An unvarnished and moving memoir of a Marine veteran who fought his way across the Pacific Theater of World War II. This is an eyewitness -- and eye-opening -- account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman. R.V. Burgin enlisted at the age of twenty and, with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did -- from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara-kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat. An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War. R.V. Burgin's story is featured in the HBO series The Pacific.