Curtis Jorstad was a private first class serving as a scout-observer in the 27th Marine Regiment's Heavy Machine Gun Platoon, part of Headquarters Company. (Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone, Medal of Honor winner from Guadalcanal, was in the unit.) Curtis was a 22-year-old with no previous combat experience on Feb. 19, 1945. He had joined the Marines because he saw them as the "toughest" outfit, and the recruiter had agreed to let him finish his semester in college.
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