Black Dragon

The tip of the Marine Corps spear in WWII was the rifle company. The Marines fielded 162 of them in the Pacific.

This is the experience of one of them.

On a steamy July day in North Carolina, two Marine NCO's strolled through the smattering of trees to their assigned tent. The sergeant and corporal exchanged stories of where they had been on duty the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, eight months earlier. It felt a bit like the first day of school, making a new friend before anyone else arrived. They were there to create a fighting unit which would eventually head out, most likely, into the Pacific to take it to the Japanese and settle the score. Stowing their seabags, the two Marines headed out to call together the new rifle company. Nine Marines were present that day -- the sergeant, the corporal, and seven privates.

Three years later, that rifle company, known by the Marines as "2-F-23," came home, having fought and prevailed in four amphibious operations: Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. In the forthcoming book, join me as we travel back in time, on a guided tour across the Central Pacific with 2-F-23 as our guide.

Steve McCloud
Honorary Member
Unit Historian

From the Marines

Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines
4th Marine Division
  • An instant classic. Really, one of the best books I have read on World War II. Puts the history of Fox Company and the Fourth Division together, revealing Marines to its readership in far more detail than any I have read. I am in my second reading of Iwo -- I am at the airfield just near O-1. Hair on the chest without peer.

    Dale Cook Former President, Fourth Marine Division Association; Combat Correspondents Association; Public Affairs Officer, Atomic Energy Commission; Editor, Associated Press; 3rd Platoon, 2-F-23
  • Well you kept me up all night last night reading this. I couldn't put it down. I know I may be biased, but I think it's a real page-turner. You've done a real job of capturing what we experienced way back then. I've done a lot of reading on World War II over the years and I can say that I just won't accept any criticism from anyone on this.

    Harold Douglas Company Gunnery Sergeant, 2-F-23, WWII; CPA, retired
  • Now seventy plus years after the event, this book makes me realize how privileged I was to serve for a short time with this great group of Marines and to command them for part of the iconic battle on Iwo Jima. Steve McCloud has done an epoch job of research. If you want to get a feel for the conversations and actions of the "grunt" Marine, read this book!!

    Lawrence F. Snowden Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret); Commanding Officer, 2-F-23 at Iwo Jima.
  • I nearly wore myself out reading the thing. I couldn't put it down. I thought it was going to be a bunch of waypoints on a map, but it's truly terrific. I've read an awful lot on the Pacific and I'm not aware of anything like this.

    Jack Simms Former Head, Dept. of Journalism, Auburn University; A.P. Bureau Chief, Boston; 3rd Machine Gun Section, 2-F-23
  • It's like you were right there with us the whole time. It was fascinating reading and I could hardly put it down once I started.

    Dennis Kavanaugh AT&T, retired; 2nd Platoon, 2-F-23
  • It came! And I have done nothing but read -- skipped lunch and just now put it down to fix something to eat for supper. Reading the book makes me so thankful that we were able to get together and become like family. It was a miracle they even got home. At least this part of history is correct and will remain so. You have always been special to all of the Marines and especially to us -- their wives! We knew all along what you wanted to do, and did do. Thank you again for a job well done!

    Liddie Hipp Wife of Cpl. Irby S. Hipp, 2-F-23