The pages of military history are filled to overflowing with great moments and heroic deeds. Tales of heroism and self-sacrifice are evenly spread among all service branches, yet one branch of America's military has achieved an aura that surpasses that of its brethren, The United States Marine Corp. The mental and moral qualities of the United States Marines have been tested constantly since the birth of the nation, and WWII was arguably the Marines greatest ordeal by fire. The mettle of the Corps was proven on Midway, Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa to name but a few. Nearly 87,000 Marines were killed or wounded during WWII and 82 earned the Medal of Honor. Through three years of conflict, over thousands of miles of the trackless Pacific against a ruthless and determined enemy, the Marines fought for freedom, for America and for the Corps. Truly, for them, uncommon valor was a common virtue.