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Sturgeon Bay author reflects on book highlighting father’s military service

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 7:59 PM CDT
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STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - On this Memorial Day, we’re remembering those who died in the line of duty, fighting for this country.

A Sturgeon Bay man is doing so by reflecting on the one year anniversary of a book he wrote, sharing memories of his father’s Marine platoon during World War II in the Battle of Saipan.

The book is titled, “40 Thieves on Saipan”, and is based heavily on the conversations Lt. Frank Tachovsky had with his son Joe.

RELATED: Wisconsin man writes book on father’s untold story of World War II

“It’s the story of an elite platoon of marines and their role for the Battle of Saipan. They were a novel group of men,” said Joe Tachovsky.

The platoon was made up of 40 members.

Their mission was to work behind enemy lines, and gain intel that could advance ground troops, specifically in Japan.

He added, “The Marines of World War II were notorious thieves and evidently this group excelled at it, to be given the nickname of the 40 thieves by their fellow Marines of the 6th regiment.”

The Battle of Saipan is referred to as “Pacific D-Day,” and cost the Allies 3,000 lives and wounded 10,000.

Of the five platoon members who died in action, one, PFC Philip Johnson was also from Wisconsin.

“I wanted to bring those fellows back at least for a brief moment in time to have people get acquainted with. Some of the characters, the men, who went overseas and did not come home,” Tachovsky said.

The book contains rare photos taken during the conflict, and after photos of gravesites and memorials.

”No one knows what it is like to be in combat. You can’t talk about it to anybody because it is just so unworldly, that no one can understand it.”

A portion of the proceeds from this book are donated to organizations that help veterans.

A paperback version is due out this August.

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