Joseph Bonnin

Gets Purple Heart
Corporal Joseph Bonnin, United States Marine Corps, has been awarded the Purple Heart for action at Tarawa, according to word received by his sister-in-law, Mrs. Leo Bonnin, 412 1/2 Second Street.

Corporal Bonnin has just arrived at the U.S. Naval Hospital at San Diego, CA. He was wounded during the landing at Tarawa.

Corporal Joseph Bonnin arrived here last Sunday on a 15-day furlough.  

Eau Claire Marine in First Wave to Land on Tarawa;
Cuts Through to Center of Island
WITH U.S. MARINES on Tarawa, November 23 (delayed)(AP) The United States Marines, always noted for their bravery in the face of enemy fire, probably never distinguished themselves with such mass heroism as in the assault on Tarawa. 

For two days, every man reaching the beach of this atoll in the Gilbert Islands had come through a hall of enemy gunfire. Yet they kept pushing straight in, until the island was secured.

This is what happened to two of them: 

Private First Class Edward Rendon, Harlingen, TX and Corporal Joe Bonnin, Eau Claire, WI, in the first wave, slashed through with a group of other men to the center of Betio Island, despite Japanese machine gun and mortar fire from all positions. 

They finally stopped in a shell hole with water up to their waists. The Japanese had them surrounded. For two and a half days, Rendon, Bonnin, and the others were pinned there. The enemy continually tossed grenades into the hole. Sometimes the Marines threw them back and fired their rifles.

But there was so much confusion, they couldn't tell which were Japanese and which were Marine lines. Finally, another Marine crawled into their hole and guided them to a Marine position. 

Corporal Joseph Bonnin has a brother, Warren, also serving somewhere in the South Pacific. The two met by chance in New Zealand a few months ago. Three other brothers, Alfred, Leo and Hollis, live in Eau Claire. He has two sisters, Mrs. Ray Casper, Route 1, and Mrs. Al Adams, of this city.