Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dr. John Bassett - Aleutian Islands Campaign

Not many people heard much about Attu or the Aleutian Islands battles.  This campaign didn't receive much coverage in the media.  Nearly every American knows the names Iwo Jima, Normandy, Okinawa, Berlin, Bastogne, and Guadalcanal.  Yet, according to historian Brian Garfield,
“In proportion to the number of troops engaged, it would rank as the second most costly American battle in the Pacific Theater—second only to Iwo Jima.”
Dr. John Bassett served as a physician in the 7th Medical Battalion.  When their forward post was overrun, he found more American soldiers, asking for a rifle to continue the fight.
The citation given to Bassett’s widow with a Silver Star said “the enemy overran the advance posts of the 7th Medical Battalion, where tents in two ravines were filled with casualties and medical personnel. Armed with bayonets they attacked without any warning, stabbing the scarcely awakened occupants. Those in sleeping bags were completely helpless and were killed on the spot.”
Joe Sasser, from Carthage, MS saw Dr. Bassett finally retrieve a rifle and was lying on the ground about 15 feet away from him.  They had no idea he was already wounded from the 7th Medical Battalion attack and Dr. Bassett died from his wounds.

Read the entire article here: