A Shanghai American: From an American Childhood in Shanghai to Marine Combat Interpreter on the Pacific Island Battlefields of WWII
Dan Williams, son of Baptist missionary parents, grew up in Shanghai, China, in the 1920s and 1930s. His experiences there as a Shanghai American shaped the rest of his life. Dan returned to the States at age sixteen in 1936 after a memorable journey on the Trans-Siberian railway. With the start of WWII, Dan was recruited by the US Navy and sent to the University of Colorado for a one-year course at the Navy Japanese Language School. After graduation, he became a Marine officer with the Fourth Marine Division and participated in the harrowing island invasions of Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. While under fire in intense combat, Dan’s job was to help his fellow Marines win battles by finding and translating Japanese documents and interrogating prisoners. This narrative memoir, told in Dan’s own words, vividly brings to life events that helped shape the history of the twentieth century.