), Every one exicited (sic). Everyone cleaning their rifles & guns. Everyone told to be on the alert & sleep with close (sic) on. Camp is a uproar. I got the jitters.
June 1, 42 (Monday) – I was right. The three new kids got the aerial gunner job. Know Radio But not the gun. I started to teach them on side a little about it. They sure were
happy. Everyone else sore including me. Told Capt. Blane I wanted to go into ordiance. He said O.K.
June 4-42 (Thursday) – Air Raid sirens at 6 AM. First spotted Jap planes at 6:45 AM. Many shot down. Bombs breaking all over. Very scarre(sic). Raid over at 7:40 Had Twin thirty guns. Maday, Joe, 1 new kid didn’t come back. Many of our planes lost. Huber shot in legs & arms. Capt. Blane Lost at Sea. Many planes lost.
June 5-42 (Friday) – Mess house blown up yesterday. Can’t eat today. Not hungry. Still thinking of the Boys. Feel sick. Place in ruines. (sic) Bomb holes all over. Went around loading Bombers & cleaning Machine guns on the deck. Feel like crying. Everyone afraid & mad.
June 6-42 (Saturday) – Feel a little Better today. Everyone cleaning place up. Eating on the deck. Bombers still bombing ships. Working all hr. of day. Had three hr. sleep. Last night. Bombers keep up all busy. Much Damage done out their (sic). Very Very tired, Bombs sure are heavy.
June 7-42 (Sunday) – Went to Mass. Capt Blane picked up at sea O.K. Taken to Eva, Hawaii for rest. Was floating for 2 days on rubber raft with his gunner who was shot up. Everyone glad to hear he was O.K. Gunner not hurt to (sic) Bad, Feel better today. Told to pick up personal belongings today. Danger is all over. Them Dam (sic) Japs sure can fly planes & they are fast. I hope I don’t see them again. Not many were killed during the raid. But is sure was hell well (sic) it lasted. Told could send cable gram today. Sent one home & one to Dot.
Philip J. Guarino, diary entries, June 4 – 7, 1942, Battle of Midway
The Naval Historical Center account of the battle includes these details:
Just after midnight on 4 June, Admiral Nimitz, based on patrol plane reports, advised Task Forces 16 and 17 of the course and speed of the Japanese “main body,” also noting their distance of 574 miles from Midway. Shortly after dawn, a patrol plane spotted two Japanese carriers and their escorts, reporting “Many planes heading Midway from 320 degrees distant 150 miles!”
Later that morning, at roughly 0630, Japanese carrier bombers and torpedo planes, supported by numerous fighters, bombed Midway Island installations. Although defending U.S. Marine Corps fighters suffered disastrous losses, losing 17 of 26 aloft, the Japanese only inflicted slight damage to the facilities on Midway.
Over the next two hours, Japanese planes and antiaircraft fire from the Japanese fleet annihilated the repeated attacks by Marine Corps scout bombers from VMSB-241 (Phil’s unit)…
Between 0930 and 1030, torpedo bombers from three American carriers attacked the Japanese carriers. Although nearly wiped out by the defending Japanese fighters and antiaircraft fire, they drew off enemy fighters, leaving the skies open for dive bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown which bombed and fatally damaged carriers Kaga and Akagi, while planes from Yorktown bombed and wrecked carrier Soryu.
Phil’s unit was a scout bomber (SB) squadron. There were many different types of scout bombers flown by the Navy and Marines during the period 1934 – 1946. The third letter designation, as in SBD, usually indicated the manufacturer. In the case of SBD it was Douglas: C stood for Curtiss, F for Fairchild, S for Grumman, etc. These airplanes usually had a crew of two; a pilot in front and radio operator/gunner in the rear seat. Other abbreviations used by Phil include “0” for Japanese Zero fighter planes and “cans” for “tin cans” which is a term used to describe a small, fast, lightly armored warship officially known as a destroyer. B-26 and B-17 refer to American bomber planes and P-40 is a type of American fighter plane.
Phil’s diary entries continue:
June 8-42 (Monday) – Still cleaning up machine guns & rifles & planes where bombs dropped. Still loading Bombs on Bombers. Field looks alful (sic). Lost 20 Fighters, 29 SBD 2 SB3U 5 Dive torpeodo (sic) Bombers, 1 cracked up on field wheel shot off. 2 B-26 2 on field all shot up. Wreck.
Phil departed Midway for Hawaii aboard the USS Pensacola (CA-24) on June 25, 1942 arriving at Pearl Harbor on June 28.
He spent the period from June 28 to July 19 in Hawaii. His writing continues:
June 28, 42 (Sunday) – Mass aboard USS Penescola. Reached Pearl Harbor but didn’t go in because expect target practice tomorrow on ship. Sleep O.K. that night. Other nights got wet. Had to sleep on deck. Rain & Waves sure wet us up but it was lot of fun. Should go in early tomorrow.
June 29, 42 (Monday) – Only 4 shots fired at target—from 5” guns. Target was shot down. Went in arrived at 12:45 PM Hawaii time 2 ½ hr. differents (sic) from Midway. Left ship at 6:30 PM Had to wait for trucks. Saw movies and old Friends.
June 30, 42 (Tuesday) – Woke up at 6 AM By Bugler. Told to eat at 6:15 & then clean up. At 8 o’clock went for clothes & money. Expect (“furlough” crossed out) leave of 2 days & nights. Received clothes only.
July 5, 42 (Sunday) – First liberty since my birthday which I enjoyed very much. Had pictures taken cost $6.00 for a dozen “Postcard” size. Walked all over Honolulu Hawaii with Pethink a good friend. Everything O.K. Spent All Day with Pictures $8.75. Was worth it.
July 6, 42 (Monday) – Assigned to Machine Gun #2 today. Am a Gun Captain in charge of 4 others Nothing to do all day. Looked gun over. Looks O.K. Practiced tracking used planes as target.
July 9, 42 (Thursday) – Liberty today. Took 6 pictures in Kaki and 6 in Blues. Cost $5 – $2.50 for 6. Had a good time in Honolulu. Cost $10.00
July 12, 42 (Sunday) – Had liberty today. Went to Wapou Hawaii to look at pictures I took. Pictures looked O.K. 1 Cob. Blues 6 Greens Cost $7. Went to Honolulu Hawaii had a good time. Went to a movie in town.
July 16, 42 (Thursday) – Liberty today. Felt sick. Went in Chinese restaurant ordered Chop Suye (sic) got sick. Friend got alful (sic) sick. Was his idea to go in. Went back to camp didn’t have much fun today. When I came back I was told no more liberty too much work. All liberty cancelled.
July 18, 1942 (Saturday) – Friend of mine got killed. P.40 dived at SBD-3 and clipped left wing. Results Darbe killed. Lieut killed. P.40 pilot broke both of his legs. Couldn’t find much of Darbe only found head, chest, liver and gutts (sic). Feet & legs burned off. Found brains of pilot out further. Didn’t have time to bail out. P.40’s were dog-fighting pilot lost control.
July 19, 1942 – Today is the last day I can write. This is the last page of my kites. I will note all important happens when they happen in my diary. Have 12 Planes now all SBD-3’s. Our Squadron will move out soon. Expecting to make a landing on an island. Don’t like the idea a bit. What can I do about it All the officers will have to go also, who am I to cry about one little Pvt. Like me. Well closing now until something new happens. Am Still a .50 Cal. Machine Gun Captain & also still in Ordnance.
So Long Till Later.
I first met Phil Guarino in the summer of 1996. He made it clear to me that he was a United States Marine. He regarded the Navy, in which I had served, to be little more than a support group for the Marine Corps. The adage “once a Marine, always a Marine” certainly applied. He was extremely proud of his military service and rightfully so.
Phil was born April 10, 1923, the seventh of 13 children (12 boys and 1 girl). His father, Frank Guarino, Sr. and his Mother Marie Felichia were both born in Termini Imerese in the province of Palermo, Sicily. They emigrated to the United States and were married on June 9, 1912 in Chicago.
Six of the sons served in either WWII or Korea with all returning safely. Phil was the only Marine. Phil was representative of those men and women who were sons and daughters of immigrants who came to this country to seek a better life for themselves and their families. News anchor Tom Brokaw’s book about people like Phil was titled The Greatest Generation. These men took words like duty, honor, country, family and community very seriously. Phil’s generation was often described with words like solid, predictable and dependable.
I knew from bits and pieces of conversation with Phil that he was in the thick of the fighting in the Pacific Theatre. Places like Midway and Guadalcanal were not just dots on a map to Phil. They were very real places. Like most of his comrades in arms, Phil rarely talked about his military experience. It was as if the period of time between January 18, 1942, when he dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and his discharge on August 30, 1944 and return to Chicago, never existed. To him, as it was to others of his generation, it was simply doing his duty serving the country that his parents had adopted.
Phil passed away on September 19, 2004 at age 81 in Rockford, Illinois. It was assumed that the story of his wartime experience was lost. However, his daughter, Sharyn O’Hare, co-chairperson of the Worcester County Veterans Memorial at Ocean Pines, recently discovered a packet containing 17 letters dated from March 23, 1942 to July 19, 1942. The letters were written by Phil. He wrote the letters while in the Pacific, but for some reason known only to him, they were never mailed. Perhaps it was due to the fact that his parents could not read. The letters were written on Kite paper. Printed on the paper was an urging to servicemen to record their week’s activities and experiences and to “Send a Kite Every Sunday Night”.
The packet included a small, coverless notebook (only 2 ½ x 4 ½ inches) in which Phil recorded his WWII experiences after he ran out of Kite paper. Incredibly, this son of Italian speaking immigrants, who quit high school after Pearl Harbor and joined the Marines, because they were “the toughest”, had kept a personal diary. No one, including Phil’s wife, Helen, knew the diary existed.
Phil also took part in the action at Guadalcanal. The Naval Historical Center Internet site offers this summary of the Guadalcanal campaign:
In the six months between August 1942 and February 1943, the United States and its Pacific Allies fought a brutally hard air-sea-land campaign against the Japanese for possession of the previously-obscure island of Guadalcanal. The Allies’ first major offensive action of the Pacific War, the contest began as a risky enterprise since Japan still maintained a significant naval superiority in the Pacific ocean.
Guadalcanal was expensive for both sides, though much more so for Japan’s soldiers than for U.S. ground forces. The opponents suffered high losses in aircraft and ships, but those of the United States were soon replaced, while those of Japan were not.
We can experience the action on Guadalcanal from Phil’s perspective based on selected entries from his diary including his crediting a palm tree with saving his life on 10/15/42 and the near miss by Japanese torpedoes during his return voyage to the United States:
09/05/42 – Quiet all day. At night Jap ships sank three old type destroyers. Sneaked into our harbor & sank them at point blank range Could see them from shore. If we had a big gun we could have blown them out of the water. Landed survivors all next morning.
09/12/42 – About 5 p.m. Lt. Johnson & Gunner Thomas were coming in for a landing. Thomas had his twin thirties stowed away in the fuselage. When out off the field very low over the tree tops two Jap Float type zeros came & shot Johnson & Thomas down so fast they didn’t know what happen, all guns opened up but missed the Jap planes.
09/13/42 – Grumman shot two zeroes that were in our bay at dawn. Same zeroes that shot Johnson down that same night 15 zero Float type planes came over & dropped 2 -100 lbs. bombs each & straffed our planes Grumman shot down 11 of them. No loses to us.
9/14/42 – Japs started drive on air field last night heavy fighting all night. broke thru 4200 RD fired from 75 MM Houtzer our lines, only 100 yards from Air Field. Wiped out 200 parachutes troops trapped in Jungle. Air Raid 33 Bombers. 18 shot down 5 “0” lost three fighters 2 pilots.
9/15/42 – Fighting still going on for air Field. Japs pushed back into hills 1 mile. Three Air Raids today. 23 Bombers in First, 26 in second & 28 in third. Shot down 38 Bombers & 11 “0” today. 4 Jap cruisers & three destroyers coming into to land reinforcement.
9/16/42 – Heavy fighting still going on. Sending more Marines into front lines. 14 SBD took off last night to bomb Jap ships. Made 4 hits on cruisers & destroyer sank destroyer Cruiser Badly damage (sic). Air Raid 56 Bombers. Shot down 14 & 3 “0” Lost 5 fighters. Hornet intercepted them on way back & shot down 19 & 4 zeros. Lost 3 Fighters.
9/17/ 42 – Air Raid 16 Bombers shot 8 down & 1 “0” three by air craft guns & 5 by F4F4. 19 SBA-5.T.B.F. 4 F4F4. Took off to Bomb Jap seaplane base, too cloudy turned back Lost 1 SBD when 4 Dived on Jap Cruiser & missed.
9/22/42 – 6 SBD -3 took off at 2 a.m. to bomb Jap destroyers. All missed their target. Japs got into the hills. Quiet all day. Rumors that 10 Jap cruisers & transport are 150 miles away. All planes to stand by to take off. Didn’t sleep well.
9/24/42 – Worked all night 4 destroyers & 1 Jap cruiser spotted. Planes went out & bombed all night. Damage 2 hits. Lost 1 SBD 9 SBD took part in bombing.
9/27/42 – Air Raid 18 Bombs. Dropped bombs close to us. Fighters shot down 11 Bombers. Lt. Leslie missing.
9/29/42 – Air Raid 36 Bombers 11 & 2 “zeros” shot down. Lost two Fighters & Pilots. Worked until 11 p.m. 1 F4F4 cracked up on landing at night.
10/1/42 – Air Raid 36 Bombers Don’t know what score was. 6 SBD 4 SBF took off to bomb three Jap destroyers & 1 cruiser Three SBF never came back. Picked up most of crews next day. Sank 1 Cruiser & 1 destroyer.
10/2/42 – Air Raid 56 Bombers 21 & 4 “zeros” shot down. Lost 5 Grummans and three SBD. Rescued two Fighter pilots.
10/3/42 – Air Raid 18 zeros 11 shot down No Bombers came over. Lost 2 Fighters 4 Jap Destroyers & 1 cruiser coming in with troops sank cruiser 1 can.
10/4/42 – Quiet all day. Loaded B17 with 100 lbs. Bombs also 6 SBF & SBD. To Bomb Japs in jungle, getting two strong. Worked all night.
10/5/42 – 6 Jap destroyers spotted Sank 4 & damage two. 2 SBD cracked up landing at night Pilots O.K.
10/6/42 – Marines start drive on Japs in Jungle. 5 Jap destroyers spotted bring in troops & ammunition, too cloudy to bomb. Landed troops 15 miles up the island without any trouble.
10/8/42 – Lt. Vanpell spotted 1 cruiser & 5 destroyers. Attacked by 14 zeros. Shot one down with fixed guns & lost zeros in clouds. Was wounded in leg. Was with another SBD on Patrol. Other pilot came in O.K. also but gunner was wounded. Striking Force sank 1 cruiser & 2 cans.
10/11/42 – 50 Zeros 30 Bombers Eight Bombers & 4 zeros shot down Lost 1 Fighter & Pilot.
10/13/42 – Shelling started at 7:30 PM, ended at 5 AM. Three air raids dropped all bombs on field & run away. Much damage to planes. Things look bleak. Not much fuel left so planes didn’t take off. Only fighters took off.
10/14/42 – No more gas. All planes grounded. Three air raids no fighters to fight them. Made good hits, hit planes again. No sleep in last 48 hours. General sends S.O.S.
10/15/42 – Shelling started at 2 AM and ended at 2:30 AM. Drained all loose gas in cans. 6 DC3 brought some gas in enough for 2 days. 6 transports tried to land troops sank. 4 damage other two. Japs beached them. Fighters & dive Bombers sank & killed most of Japs on ships before they could get anything off. Were shelled with ¼” shells killed three cooks & did much damage. Given orders to move up into the front lines for safety. Shells & bombs hit our camp in last two shellings. Coconut tree saved my life and 14 more with me.
10/16/42 – Shelled from 12:30 AM till 1:30 AM have moved up into the front lines last night. Shells hit in front lines & also plane dropped bombs 10 into lines. Condition red all day. 4 zeros straffed gas that came in and set it on fire a great deal was saved. Same four zeros were shot down within 10 min. Help now arriving fast. Got new planes in today SBD & Fighters.
10/17/42 – Condition Red. 7:30 AM Fighters shot down 14 Dive Bombers 5 zeros. No shelling last night. Three Air Raids all day Total enemy planes 59.
10/20/42 – Air Raid 30 zeros 15 Bombers. Shot down 7 zeros & 2 bombers Lost 2 Fighters and was bombed at night by 4-4 Engine Bombers. No Damage. Also shelled again from hills.
10/21/42 – Air Raid 14 Bombers came over. Fighters got first formation of seven second formation got away. Shelled while eating chow at 6 PM from Hills shells hitting 150-200 yds away. Made a break for Fighter field three miles away.
10/24/42 – Shelled out of Camp again. Rained all night no shelter. Didn’t sleep all night was soaked thru & thru. Japs tried counter attack on Western Front. Were thrown back with heavy loses and lost three tanks.
10/26/42 – Shelled, Rained, counter attack on Eastern field. Machine gun fire all night. Heavy losses on both sides. Dog fights all day. Condition Red all day. Planes falling down all over the island. Three Jap destroyers came into our harbor in broad daylight and sank two small AP boats. Survivors picked up, planes went out & sank 1 & damaged one, total score all day 28 zeros. 14 Bombers, 1 destroyer & 1 damage. Lost 9 Fighters & 2 small AP Boats. What a day for a camera I’ld make a million dollars in no time. Japs start drive on field again, thrown back with heavy losses. 1800 Japs killed & wounded.
10/27/42 – Japs start drive on Air Field again. 800 Japs killed & wounded. 5 Japs ships were coming in with reinforcements. SBD left 4 burning & 1 disabled later sunk. Jap ships retreated. No Air Raid.
10/28/42 – Push on field again last night Japs broke through but were checked immediately. Heavy fighting all night & morning. Guns & trench motor 97 M.M. & 105 firing from our camp. 4500 Japs killed so far in last few battles.
10/29/42 – Japs pushed again last night. A light counter attack. Killed about 400 Japs. Believe hunger is driving them out of the jungle. Air Raid today 16 Bombers 6 shot down. Lost to us 0. 2 Big Bombers came over at 3:15 AM were chased away by A.A.
10/31/42 – Quiet all day. Started taking our group out on DC3. Twenty went out today. 14 more later in the day. Don’t feel so good. Fell sick at night.
11/2/42 – Fever 101.6 Throat very sore Actute toncilingites (sic). Left Guadalcanal Island at 6 PM while taking a shower before I went to bed in sick Bay the sirene went off & there was a thud. We hit a US Destroyer. It was raining and very dark Destroyer cut in front of us. Cut our Bow (sketch drawn of front of ship with section taken out) was very scared. Went to bed very nervous. Wreck killed 2 sailors aboard Destroyer but ship still followed under her own power. Cut our speed from 16 knots to 11 knots on account of hole in bow.
4/29/43 – East of Date line. About 6 p.m. was reading a magazine suddenly there was a big explosion on our starboard aft. First I thought it was a bomb. I grabbed my life jacket and ran to “general quarters” & no sooner reached G.Q. their were two more explosions. Story Jap sub shot 3 torpedoes at us & if we weren’t empty they would have been three direct hits, first one was aft. 2nd one was forward 3rd one was midship. The torpedoes went under us and were timed to explode in case of a miss which they all did. If you think I wasn’t scared, ask our good Lord above.
5/4/43 – Picked up radio report that airplane spotted a Jap sub in our territory. Everyone on alert.
5/21/43 – Arr. San Francisco Cal. Had liberty in Frisco. First good liberty in 17 months.
7/13/43 – Left Kearney Mesa San Diego Arr. “El Toro” Cal
The last entry in Phil’s diary was dated July 13, 1943 when he arrived at El Toro Marine Base near El Toro, California. According to his younger brother Nick, Phil was an instructor at El Toro teaching new Marines how to put bombs on airplanes until he was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant on August 30, 1944. Phil then returned to his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
Phil’s brother Nick reports that Phil had worn a 17 jewel Lord Elgin wrist watch while in the Marines including at the battles of Midway and Guadalcanal. Nick doesn’t know where Phil got the watch, but when Phil came home, he gave the watch to his younger brother Jim, who wore it during the D-Day landing on the beach at Normandy, France, and later, at the battle of the Battle of the Bulge. When Jim returned home to the United States he gave the watch to his brother, Mike, who wore it during the Huk (Communist) insurgency in the Philippine Islands. When Mike returned home he, in turn, gave the watch to his brother Nick, who wore it to Japan and Korea (Pork Chop Hill). All four brothers wore the lucky Lord Elgin watch during their military service and all returned home safely.
We are all indebted to the Philip Guarinos of the world. We are losing them now. Taps is being sounded hundreds of times a day all over the country for that “Band of Brothers”. They are answering their final role call. How can we thank men like Phil? Memorials are appropriate, but I believe that Phil would not want us to look back in sorrow, but to look forward, with a sense of pride, to fulfilling the gift and promise of his legacy. We must work diligently to preserve and protect the many benefits that he helped to bestow on us.
Philip J. Guarino Sr. did not live to see the dedication of the Worcester County Veterans Memorial at Ocean Pines; however, he did know of the role his daughter played in the creation of the memorial. The Marine Corps Bench at the memorial is dedicated in his honor and memory.
~ GEORGE REISWIG