The Second Battalion
The 2nd Battalion was activated on 20 January 1943 prior to the activation of the 24th Marine Regiment. In August of 1943 they were attached to the newly created 4th Marine Division.
On February 1st, the 24th Regiment assaulted Namur. The 2nd Battalion accompanied by the 3rd Battalion led the attack. On moving inland the Regiment met strong resistence. The Second Battalion suffered especially heavy casualties, primarily due to the explosion of an enemy ammunition dump.
Sergeant Leon Padelskas remembers the explosion:
"We were prone on the ground shooting at the bunker, there was a team of engineers that threw a satchel charge into the bunker, suddenly it blew up in a tremendous deafening explosion. The man right next to me, was crushed by a chunk of concrete about the size of a refridgerator, only his feet were sticking out. I lifted my head and looked over towards Arti Strand, my best buddy, and called out 'Arti, are you alive?' Arti answered back 'I think so'. It was the biggest explosion I have ever experienced, in the picture above we were in the dust cloud at the base.
Brownie Wrona Co F remembers the explosion:
I was laying between a couple of the "brass", just before the explosion a Jap suddenly appeared around the side of the bunker and yelled out "come and get us you F***ing Marines!" Suddenly the bunker exploded. I was pelted with rocks. I was not among the closest to the bunker and was very lucky.
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