Marine! The Life Of Chesty Puller by Burke Davis is a non-fiction story about a marine who was too tough for the Marine Corp., and who is the only Marine in history to win five Navy Crosses. .
It was December 8, 1950, on the frozen plateau of Koto-ri in the North Korean mountains. There was a snowstorm in the morning. It screened Chinese foxholes on the hills above the perimeter and muffled artillery fire from the road to the pass, where the First Marine Division was fighting it's way to the south. The commander was Colonel Lewis Burwell Puller, fifty-two years old, thirty-two years a U.S. Marine. He was in the process of winning his fifth Navy Cross - the nation's second highest military award. No other Marine had won so many.
For two weeks Puller had commanded the rear of the First Marine Division, cut off in the Chosin Reservoir region by hundreds of thousands of red Communist Chinese troops. The Colonel was visiting a hospital tent when a messenger came: they were entirely surrounded! With the calm and subtle humor of Puller found all through this book he said, "Those poor commies, they've got us right where we want em. We can shoot in every direction now."".
Lewis Burwell Puller was born on June 26, 1898 in the village of West Point, Virginia. West Point was a carnival town in summer. Trains from Richmond brought thousands of people to Beach Park, a few yards from the Puller's home. The Puller's have had a long history of military service. The first Lewis Burwell, born in Bedfordshire in 1621, had some to Virginia as a sergeant major of a county military company to establish a notable line, which included many members of the House of Burgesses.
There was also a Lewis Burwell Williams of Orange, Virginia, a kinsman who had been expelled from Princeton in 1821 for taking part in a riot. There were many other noted relatives: Patrick Henry, Philip Ludwell, Robert Carter, and John Grimes of the Governor's Council.