“Kill or be killed.”
Tom Smith, Marine #419322, 4th Marine Division
There aren’t many young marines from that period who have your skills and educational background to put such a History together. It goes beyond a family history and I’m sure will be of interest to present day and future Marine historians. There weren’t many marines who had as much front line duty as you did. T.J. you have done great things with your life. I’m very proud of your accomplishments.
—Brig. Gen. Frank E. Garretson USMC (RET)
It’s a shame I missed Tom Smith’s incredible story when I was researching and writing my book. I could find only seven living veterans of the Battle of Saipan. Tom’s insightful account would have contributed greatly to my work.
—Bill Sloan, author of Their Backs Against the Sea: The Battle of Saipan and the Largest Banzai Attack of WWII
World War II cold case: The Mysterious fate of Japanese Vice Admiral Kakuji Kakuda. Former U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Thomas Joseph Smith, Jr. vividly remembers his exploits in the Battle of Tinian some 70 years ago. What happened to Kakuda, the yen notes and to Tom Smith?
—Wayne Madsen, Wayne Madsen Report
Tom “TJ” Smith passed on a scholarship to Notre Dame to enlist in the Marines. After training with Carlson’s Raiders, Tom was off to the Central Pacific, scouting the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian and finally Iwo Jima. Wounded 4 times and two Purple Hearts later, Tom returned to combat. Tom saw it all but what happened on the island of Tinian and his capture of Japanese Vice Admiral Kakuda has remained a mystery. Now at 92, after a solid career in education and still sharp as a tack, Tom Smith tells his intriguing and unforgettable story.