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"I asked for a transfer to the fleet Marine force...the next day after Pearl Harbor. I didn't want to miss the war, you see." (Interview transcript)

   Theodore R. Cummings
Collection image
Theodore Cummings in uniform
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: F Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Service Location: United States; Australia; New Zealand; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Solomon Islands; New Britain Island (Bismarck Archipelago); New Guinea; Milne Bay
Rank: Corporal
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In late 1941, Theodore R. Cummings was stationed in Chicago, setting up a metalsmithing school. But with the outbreak of war, he immediately requested a transfer and was soon trained to operate a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). After landing on Tulagi with the 1st Marine Division, he watched the Battle of Savo Island, describing it as a "huge, just satanic kind of fire on the ocean." He later learned that his brother Edwin’s ship, the USS Vincennes, had sunk during the battle and assumed Edwin had been lost. Meanwhile Edwin also believed his brother had been killed in action, and it would be more than four months before a chance encounter reunited the two in Australia.

Interview (Video)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (209 min.)
»Photo Album  (3 photos)

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  October 26, 2011
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