“I was K Company, Third Battalion, Third Marine Regiment, and Third Marine Division. So we’re K-3-3-3… which I’ve ordered for my license plate.” — Paul Torian, 2002
One of the initial impetuses for this project was my former commanding officer, Captain Nicholas ‘Nick’ Nuzzo, who suggested in early 2007 that I make a presentation for Kilo Company on the history of the unit. I obviously couldn’t — it’s been hard enough doing research on the battalion, let alone a single company, but one of the side-effects was that I discovered Paul Torian (1920-2004).
During World War II Paul had served as the commanding officer for Kilo (or ‘King’) Company on Bougainville, where he was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at the Battle of Piva Forks; he was also the battalion Operations Officer during the invasion of Guam. He had brief cameo in the John Monks book A Ribbon and a Star, about the Third Marines on Bougainville.
In 2002 Paul did a series of video interviews with friend Dr. Dave Thompson at the Palm Springs Air Museum in California about his experiences during the war, mostly with 3/3. In 2011 Dr. Thompson was nice enough to send me those interviews.
Early life, Dartmouth, and Camp Lejeune
Camp Lejeune (cont.), Samoa, and Bougainville
Bougainville (cont.), Guam, and his Navy Cross
Navy Cross (cont.) and postwar Marine service
Site News: I first began this site Memorial Day weekend in 2012 and am happy to say we’re nearly done with Afghanistan. I’m hoping it’ll be all wrapped up in another month or so and then I can move on to other deployments. We now have an Awards category, for Marines in the unit who received awards for valor. Also, in honor of Memorial Day, I added memorials from 2006, 2011, as well as individual memorials for 1Lt Fleming, SSgt Ramseyer, Cpl Wrightsman, Cpl Estrella, and LCpl Plotts.