James W. Johnston was a self-confessed small-town youth, who like so many others patriotically stopped what he was doing and enlisted shortly after Pearl Harbor. Johnston chose the Marines, a decision that sent him to years of bloody combat through the Pacific as Allied troops fought their way toward the Japanese home islands. Many did not come back; of those who did, very few have told us what it was like. Johnston tells us directly and honestly, taking us with his First Marine Division through New Guinea, New Britain, Peleliu, and Okinawa.
James W. Johnston was born in Kentucky and has lived for most of his life in Wauneta, a small town in southwestern Nebraska.