Once a Marine-Always a Marine
by Ben Finney
About The Book
Soldier-adventurer Ben Finney has lived and fought through three wars — — and seen quite a bit of the world in between. He knew Fitzgerald and Hemingway. He starred in a motion picture during the 1920s. He went on safari in Africa.
The author sees his Marine Corps experience — — in the First World War, the Second World War, and finally Korea — — as the unifying thread of his life. He has always been a soldier, and he has learned to accept the bad with the good.
He joined the Marine Corps while still underage and fought in some of the most decisive battles of the First World War. After being wounded and discharged, he traveled extensively the world over: spending time in Africa and Asia, cruising the South Pacific, crossing Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and returning every summer to the French Riviera. In France in the 1920s, Ben Finney became part of the circle of American expatriates — — artists, writers, and film personalities with whom he lived and played, from Paris to Saint Moritz to the Cap d’Antibes.
Again volunteering for duty in the Second World War, he was soon fighting the Japanese in the Pacific, particularly on Guadalcanal. After the war, he tried his hand at film producing, on location and in Hollywood, and finally returned to his adopted city of New York. It was from there that, in 1952, he was recalled to active duty in Korea and commissioned to report on Marine air and land activities along the front lines.
Ben Finney has done a lot of living in a world that has changed immensely, and he has recorded here the story of his small part in changing it and his large part in enjoying it. Through peace and war, good times and bad, he has given and taken with the best of them. Here are the terrors and hardships of combat, but most of all here is the irrepressible spirit of a Marine who loved life and who, even in the worst of circumstances, tried to make the best of things.
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