Luther Skaggs, Jr. was born in Henderson, Kentucky on March 3, 1923. He volunteered for the United States Marine Corps Reserve on October 6, 1942. After his recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina he was placed with the active Marine Corps in the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.
Harold Glenn Epperson was born in Akron, Ohio on July 14, 1923. He was employed by Goodyear in Akron when he volunteered for the United States Marine Corps Reserve on December 12, 1942. After training, he was placed with the active United States Marine Corps in the 1st Battalion 6th Marine Regiment, part of the 2nd Marine Division.
Herbert Joseph Thomas, Jr. was born in Columbus, Ohio on February 8, 1918. He moved at age seven with his family to South Charleston, West Virginia, where he spent the rest of his childhood and adolescence. After graduating from high school, Thomas attended the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) on a football scholarship. In 1940, he led the “Hokies” in both pass receptions and scoring.
In July 1941, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, but soon requested and received a transfer to the United States Marine Corps in which many of his friends had volunteered. His enlistment was placed with the Marine Forces Reserve and he began on active service with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment which was part of the newly-formed 3rd Marine Division.
On November 1, 1943, 1/3 Marines and the 3rd Marine Division stormed ashore on Bougainville for their first combat action of the war. Six days later, the Japanese began an ultimately unsuccessful counter-attack that is known today as the Battle of Koromokina Lagoon. Continue reading TFH 11/7: Sergeant Herbert J. Thomas, Jr., USMCR