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Ernie Harwell
War: World War II
Branch: United States Marine Corps
Unit: 59th Replacement Battalion, Leatherneck Magazine
Highest Rank: Sergeant

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William Earnest Harwell enlisted before the draft and volunteered for the United States Marine Corps in 1942. After attending boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina, he was sent to Atlanta, Georgia and later to Fort Lejeune, North Carolina. At Lejeune, William was placed in the 59th Replacement Battalion and later transferred to the camp newspaper The Globe. After a year, he was transferred to Washington, D.C. to work for the Marine Corps magazine Leatherneck.

In Washington, William lived with his wife in Du Pont Circle where they paid $18 a month in rent. In early 1945, he was sent to Pearl Harbor as an overseas correspondent and sports editor. From there, he was sent to Wake Island and later Mile Island to observe the Japanese surrender. William was sent to China in October, 1945 to report on Japanese prisoners of war. In January 1946, William went to Cherry Point Station, North Carolina, to be discharged, but due to a lost record book, he was forced to stay on a couple of weeks for garbage detail.