Dictated by 
George J. Baird
Circa 1993

Oral History of Service
USMC South Pacific Theater




Several years ago, my father left a treasure to his son.  Simple cassette tapes containing memories of his time in the United States Marine Corps in the South Pacific in WW2.  His words, shown in the pages to follow, document an ordinary man.  A man scared, lonely, and struggling to deal with circumstances unlike anything in his previous life.  As such, he is a representative of an entire generation.  My parents’ generation has been called upon to do extraordinary things in their lifetime.  Truly, they are a generation of heroes.
Heroes are ordinary people, thrust into conditions unknown to them and almost overwhelming, who overcome.  They persevere and perform and stay true to themselves.  My father was a man who did his duty in wartime and in times of peace.  His sense of duty and devotion carried over to his family throughout his life.
I would like to thank all the people who helped on this labor of love.  From the initial transcription of the audiotapes, to all the people all over the world that cheerfully helped to find information and pictures; I thank you.
Mostly, I thank you Dad.  It is a long time since I used to sit and listen to you as you shared your experiences with me.  It is a long time since I poured over your wartime scrapbooks.  The memories are still new however.  I thank you for sharing with me over the years.  For your teaching of how to be a man, a husband, and father…..a man of honor and compassion…..my gratitude knows no words.
Dad, you were an ordinary man, a gentleman, 
and most of all; a hero.
Bill Baird – August 2000

Dedication II

When I received word that there was information that was not included in Volume 1 of this Oral History, I was at first disappointed that the complete story had not been told.  After reading the tone and texture of my Dad’s words however, I knew that Volume 2 would truly represent a new chapter in his life.  The understated eloquence of his words describing the mundane and extraordinary events during his second tour of duty really describes a second life. Once again, his memory of these long ago events astounded me.  Each and every time I could not find a reference to something, I only had to dig deeper to find that he was accurate in his memories.
In this Volume, I have accessed the personal archives of pictures from my Dad.  The pictures, updated and preserved by my brother Tom entailing an immense amount of work, provide a few of the pictures included in Volume 2.  The remaining archive of pictures and clippings in my Dad’s scrapbooks, tell a story all their own, and contain views of the war available nowhere else in the world.  Thank you Tom, for your work. Thank you Mom, for creating these pieces of our history for us to cherish.
Once again, I would like to thank all those all over the world, from Cleveland to Vanuatu that helped me in my search for information. From the web site creator, librarians, military officials, government officials around the world, even a fellow member of Marine Air Group 33 in 1945, I have received nothing but kindness and assistance. 
It has been a true labor of love.  I thank you all.

Dad, you were an ordinary man, a gentleman, 
and most of all; a hero.

Bill Baird – January 2001

E-Mail: WBaird721@aol.com

 Oral History of Service Volume I
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Oral History of Service Volume II
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