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Eugene Bondurant Sledge (November 4, 1923 – March 3, 2001) was a United States Marine, university professor, and author. His 1981 memoir "With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa" chronicled his combat experiences during World War II and was subsequently used as source material for Ken Burn's PBS documentary, The War, as well as the HBO miniseries The Pacific, in which he is portrayed by Joseph Mazzello.
Sledge was enrolled in the Marion Military Institute but instead chose to volunteer for the U.S. Marine Corps in December 1942. He was placed in the V-12 officer training program and was sent to Georgia Tech where he and half of his detachment "flunked out" so they would be allowed to serve their time as enlistees and not "miss the war". Once he was out of school he was assigned duty as an enlisted man and was eventually assigned to K (King) Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (K/3/5). He served as a Private First Class in the Pacific Theater and saw combat as a 60 mm mortarman at Peleliu and Okinawa. When fighting grew too close for effective use of the mortar he served in other duties such as stretcher bearer and providing rifle fire.
During his service, Sledge kept notes of what happened in his pocket sized New Testament. When the war ended, he took these notes and compiled them into the memoir that was to be known as "With the Old Breed". After being posted to Beijing (sometimes called Peking, but then known as Peiping), China after the war, he was discharged from the Marine Corps in February 1946 with the rank of Corporal.
Eugene Sledge died after a long battle with stomach cancer in 2001.
Toobworld Central salutes Eugene Sledge. Good night and may God bless.