Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our Fathers Glossary


a fleet of warships


a belt with loops and pockets for cartridges, worn over the shoulder

banzai charge

a horde of Japanese soldiers in a suicidal, running attack


an improvised military encampment without shelter or protection from enemy fire


gigantic, a reference to the land of the giants in Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels


the code of the samurai, or the "Way of the Warrior," greatly distorted by the Japanese military in the 20th century


a wagon for transporting ammunition, also used in soldiers' funerals for the casket


a small pit big enough for one or two soldiers

gung ho

the idea of constant teamwork and brotherhood embedded in the minds of Marines during World War II


a cannon with a short barrel used for firing at angles of high elevation

K rations

emergency field rations of concentrated or dehydrated meals for when other food is not available. Named for the American physiologist Ancel Keys


an oceangoing military ship, used by the Marines for landing troops and heavy equipment on beaches


acronym for "Landing Vehicle Tracked," the amphibian tractors that transported the Marines from the LSTs to shore

mangrove swamps

tidal shores and marshes full of low trees with roots that interlace above ground, like those on Bougainville


a dark volcanic glass similar to granite, like the terrain at Camp Tarawa on the Big Island of Hawaii


a successive discharge of artillery and bombs

Semper Fidelis

Latin for "always faithful," the motto of the US Marine Corps


fragments of an explosive, such as a bomb or shell


to change the form or substance of something into something different, as of a photograph into a bronze statue

Unit 3

the pouch carried by a corpsman in battle, by which they were identified by those needing medical attention