Indestructible: The Unforgettable Story of a Marine Hero at Iwo Jima

Jack Lucas, Author, D. K. Drum, With
Jack Lucas, Author, D. K. Drum, With with D.K. Drum, foreword by Bob Dole. Da Capo $22.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-306-81470-9
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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Few battles in any war were as terrible as the February–March 1945 battle of Iwo Jima. Nearly 6,000 American marines and 21,000 Japanese soldiers died on the small Pacific island, and more than 17,000 Americans were wounded in the vicious fighting. This evocative memoir recounts the battle from the perspective of Mississippi author Lucas, who was one of 22 marines awarded the Medal of Honor at Iwo Jima. Having finagled his way into the marines at 14, he was an undisciplined, hard-driving 17-year-old PFC when he performed the courageous act that earned him the nation's highest military award for valor. By throwing his body on top of two live grenades hurled at him and his four-man squad, Lucas saved the lives of the three other marines, though he was severely wounded. Though his flashbacks to his childhood and the dispiriting details of his tumultuous personal life following the war make the narrative lag at times, his re-creation of his part in the battle of Iwo Jima is the highlight of the book. (May 29)

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