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WWII soldier gets Purple Heart decades after battle

"When the flares when up in the morning and I could see the Japanese, I said, 'Oh, Christ almighty,'" said Goot. "They were by the hundreds. It was a turkey shoot."

He said that since the Marines were not there to close the gap, it allowed the Japanese to run right through.

Trudeau said the civilians were coming at them with whatever supplies they could find, such as pitchforks and clubs.

"They sent them through first," he said. "The soldiers took charge after them. If they [the civilians] didn't make that charge, they pushed them off the cliffs."

The men remembered this day in Saipan more vividly than any of the other battles they were involved in during World War II. It is so badly burned into Sidur's memory that it is the reason for the 65-year delay in him receiving a Purple Heart.

Greene wanted to make sure his uncle got the recognition he deserved, since he knew he had been shot during the war. He went and requested Sidur's entire medical records in the archives. The only documentation they were able to find was for when he was injured in Okinawa.

"I said, 'What's this about? I've got nothing on Saipan but it says April 21, 1945, says you got shot,'" said Greene. "And he thinks about it ,and he goes, 'Oh that must have been when I got shot on Okinawa.'"

Greene said the memory of Saipan was so ingrained in Sidur's head that the fact he had been shot on Okinawa had never even crossed his mind.

Sidur was elated to receive the award after all of these years, even if the Marine corpsman had forgotten to file the paper work.

"I felt great after waiting all that time," said Sidur.

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