Combat wounded World War II veteran honored at Fort Benning - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Combat wounded World War II veteran honored at Fort Benning

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A veteran wounded in World War II was honored this weekend at Fort Benning for helping defend the Chinese against Japan.  

The Marine Corps League presented 92-year-old James E. Lett with the China War Memorial Medal for his service in the Pacific.

Lett joined the Marines when he was only 15 years old.  He spent his 16th birthday in Guadalcanal.

Lett said he paid a wino $5 to pretend to be his father and sign release forms.

He volunteered for dangerous missions in New Guinea despite being injured in combat.

"They needed some truck drivers and they needed ammunition at the southern tip of New Guinea. The Japanese broke the lines and were fighting both ways, so they needed truck drivers. I had to walk with a crutch, but I could still drive," said Lett.

Even after the surrender of Japan, Marines were needed in China to keep order during the ensuing civil war and protect the civilians against continued attacks from Japanese soldiers.

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