Gerald Staton tried to enlist after Pearl Harbor but he was denied because he was not yet 17. He joined the Marines when he became 17. Gerald did his basic training in San Diego and had additional training in San Luis Obispo. He was sent to Mare Island just north of San Francisco and from there was sent to Woodlark Island with is part of the Solomon Islands.
The landing at Woodlark was considered the worst experience ever. Gerald was assigned to a Caterpillar D-8 Dozer to clear away the thick vegetation for roads and airfields. Japanese planes would attack the island after dark. On one particular night a Japanese fighter strafed an area near Gerald. He jumped in the river and was bitten by a rat. He was hospitalized for several days with typhus and a high fever.
After his hospital stay he was sent to the US to train as a tank commander. He was shipped to Saipan where he witnessed the B-29 taking off to bomb Japan, using the Atomic bomb.
After the surrender, Gerald was sent to Nagasaki as a scout for the 2nd Division. He stayed there for 60 days, which ultimately affected his health due to exposure to radiation.
After discharge he went to Miami University in Ohio and spent the rest of his life as an insurance salesman. Once a year Gerald and his wife attend a reunion of the Marine Battalion in which he served.