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Some Must Die: A Marine Correspondent On Okinawa

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Some Must Die: A Marine Correspondent On Okinawa
Some Must Die stresses the reality faced by the men gathered from every region of the United States and every walk of life, to become the fighting men in the final months of World War II. James (Jim) Nutter was 34 years old when he joined the Marines in October of 1944. When the announcement came that men of his age were about to be "called up"—drafted—he chose to enlist in the Marine Corps rather than be conscripted into the Army. He and a few others were at first turned away, being told that their age group was no longer needed. But the fever of patriotism was strong, and these men insisted as a group to be taken. And so he left for the war, leaving behind his wife, two children, and his job as Publicity Manager for United Airlines in Seattle. For many years Jim had been a Speed Graphics camera-carrying news man, and a writer for the Associated Press. Now he was immersed in the greatest story of all.

After boot camp at the Marine Corps Air Station, El Centro, California, PFC Jim Nutter was assigned to the intelligence section of Headquarters Squadron of the Second Marine Air Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 43 (MAG 43), now tasked to join the invasion force of Okinawa. He was issued a typewriter, and a field desk, and assigned various report writing duties. Before long his experience, his age (many ranking superiors were younger), and his lighthearted, infectious personality, won him increased freedom and access to the stories unfolding around him.

His account of the battles fought to secure the Island of Okinawa is often grim, but always with an eye for the determination and spirit that animated these citizen warriors, lifting them to the acts of sacrifice and heroism that fill these pages—the raw stuff of America's victory over Japan.

Jim Nutter completed Some Must Die in 1945 but could not find a publisher. He died in 1950, and for some 70 years the manuscript sat on various shelves, shuffled through many moves, a time capsule preserving the stories of the men he got to know. It is a testament to the valor, the sensibilities, and quite a lot of the innocence—even prejudice—of that era. Nothing has been changed.

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