Marshall R. Perham

Eleva Tarawa Survivor Has Brother Serving In Italy
Private First Class Marshall R. Perham, United States Marine Corps, son of William M. Perham, Route 3, Eleva, and Mrs. E. L. Riedell, Evanston, IL is at the San Diego Base Hospital, recovering from wounds received in the recent Battle of Tarawa. He has spent 18 months in the South Pacific area. One leg, one arm, and one eye are injured but, according to a letter received by his father, the eye will be perfectly healed in a reasonable length of time.

Private First Class Perham participated in the entire Guadalcanal Campaign and was with Sergeant Norman Boehlke of Eau Claire when he was killed.

His father received a long distance call from him on Christmas Eve. He said his best buddy was killed at his side as they braved Japanese fire at Tarawa. He also remarked, in a letter received Monday by his father, that the newspaper accounts of the battle were true but that the actual battle was indescribable.

Private First Class Perham enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1942 and went overseas in July 1942. He received his training at San Diego and Camp Elliott, CA.

In a letter written to his father from a rest area, presumably somewhere in New Zealand, he said that the people there, where he served with the Military Police for several months, treated the boys exceptionally well and that, at one small port town, where they spent their leaves, the civilians "made us feel quite at home." 

His brother, Private James Perham, United States Army, is with the Paratroopers in Italy. He enlisted in April 1942 and received his training at Fort Bragg, NC and Fort Benning, GA. After taking a special course at the Army College in Washington, DC, he was sent overseas. 

In a letter to his father, he describes the landing in Italy. "As we came over the designated target, we received the order to 'bail out.' The flak was flying all around us. We had to jump right in the midst of it. Boy, I never made my chute come down so fast before. 

"I made a quite perfect landing, cut myself loose from the harness, and made connections with my buddies."  

No word has been received from him since that letter.

James M. Perham, United States Paratroops, has been promoted to Sergeant. He is the son of Mrs. E. L. Riedell, Kenosha, and W.E. Perham, Eleva. Sergeant Perham participated in the Sicilian invasion and is now in Italy. His brother, Private First Class Marshall Perham, United States Marines, Tarawa survivor, recently was home on furlough.